Our core behaviors are the practical implementation of our values. These are practices we adhere to constantly.
- Be Accountable. Don’t let your deadlines pass without notifying the people who might have been counting on the work. Own your work.
- Overcommunicate. We provide more detail in written communication than is strictly necessary. When tracking hours, we track to the minute. After a call, we send a full recap.
- Emote. In a remote context, people’s emotions are masked. When you’re enthusiastic, be extra enthusiastic in your communication. When you’re upset, be more direct with others around you about what’s on your mind. We don’t have non-verbal cues to pick up on, so be upfront with how you’re feeling.
- Read It Twice. Take the time to cogently absorb written communication before responding. Don’t rush communication.
- Write it down. When you figure out how to do something, don’t just store it in your own memory – write out a guide for others in the Handbook. Most projects should produce not only good work, but long-lasting documentation and resources for future projects.
Accountability means owning responsibility for the final outcome of a process, even if the process is not entirely your responsibility.
Here it is: The real meaning of accountability in the workplace
Accountability means showing up and setting out to accomplish the things you'd said you'd do. It's about taking personal responsibility for your work. It's also trusting in your teammates and knowing you can count on each other to get things done.
I am accountable for my cat, Willow. If I have a sitter watch her and the babysitter treats her badly, of course that is the responsibility of the babysitter, but it is also my responsibility too, because I am accountable for her. Likewise, if she bites the babysitter, that is Willow’s responsibility, but it is also mine, because I am accountable for her.
As individuals within a collective, we all have individual zones of accountability but also a collective accountability to the company. This means we are all in some way responsible for our group‘s final outcomes.
So first, we are responsible for our own zones of accountability, and our teammates should count on us to deliver our parts. Second, we are responsible for helping others when others can’t fulfill their responsibilities, despite them having taken original accountability the best they could.
We have a shared agreement that we all agree to abide by:
Accountability is now a factor in determining team member comp. During quarterly reviews, when managers review compensation, they should be providing feedback on their reports’ accountability habits as a part of that conversation.
Additionally, during sprint planning, if a team member has been demonstrating issues with accountability, they should be asked to take on less and less sprint work each time until their accountability issues have been resolved.
If someone is struggling with accountability, it would be fair for PMs and Strategists to not allow that person to take on tasks that are critical.
We are working on improving our internal metrics so it is clearer when people are delivering on our accountability standards
There are some core behaviors that can help make any team member more reliable at handling their zone of accountability.
Maintain a trusted system of commitments
For most staff working on tasks, they will be assigned to overall tasks, but will have several actions related to each task. For example, the task may be to “Create New Homepage Design”. That task may involve:
- Showing a friend
- Creating a sketch
- Creating a mockup
The PMs are not going to tell you the steps you need to take to fulfill the work. You can make it for yourself! If you want a checklist to guide you and make sure you are dealing with the interim steps in a timely fashion, make it for yourself!
You can maintain this kind of list in Asana (I use My Tasks to hold all of my personal commitments) or a separate platform. The point is that you need a system, not what the system actually is.
Morning inbox sweep
Each morning, before starting any work, do a full sweep of your “inboxes”. This usually will include:
- Asana Inbox
It will also include other services depending on your job, such as Hubspot. Go through every single new message or notification.
In most cases you won‘t have a next action based on the notification, and you can read the notification, absorb it and move on. If you have a next action and can do it in under 2 minutes, do it. If you have a next action that would take more than 2 minutes, create a task for yourself in your system of choice.
For more on this concept, check out the Inbox Zero methodology:
What is the Inbox Zero approach to email management?
By Inbox Zero is a rigorous approach to email management that aims to keep an inbox empty -- or almost empty -- at all times. It attempts to deal with the onslaught of email messages that fill inboxes to the point of overwhelming their recipients, making their work and personal lives more complicated and stressful, rather than easier.
For tracking time during the inbox sweep, you may either:
- Keep your timer on the whole time and try to “bunch” client communcation so that you spend a concerted stretch of time on each client/topic
- Keep mental notes of roughly how much time is going towards each client, and then re-construct your timesheet quickly after you have done your sweep.
Evening task sweep
Before you stop work for the night, review your My Tasks. Do you still have anything due today? If so, it should be renegotiated. Why did it fall behind? If you need tomorrow to handle it, what will you do with other things due tomorrow? Never leave the office with an overdue task in My Tasks.
Respect and Inclusion
The safety and dignity of our team is paramount.
We have a zero-tolerance policy for racist, sexist, homophobic, or religiously bigoted behavior or speech. If we observe these things, you will be let go. In a case of extreme misunderstanding and with the explicit comfort of the whole group, we may make an exception.
When it comes to speaking about politics to team members and clients, it's best to ensure that your language is sensitive to the possibility that there are others who may not share the same opinion as you. You are free to say what you like about politics, but you must communicate your views in a way that does not degrade or ostracize others who may hold a different opinion.
We also have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual abuse or harassment. Cantilever policy is stricter than the law. Any kind of unsolicited sexual comment or advancement between you and a team member/client/partner will result in immediate termination.
In the case of both hate speech and sexual harassment, any reports a manager receives must be immediately sent to the
Not passing along a report immediately is unacceptable.
If you have a report regarding the
There is no statute of limitations on reporting. All reports are valid and important at any time and with any degree of detail.
In cases where the legal definition is grey, we reserve the right to make the final judgment on what constitutes hate speech, abuse, or harassment.