1,000 Employees, 1,000 Trees

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May 12, 2021
1,000 employees, 1,000 trees
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1,000 Employees, 1,000 Trees

To better understand the impact PartnerHero has had over the last seven years and what makes a job sustaining, we interviewed six employees about how PartnerHero has made a difference in their lives. 

This May marks the 7-year anniversary of PartnerHero and another milestone, reaching 1,000  employees across the world. To celebrate creating 1,000 sustainable jobs, we partnered with One Tree Planted to plant 1,000 trees across the regions where most of our employees are located: The US, the Philippines, Honduras, and Romania. 

While any company would be happy to recognize the 1,000 employee milestone, it is especially meaningful for PartnerHero. Our mission is to extend the impact of innovative companies to regions that are often left behind - regions that don’t benefit from venture capital or a steadily growing economy. Seven years in and 1,000 jobs later we are making tangible progress toward our mission. 

Bee Quesada, Senior Program Manager

Based in: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Tenure: 5 years 

“Especially as an Honduran employee and a Latina woman, PartnerHero is a place where I have found a seat at the table where I would not have found it or would have had to claw and scratch to get it otherwise. Not that I haven’t worked hard, but most places here wouldn’t have given me a seat at the table regardless of how hard I work.” 

How has PartnerHero impacted your life?

PartnerHero has given me a career. When I graduated from college with an English degree in Texas I spent 9 months looking for jobs to no avail. My confidence was shot, every accomplishment from my academic career “didn’t apply” to the real world. I eventually moved back to Honduras with my tail between my legs. What was I going to do with an English degree in Honduras, a Spanish speaking country? A friend encouraged me to apply to PartnerHero and I got the job!

I was supposed to go to join one of our partner programs but before I even started the L&D team “kidnapped me.” I was over the moon - the work I was doing aligned with my passion for education and teaching. 

At PartnerHero I regained the confidence that I had lost. After some time on the L&D team I moved to program management and it just clicked. I love developing people. I don’t consider myself to be the best program manager at the company but I do consider myself to be a great teacher and I’ve had the chance to develop incredible talent from all over the world and specialize in the education industry, something I am truly passionate about. 

It sounds like PartnerHero has contributed to your career and well-being, what have you been able to share with PartnerHero over the years?

Full disclosure I’m not someone who buys into “family” in the workplace, that’s not my flavor of kool-aid. I think of PartnerHero as an Olympic team - a group of highly competent badasses with skills and strengths to share and improve the performance of the whole group. My biggest strength is around communication, my level of polish and my ability to connect with partners.

What I appreciate most about PartnerHero is the fact that it really is what you make it. It’s an incredible school, a place to build a career, a place to find comfort, resources and meet amazing people. It's a good world to be in. I have a lot of gratitude for PartnerHero and our partners. There’s a strong moral backbone. We don’t work with just anyone and we relate to our partners in a different way than any other BPO. 

Phillip Thomas, Team Lead

Based in: Boise, Idaho 

Tenure: 1 year, 2 months 

“I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m a better dad than I’ve ever been. I’m a better leader for my team than I’ve ever been. It was a lot of hard work but it all started the day I first read our core values.”

How has PartnerHero impacted your life?

This is very personal to me. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I want to share a bit about my journey since joining PartnerHero because it has had a huge impact on my mental health. I’m in a better place than I have ever been in my entire life because of the help that I’ve received here. When I joined PartnerHero I was going through a really rough divorce, my wife had left and I fell into a depression. One thing that helped was getting insurance through work but the big turning point was in a 1:1 I had with my manager, Andrew Lewis. I had been having a rough day and I just broke down. He said, “we love you here at PartnerHero, we need to sort this out.” He helped me find a counselor that I’ve been seeing for a year now and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m a better dad than I’ve ever been. I’m a better leader for my team than I’ve ever been. It was a lot of hard work but it all started the day I first read our core values. I love our core values and our culture and I’m always preaching to my team about how we can use them to better help customers. 

What makes PartnerHero different?

Our culture. I’ve worked for Fortune 100 companies. I’ve been a top leader in a Fortune 100 company recognized by the Board of Directors. I was invited to speak for my department in front of 5,000 people. It’s the culture that we have at PartnerHero that separates us. We have a culture of love, inclusion and respect, lifting each other up and not putting each other down. I call it “our company” because it's such a great community. I feel lucky to be a part of it. 

