8 Operating Principles, 1 Global Culture

Three Checkout.com employees from around the world shared insight into how the company’s new operating principles support unified values while celebrating the diversity of cultures across the international team.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on Jan. 23, 2024
8 Operating Principles, 1 Global Culture
Checkout.com
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Who turns off the lights in your workplace at the end of the day?

In Checkout.com’s Ebene, Mauritius, office, that responsibility is one shared across the team — and symbolizes more than staying conscientious about energy consumption.

“Within client services, there is a concept that our senior leadership team has introduced, ‘World-class basics: Do simple things to world-class standards,’” explained Compliance Operations Manager Pooja Lutchmun. “And it’s not just about the concept, right? It’s about how we embed that within our behaviors at work. It could be as simple as turning the lights off if you’re the last one in the office.”

For Pooja and the Mauritius team, this commitment to world-class basics fits into Checkout.com’s operating principles — eight guiding lights that aim to capture the essence of what it means to be an employee at the company. Across the team, Checkout.com employees have embraced the principles in ways both specific to their local geography and shared across global offices, demonstrating that high performance doesn’t have to be sacrificed for a flourishing culture.

 

CHECKOUT.COM’S OPERATING PRINCIPLES

  • Customer first: We always put our customers’ interests first. We solve their problems, are methodical, and leverage data to instruct our decisions. We build for the many and not the few to create long-term value.
  • Athlete mindset: We know that excellence takes commitment. Like athletes, we plan with rigor and execute with intensity. We think end-to-end because every detail matters to build a generation-defining company.
  • Be the owner: We are accountable for our work. We strive to meet our commitments to customers and to each other. If we see something broken, we fix it. We take the initiative and have a bias for action. 
  • Run lean: We embrace the bootstrap mentality in everything we do. We build lean and hungry teams that move fast with purpose and autonomy.
  • Better every day: We take risks and experiment, because it is OK to fail. When that happens, we use it to learn how not to make the same mistake again. We are curious, we seek to innovate and expand our knowledge behind it.
  • Talk straight: We get straight to the point and we also always seek others’ perspectives. When we discuss, we are clear, direct and respectful. When we listen, we are humble and attentive. Once a decision is made, each one of us rallies behind it.
  • Build with the best: We never compromise on talent. We only hire and develop the best. We build diverse teams and continuously raise the bar to match our ambitions.
  • One team: We put collective success before individual achievements. We act with integrity and support each other — this helps us cut through complexity. Winning only matters if we can do it as one team.

 

Checkout.com
Checkout.com

 

Whether working from home or from the Dubai office, Implementation Engineering Senior Specialist Maimona Issam sees the operating principles at work. The hybrid model balances two days at home with three days in the bustling Dubai office, where colleagues enjoy breakfast together and work in a bright and open setting.

“When I’m working from home, I can concentrate more on my individual tasks, as well as have focused meetings and update records. In the office, we are able to achieve things together through collaboration and interaction,” she said. 

 

CREATING ‘CUSTOMER-FIRST’ EXPERIENCES AS ‘ONE TEAM’

Operating at the intersection of Checkout.com’s commercial and tech teams, Maimona is focused on the interconnected importance of two of the operating principles as they work together to solve pressing issues for the company’s clients. “As solution engineers, we connect different teams — sales, account managers and engineers — to collaboratively support our clients. ‘One team’ and ‘customer first’ go hand in hand for us,” she explained.

 

Checkout.com’s engaged and engaging office environment is home to professionals from countries across the Middle East as well as Europe and Asia, which adds a rich layer of meaning to the company’s principle of “one team.” 

The company’s “Work from Elsewhere” policy further broadens the cultural mosaic in the office, and Maimona and her team welcomed colleagues from the UK and Greece to work in the Dubai office in 2023. Through this policy, employees are able to work up to 14 days from any of the company’s global offices with approval from their manager, allowing them to connect with colleagues from around the world and foster relationships beyond their local domains.

