Not Just HR, Meet our People Ops Wonder Woman
Startups make millions of decisions as they grow and Angella, our People Ops Manager, has had a pulse on many of those that have defined CrossInstall’s company journey — especially in regards to talent. In the spirit of People Ops, we went around the office and took a pulse from the people on what makes Angella, Angella.
Jake, Project Manager “Angella’s been here from the start and literally done every job in the company.”
Jeff, CEO "Angella tackles anything that needs to be done at CrossInstall to keep our ship moving forward. She runs with the right amount of independence in taking on projects that she knows will make the company a better place for everyone."
Alyssa, Marketing Manager “Angella’s truly the Wonder Woman of CrossInstall. She’s simply wonderful. When there is any doubt who to ask, the default is Angella. She’s detail oriented and makes our day-to-day lives at CrossInstall so much better.”
Hear Angella’s take on building company culture, transitioning into a new role (more impressively, without a college degree), and pushing through the obstacles when people disagree with your snack choices. Without further ado, meet Angella!
You've been with CrossInstall now for more than five years, what impresses you most about how the company has evolved?
It’s wild to think our first “office” was Capital One Cafe in Downtown SF, where we had to re-enter the wifi password every 3 hours. Now we are on the 30th floor of a high rise with the second best view of San Francisco. Throughout the change, the one constant was 5 founders who never gave up even in the most difficult moments of frustration and despite the doubters. The heart that our founders instilled in us has given our company a “never give up” mindset.
Look at that view!
If you could pick one key takeaway from being at a company during the early stages and wearing many hats, what wisdom would you share?
There were days where the work felt never ending, but I remembered my motto: Quality over quantity. The tasks will still be there, but your effort will impact the outcome of that work. Since I wore many hats, I was able to become an expert at many different jobs, giving each task my full effort so everything would culminate in success. It also gave me the opportunity to build my own career path since I had the opportunity to experience different positions. This unique flexibility was worth the effort and hiccups along the way.
Coming from a different background and transitioning into HR, what's your best advice for someone looking to break into a new career field?
My educational background ended at “some college,” and I never achieved a BA degree. I spent 4 years wholeheartedly learning the ins and outs of Ad Ops. I transitioned into Account Management because it seemed like the appropriate choice to move up in the industry, but I quickly came to the realization that it was not for me. I presented Jeff and Bobby [CrossInstall’s CEO and President] with a very thorough PowerPoint proposal to become People Ops, listing my best personal and professional qualities and the benefits for the company. After an in depth session of Q&A, I got the green light. I knew I cared about people, my company, and building a distinct culture that would attract and retain top talent and good humans. It was up to me to prove to Jeff and Bobby that I was trustworthy and a hard worker to have the opportunity to switch my career path. It depended on me delivering on my promises. If you are your own biggest fan, others will have confidence in you too.
What’s the best part of your role?
When I first started as People Ops, there were no policies or procedures in place. Company culture consisted of less than 10 people, and we wanted to hire and grow into a comfortable, fun culture. With research and advice from other team members at CrossInstall, I was able to implement coffee buddies (getting paired with a colleague every week to enjoy a coffee / tea), weekly lunches, quarterly team offsites, and happy hours. Work became more than just that; CrossInstall HQ became a place we aren’t eager to leave at the end of the day. My favorite part of People Ops is that I’ve created a comfortable, fun, and safe environment that people are happy to be in.
As a strong willed and passionate individual, how do you push ideas through when others may be skeptical? Certainly there have been a number of times you've heard "no" and persuaded Jeff [CrossInstall’s CEO] to move forward with something.
Sometimes I can’t do it on my own. Not everybody is going to agree with me. It is actually more likely that they don’t agree with me, but I have to provide good reasons to why my idea(s) will work. People Ops takes more than just me, and I have to get others on board to move forward and take action. If the art of persuasion doesn't work, sometimes you have to just to do what you know is best for everyone.
What have you done to create a more defined company culture at CrossInstall?
Company culture goes far beyond me. It involves everyone. I just had to start it -- like a domino effect. Everyone is nervous beginning a new job at a new company. It’s up to those people who already work there to show what the company culture is like. Since I have worked at CrossInstall since the beginning, I knew if others saw my level of comfort and enjoyment, they would feel better stepping outside of their own box.
What was the best perk you’ve instituted, and how did you push it forward and justify it?
Naturally, my favorite perk is health insurance, and GOOD health insurance at that. My second favorite is “coffee buddies”. I get to meet with someone new every week, get outside of the office, enjoy a cup of caffeine (we go through 3 pots of coffee a day at CI - and that’s not including the bottles of cold brew), pick their brain, bond over hobbies, and feel absolutely no pressure to talk work. People are CrossInstall’s biggest asset - its important for me to learn a little piece about everyone and for them to learn something about me so that we can trust and appreciate each other’s existence at CI.
CrossInstall in one word.