During the DAOist’s Global Governance Gathering in Amsterdam, an Open Office Hours was held by the People Ops Guild on how to Build Healthier Teams in web3.
The People Ops Guild is an initiative to bring people supporting DAOs’ contributors' experience together. Each member holds a people-related role in a DAO and sends ripples out into the space with their work.
The Office Hours gave DAO contributors, enthusiasts, and researchers an open forum to discuss the challenges and opportunities encountered while building strong teams, communities, and cultures. Discussion leaders in the panel included DAO Contributor Gurus:
Participants of the Office Hours came in search of answers on how to strengthen and unify the dynamics of the contributors within their own DAO ecosystems. Some important questions that were asked included:
How to manage the challenges arising from this novel work paradigm and the revolving door of contributors that comes with it?
"How to improve communication both among core contributors and within the wider DAO community?"
Are there any best practices for performance reviews within a flat structure ecosystem?
With just an hour to discuss, they were only able to scratch the surface of these topics affecting DAOs throughout the web3 space. In case you missed it, some key takeaways were:
Interesting contributor organization challenges arise in this space, here’s how to balance a revolving door of contributors:
It’s beneficial to leave some flexibility when defining the contributor roles and responsibilities. Providing room for growth for the individual contributor drives retention and prevents churn.
Creating an open and inviting space for new contributors is important, but it should not come at the cost of productivity or output quality. Some level of setting the bar is important to gate the core contributors from other DAO layers.
Communication challenges exist in every DAO, you’re not alone!
Utilization of various mediums is necessary to deliver clear and concise messaging to a range of audiences within your DAO.
Be creative and improve and iterate on current communication processes when you experience communication deficiencies.
Tackle and evolve your communications while thinking about whether you’re broadcasting or engaging, documenting or having an ephemeral conversation, and whether you’re the messenger or the consumer.
If you’re the messenger, take ownership! If you’re the consumer, also take ownership! Deliver and demand how information flows, as it’s a core part of the contribution culture.
When in doubt, over-communicate to adequately convey information to your community.
Giving feedback, the elephant in the room:
Constructive feedback is part of the culture too, lead by example: proactively ask for and give feedback.
Make feedback part of the process: at the end of the project, as a report or review, set a point in the process for it.
Another aspect of giving feedback is taking the time to reflect on your own contributions. Self-assessments are a great starting point for kicking off a feedback process and compare with what others have to share with you.
Create feedback circles based on closest peers or on a project basis. Your feedback circle might change as you move on to other DAOs, workstreams or projects, just make sure to set the expectations of who you'd like to hear from and when you're expecting that feedback.
DAO Culture: Points to remember
A shared sense of direction at the DAO level enables a stronger sense of ownership and autonomy at the contributor team level. These teams can strategically address a specific problem area in accordance with their mandate while being in alignment with the broader DAO.
DAOs/web3 projects with an overarching unified mission are more successful in attracting the right talent.
Contributor teams that are primarily interacting online need to strike a balance, where they have enough structure to effectively coordinate, but also the flexibility to get the work done. Strong work culture, team rituals and occasional IRL gatherings help.
As the DAO space continues to evolve and flourish, the People Ops Guild will continue its mission to help define the field of decentralized HR practices. The guild is composed of Contributor Experience pioneers from Maker, Gitcoin, DXdao, Status, Coordinape, Index Coop,VitaDAO, Aragon and more. Moving forward, the goals of the guild include building out further communications, providing a space for people-people to connect with peers facing similar challenges, and being a body of wisdom that others in the space can consult for information and leadership.