For London-based Staff DevOps Engineer Anthony Doutre, that meant an opportunity to work alongside colleagues in the United States last year, which allowed him to see the deep connections between his work and that of his global colleagues.

Regardless of where Anthony found himself working, he found Checkout.com’s operating principles revealed through the company’s culture of high performance.

“It can be demanding, but it’s a place where initiative is rewarded,” he said. “At Checkout.com, you have the freedom to experiment, to propose new ways to improve processes and innovate on technology. If you can demonstrate that it adds value, that’s going to be taken into consideration. We’re going to implement it, and you’re going to be recognized for that.”

 

“At Checkout.com, you have the freedom to experiment, to propose new ways to improve processes and innovate on technology.”

 

As an organization that is committed to maintaining a culture of high performance and building the best teams, Checkout.com is launching a Payments Academy in the first quarter of 2024. The curriculum is curated to make every employee a payments expert, regardless of their role, providing breadth and depth in learning across payments and fintech content. Continuous investment in payments expertise is expected to accelerate customer impact and collaboration across Checkout.com, paving the way for the company’s long-term success.

 

DRIVING THE FUTURE OF TECH WITH AN ‘ATHLETE MINDSET’

For Anthony, the “athlete mindset” principle aligns seamlessly with his passion for technology. The focus on executing tasks with intensity mirrors his commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation. “Athlete mindset means we should execute everything we do with intensity,” he said. “I’ve been passionate about computers for as long as I can remember. This mindset drives me to give my best every day.”

 

Like Maimona, Anthony splits his time between working from home and the newly-renovated London office. While time working from home allows him to focus on some of the company’s most challenging technical issues, the collaborative spirit of time spent in the office is just as important. “During my days in the office, I’m able to provide more hands-on knowledge and coaching and there is a really good mood and good vibe,” he said.

That positive vibe is supported by Checkout.com’s convivial atmosphere. “We have breakfast and lunch, and those are particular moments of the day where we can connect with other teams,” he said. “We also do a lot of social events with happy hours once a month and celebrations several times a year.”

The London team mirrors the city’s cosmopolitan identity, and last year, cross-cultural social events celebrated Lunar New Year or Dia de los Muertos, infusing the workplace with an international spirit.

The value of shared meals is true in Mauritius, as well, according to Pooja. “We get to socialize with our teammates, not just in our individual team but in a free-flowing way across tech, operations and the rest of the office,” she said. “Culture sharing is what really draws us in because we are able to share not only as colleagues but as people.”

 

HOW ‘BEING THE OWNER’ ALLOWS CHECKOUT.COM’S TEAM TO ‘BUILD WITH THE BEST’

In the realm of people leadership, Pooja finds resonance in the principles of “be the owner” and “build with the best.” 

“We take accountability, learn from mistakes and strive for improvement. ‘Be the owner’ aligns with our commitment to deliver world-class basics,” Pooja remarked. In addition, the principle of ‘build with the best’ has become a guiding beacon within recruitment  — ensuring the right fit for the team — and in fostering a sense of belonging.

 

In a world where hybrid work and global collaboration are the norm, Checkout.com’s commitment to nurturing a culture of high performance that doesn’t sacrifice unity truly shines through.

“With the operating principles, we know what our priorities are and where we stand,” Maimona  said. “It’s a very dynamic place, and we are able to stay aligned.”

 

“With the operating principles, we know what our priorities are and where we stand. It’s a very dynamic place, and we are able to stay aligned.”

 

Anthony agreed. “We can see how a priority fits two or three operating principles which helps us make a better choice.” 

The company’s operating principles aren’t just words on paper; they unite a global workforce in a shared journey of growth and innovation, while setting the standard for excellence. As Checkout.com continues to redefine fintech’s landscape, its cultural evolution remains a testament to the power of principles that transcend borders, creating a single, driven team where every voice matters and every individual contributes to shared success.
 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by Checkout.com.

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