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It’s been said many times before that time speeds up at startups, especially tech startups. A year into my role at Transcelestial and I can attest that it’s true. The last 12 months feels like we knocked milestone after milestone out of the park – it’s been a whirlwind at whiplash speed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Across last year, my team and I accelerated hiring, bringing in 47 quality people, and counting. We set out to hire the industry’s top minds, and we did it. Our People processes and strategy have ensured that new hirees receive a great onboarding experience, and we’ve been hard at work establishing a welcoming and supportive, ambitious and hard-working culture. 

Bearing the Transcelestial name at the Paris marathon in 2021

Nurturing growth in every way

In 2020, after 10 years in the field of Human Resources, I was on the search for a company that would allow me to nurture, what to me, is the holy grail of HR: a group of individuals who are not only the best at what they do, but are passionate about their work. The role of People Lead at Transcelestial promised to be exactly that, and I knew from the get-go that it was the right match for me. Within a few months, the role grew into something bigger than expected – and I was eager to grow with it. 

Over the last 12 months, I’ve found myself in a privileged position to drive growth at multiple levels, including: 1) recruiting a top caliber team with a high retention rate, thus directly impacting the business; 2) cultivating a space where our people can grow career-wise and intellectually; and 3) contributing to the company’s vision of connecting half the world’s population – a goal I care about deeply.

This multi-level expansion wasn’t always the case. Like many startups, between the first few years and the pandemic, our team underwent a myriad of changes. We had to make big and small pivots along the way, including activations to nurture team spirit remotely, as well as new policies and benefits that would not only keep everyone safe but engaged, invested and collaborative. 

Whew, to say we’ve been busy is an understatement, but having grown our People team from one to four is a testament to the value we place in supporting our people. 

Guiding Pillars 

To help communicate my vision and stay on course, I identified three key pillars as the foundations of our company’s people culture: Transparency, Enablement and Autonomy. More specifically, each employee should

  • Trust each other enough to say what’s on their mind, but mindful of how we say it
  • Enable one another while trusting the organisation to enable us 
  • Autonomously decide how we achieve our goals, as long as we deliver on agreed outcomes

Each of these were inspired by our company’s core values of connectivity as a human right, of driving innovative, world-changing technology and our inclusive, ‘one-team’ spirit. (A full view of our values, culture and benefits can be found here).

Remote work, COVID delays and a fast-paced, ever-changing environment have brought a fair share of hurdles, but they have not deterred us from fully embracing our company and people values. And therein lies the magic of Transcelestial. Despite the multitude of obstacles, we continued welcoming and onboarding newcomers on a regular basis – a responsibility we don’t take lightly. 

As a testament to our company, our founders and our people, the caliber of incredible investors is second to none, making it possible for us to throttle forward with a clear focus on people development and employee well-being.

Here’s to the next 12 months, five years and far, far beyond.