Empowering Our People To Enable Operational Excellence in Shared Mobility

Empowering Our People To Enable Operational Excellence in Shared Mobility

by Kyla Hanaway

Kyla Hanaway has an eye for talent, and she’s helped build Zagster into the community-driven, goal-oriented organization it is today. When she’s not working to change the world, she’s most likely reading a non-fiction page turner or playing Barbies with her daughter.

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Director of People Operations

Company culture is important at Zagster because operations doesn’t happen without people. I’ve talked a lot with our CEO Dan Herscovici (see his ZBlog post) about how Zagster is a company that “does” human capital management with the end-goal of operational excellence. Our technology and processes, which we’ve built based on our decade plus of experience, were specifically created to empower our people.

Which begs the question: what’s our culture at Zagster? We've identified some characteristics that are important for our Zagstars (yes, that is what we call our employees) to be successful. One is that we're builders, the kind of people who take something with little structure and create something better. We also want our people to have a high level of intellectual curiosity. They should understand not just their seat within the company, but also what everybody else is doing. We want our people to feel accountable to the success of the entire company.

How We Build Our Culture

We look to hire and empower people who are entrepreneurial and creative, who care about the issues we care about, especially around community-orientation. We start during the interview process by evaluating how candidates think. We use a lot of behavioral questions, such as “tell me about a time where you had to approach a messy problem and make it less messy.” It's a broad question, but it enables us to quickly assess whether the candidate is good at managing uncertainty or not. How do they define the “messy problem”? We look for people who are willing to ask for help and work collaboratively.

We look to hire and empower people who are entrepreneurial and creative, who care about the issues we care about, especially around community-orientation.

Next comes the onboarding process. We're investing here because we believe the first month of employment is critical to employee success, and in their understanding what it means to work at Zagster. We don't have our new employees meet only with their own teams, we have them meet with people from a variety of different teams, so they can understand what the different motivations are and how our teams work together.

Finally, we provide ways to grow. We want people to have a career path at Zagster and grow with us. We’re continually looking for ways to retain and develop high-value employees and provide them with paths to take on additional responsibilities.

Our People are Part of the Communities We Serve

Zagster strives to provide long-term career paths for our people. Our managers in the field are core to our success: they enable their employees to do the work.

Zagster gets a lot of unquantified value from hiring people local to a community where we’ve launched a micro-mobility program. There’s value in leveraging their knowledge of how residents in that community move around, where construction takes place, or where congestion issues are present. They will use our Wrangler tools, and as Bob Mallon says in his ZBlog post, our tools give them the freedom to provide the best operation service possible. This in turn empowers our employees to drive the success of their program.

Uncovering some best practices in local markets, we can also share these practices across all of our markets. This enables us to constantly get better at operations and drive value to all the communities we support. You don’t always see this open, collaborative spirit when operators use a gig workforce model, which sometimes results in heated turf wars around who gets to pick up scooters at night.

Growing With Each Other

Since our people have our backs, we have theirs. We tell them, “you're scheduled for these shifts, you can rely on this income, and we need you for today and moving forward.” Zagster strives to provide long-term career paths for our people. Our managers in the field are core to our success: they enable their employees to do the work. We encourage and motivate these field managers to bring all their strengths to work, and to bring out the same in their employees. We all share in the resulting benefits when people bring their best selves to work.

Final Thoughts

I’m excited that Zagster is continuing to invest in our people at all levels of the organization. Our people add value in ways that go far beyond written job descriptions or “defined” roles. We often use a tagline at Zagster: “Driven by Technology, Operated by Humans.” Zagster continues to learn, iterate, and grow. As we do, it's exciting to watch our people continue to step up and shine.

Ready to join us, and become a Zagstar? Check out our open positions.