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Unveiling Spare’s Guiding Principles: No Assholes

Welcome to Part 5 of our blog series “Unveiling Spare’s Guiding Principles”. In this week's edition, we take a look into our ‘No Assholes’ principle. Each blog dives into one of our guiding principles—Take Ownership, Growth Mindset, Execute with Urgency, Drive Results, No Assholes, and Customer-Obsession— exploring what they mean to us, how they shape our culture, and the impact they have on our daily operations.

Shelby Perera

What does ‘No Assholes’ mean?

At its core, ‘No Assholes’ is about creating a workplace culture where toxicity has no place to thrive. It’s about creating a work environment from a foundation of respect, transparency and shared goals. In every organization, whether it fosters a culture of teamwork or individualism, differences in opinions and personality are inevitable. To address this, many organizations have embraced feedback as an integral component of their workplace culture. However, there is a fine line between constructive feedback and criticism, and the manner in which feedback is delivered significantly influences company culture.

Why does this principle matter?

A toxic work environment can have detrimental effects on organizational success, and more importantly, on our employees’ well being. These kinds of environments often lead to stress, burnout and decreased job satisfaction, which ultimately impact productivity and employee retention. By upholding the principle of ‘No Assholes’, we safeguard against a toxic work environment, treating new and existing employees with kindness and respect, and creating a culture of inclusiveness.

As I am about to sign off after my first week after onboarding, I wanted to thank my team for welcoming me and giving me a hand. Cath, Manuel and Quinn were very helpful whenever I had a question or felt stuck, but Valentina was especially helpful because she has been an amazing onboarding Buddy! I am very happy to be part of this amazing team!!”

- Andrés Arrieta (IT Support Specialist) acknowledging Valentina Nuñez (Customer Support Specialist)

‘No Assholes’ at Spare

At Spare, we recognize that fostering a culture of respect and kindness starts from the top down. If mistreatment becomes acceptable behavior in an organization, it creates a vicious cycle that manifests itself, creating the understanding of “I guess this is how things work around here”. Employees learn from managers, who learn from their managers. This is why at Spare, we lead by example. Through continuous education and incorporating a regular feedback loop, we equip managers with the tools to address and prevent toxic behaviors, fostering a psychologically safe environment where concerns can be voiced without fear of retribution.

“I really look up to Lauren, it has been awesome working with her on the People team! During my co-op, Lauren has been super quick to reach out to me whenever I had questions. She would schedule a call to walk me through things and point me to more helpful resources. She is super talented and I'm so grateful I got to work with her during my time at Spare!”

- Abbey Moores (2023 People & Talent Co-op) acknowledging Lauren Todd (Senior TA Specialist)

Creating a culture where toxic behaviors have no place in an organization starts with hiring candidates who are not only the right person-job fit, but also the right person-culture fit. By prioritizing cultural alignment during the hiring process, we ensure that new team members share our values. As a result, individuals from all backgrounds feel valued and respected and can individually contribute to a positive work environment.

“While part of me had been looking forward to coming back to work after parental leave, that anticipation was tinged with melancholy at the closing of a particularly joyful chapter of my life. But when Destani reached out to me to welcome me back with her characteristic exuberance, that sadness was momentarily eclipsed by the warmth of her message. It made me realize, if I were a new employee starting out at Spare, having Destani be my first point of contact on Day 1 would probably make me feel really good about this new company I had just joined. Thanks for being you, Destani!”

- Paul Cernek (Staff Software Developer) acknowledging Destani Engel (Employee Experience Specialist)