A Formula to Guiding a Global Workforce

The “Adyen Formula” is a powerful set of principles that enables Adyen team members to drive progress and connection from all corners of the globe.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Mar. 16, 2023
A Formula to Guiding a Global Workforce
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When Adyen initially began recruiting in Latin America, the team discovered a hurdle in the company’s job postings. 

Each one included fluency in English as a job requirement, limiting access to only a privileged portion of the population. 

For President of Adyen North America Davi Strazza, this was more than a misguided decision. “We were failing to become more diverse,” he said. 

At the time, Strazza was overseeing operations in Adyen’s Latin America region, and tackled this issue head on. The team took action and removed the requirement from its job openings — but that wasn’t enough. The company also started sponsoring Latin American new hires’ English studies so they could grow more comfortable with the language and have a greater chance to excel in their careers. 

“It shows we’re giving back to society,” Strazza said. 

This sense of connection and responsibility has been a common theme across the company since its inception. In fact, it’s ingrained into what the team refers to as the “Adyen Formula.” 

 

THE ADYEN FORMULA

  • We build to benefit all customers (not just one)
  • We make good choices to build an ethical business and drive sustainable growth for our customers
  • We launch fast and iterate
  • Winning is more important than ego; we work as a team — across cultures and time zones
  • We don’t hide behind email, instead we pick up the phone
  • We talk straight without being rude
  • We include different people to sharpen our ideas
  • We create our own path and won’t be slowed down by “stewards”

 

“This isn’t your standard mission statement,” said Strazza of the Adyen Formula. The principles contained within the formula aren’t intended to be an enigma; they’re designed to be understandable and, most importantly, actionable. 

“They really speak to how we want our teams to work together,” Strazza said. 

Having a universal decree is essential, considering Adyen’s employee base spans more than 26 global office locations and over 130 nationalities — and it’s still growing. As the organization concentrates its recruitment efforts in North America, the team is gearing up for an evolutionary period guided by the Adyen Formula. Both existing employees and future new hires can expect to see a continued focus on collaboration, diversity and support as they work toward influencing a fast-moving industry.  

 

Adyen team members chatting in office kitchen
Adyen

 

WHAT ADYEN DOES

Founded in 2006 in Amsterdam, Adyen provides a fintech platform that enables brands to accept online and in-person payments, offer authenticated transactions, prevent fraud and optimize revenue. 

 

Working Together, Across the World

Cross-continental teamwork is a key part of the workday for many at Adyen, including Global Head of Project Operations Amanda Dumas. She and her manager may have a 13-hour time difference between them, but that doesn’t hinder their ability to accomplish their goals. 

According to Dumas, they’re both empowered to work in a way that suits them best, whether that requires a day spent working at home rather than in the office or blocking out time on the calendar to make room for doctor appointments. “Everyone has the independence and the flexibility to do this, because we understand that everyone also has things to do outside of work, which are just as important,” she said.

This respect holds special meaning for Team Lead of Sales Development Jasmine Keen, considering she joined the company as a relatively new parent. “I’m able to ask my peers, ‘This is when I’m dropping my kid off, so can you please work with me to schedule something around that?’” she said. 

While empathy is essential, Strazza believes success wouldn’t be possible without autonomy. In order to move quickly at scale with employees distributed worldwide, individual teams need to be trusted to make decisions and move forward. 

 

Strazza believes success wouldn’t be possible without autonomy. In order to move quickly at scale with employees distributed worldwide, individual teams need to be trusted to make decisions and move forward.

 

“Team members don’t necessarily need to wait until their peers in Singapore are awake,” Strazza said. “That’s how we’ve gotten things done quickly, and it’s a fundamental part of our formula.” 

 

Adyen team members gathered in library-like area of office
Adyen

 

PURSUE YOUR PASSIONS

Strazza said team members are empowered to share their ideas and pursue new opportunities across the company, which could involve moving to a new role, team or region. For example, in order to make it easier to explore their passions, employees can spend three months at one of the company’s other offices, whether that’s in Sydney or San Francisco. This gives them the chance to grow in their current role or learn new skills, and also promotes knowledge sharing across the global team. 

The company also acknowledges that growth takes many forms. According to Strazza, the Adyen+ benefit is designed to support this understanding. The monthly financial stipend can be put toward anything team members’ consider important, whether that’s cooking classes, traveling or fitness expenses. 

 

‘A Marathon, Not a Sprint’

Speed may be an essential element of Adyen’s culture, but it recognizes that fostering diversity is “a marathon, not a sprint,” Strazza said.  

It starts with attracting diverse talent, which is made possible with an equitable recruitment process. Strazza said the hiring team learned from the mistake they initially made with their Latin American talent search and added inclusive language to all of the company’s job descriptions. 

In relation to inclusive initiatives at Adyen, the company also partners with Multiverse, which offers professional apprenticeship programs that remove the need for college degrees and corporate training. Adyen has welcomed numerous new hires through this program, supporting its aim to embrace individuals of all backgrounds. 

Keen said she has seen the impact of the Multiverse program firsthand. One of her recent new hires participated in the apprenticeship, and it’s been encouraging to see him flourish in his career. 

“I want to see more of that in the future,” Keen said. 

Once diverse talent has been brought onboard, efforts toward inclusion and belonging come into play. Strazza said he and other leaders helped form several employee resource groups, which are accessible for employees worldwide. These groups are dedicated to various underrepresented populations that help make up the team, including women, Black individuals and members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Strazza added that each global region has its own DEI committee, which allows team members to brainstorm ideas together while receiving support from higher-ups. “Our role as leaders is to empower our people by giving them the space they need to accelerate initiatives,” he said. 

 

“Our role as leaders is to empower our people by giving them the space they need to accelerate initiatives.”

 

How do they know the efficacy of these DEI efforts? Strazza acknowledged that understanding the reality of the company’s current equity climate is essential, which is why the team sends out engagement surveys to gauge how employees are feeling and what they want the organization to look like in the future. In doing so, the company hopes to continually build upon the progress it has made and cultivate greater diversity. 

“A bunch of people in one room can have 100 different ideas, but if you don’t know where you are and how your teams are feeling, you’re hardly going to have success,” Strazza said. 

Adyen is undoubtedly familiar with the power of ideas. Since its inception, the company has helped other organizations grow with the help of its global, multitalented workforce. 

For Dumas, the most exciting part of the company’s current growth phase is having the chance to work with teammates who make all of this impactful work possible. “At the core, the people are what make this company so special,” she said. 

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images courtesy of Adyen.

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