What have you given to PartnerHero?

I’ve shared my life with PartnerHero. The company is a huge part of my life. I share my family with my team. I get to work from home and my kids sometimes photobomb my meetings and that’s totally accepted and embraced by my coworkers. I love to cook - that’s my passion and my hobby. I work with people from Brazil and Honduras. A lot of times I make Brazilian and Honduran food to connect with my teams. 

Alex Dubon, Customer Support Associate

Based in: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Tenure: 1 month 

“Working with people who are humble has taught me a lot about how to improve my own communication skills at work. Sometimes I feel angry or anxious but working with a team that is so supportive has helped. Instead of covering up how I feel I can share my thoughts and feelings and move forward.”

You’ve had bad experiences working at call centers in the past. What makes PartnerHero different?

I just started two months ago but I can already tell that this is a place where I can build a career. I’ve met incredible people and my team is really supportive and close. I feel like I can share my opinions and be myself at work which is really different from how things were at my last job. 

My previous work experience was at a call center where the work environment was toxic. Eight out of 10 calls would be someone yelling at you and there were always 60+ calls pending, with only a few people working. There were no growth opportunities, it wasn’t a place where you could grow or feel comfortable.

I know you’ve only been here a short time but what have you contributed to PartnerHero?

I have a lot of experience with phone support so I didn’t need too much training and am already helping my teammates better handle phone calls. I’ve also been a QA Analyst before so I am passionate about giving and receiving feedback. I provide feedback to my peers and they provide feedback to me - we’re helping each other get better.

Luis Hernandez Blanco, Outreach Lead

Based in: San Pedro Sula, Honduras

Tenure: 6 years 

“The company did an amazing job caring for associates in Honduras during the hurricanes in November. The outpouring of support, reaching out to know if we were OK, the GoFundMe, the response the company gave at this time - it was incredible.” 

How has working at PartnerHero impacted your life?

This is a very local thing to Honduras which might be hard for Americans to understand but in our country, when you become a certain age, you become unhireable. When I started at PartnerHero I was telling myself, “if I lose this job, if I lose this opportunity, it would be one of my last chances to become hireable in this country.” It was really hard mentally. I realized that my age didn’t matter - what I know and how I handle myself are more important. Through the years the company has put a lot of trust in me. I was in charge of social media for a while and I could post anything and everything I thought was correct for the company. That’s a huge responsibility and I didn’t take it lightly. My voice was the voice of the company, I needed to live up to that expectation. 

Luis,  you’ve been at PartnerHero for over six years, almost since the beginning. What have you learned?

 I’ve learned to not take things personally and that your job doesn’t define you, it's what you do, not who you are. Some people might have some misconceptions about what you do, others really understand and really support what you do. 

Professionally I’ve learned a lot. I had no idea about the BPO industry. I had no idea about technology. This company has given me the opportunity to broaden my mind and meet a lot of very intelligent people who are willing to help and then create. In a sense I think what we do is magical. We are all over the world and yet we can come together to make this company great. 

Lauren Frost, Graphic Designer

Based in: Portland, Oregon 

Tenure: 1 year 

"At my old job I felt like I had to hide so many parts of my personal life. At PartnerHero you can just be your real self. The facade that we have to put up in most professional circumstances is really draining - I love the fact that people don’t have facades here."

How has PartnerHero impacted your life?

I don’t even know where to start. There are a lot of reasons it's my favorite job I’ve ever had. The culture plays into the interactions I have with people on a daily basis and everyone I work with is amazing. The inclusivity of the environment is something I didn’t even think was possible to have at a company, especially one that is mostly remote and global. 

On a personal level, this year has been about exploring my gender identity and PartnerHero has been an amazing support system in feeling comfortable and safe on that journey. On Slack, everyone has their pronouns listed and there are a lot of important gender-related conversations that happen in Slack too. I honestly had no idea PartnerHero would be like this when I first joined, I didn’t even think it was possible to have a work culture like the one we have at PartnerHero.    

Shervin (PartnerHero CEO) is a big part of it. In past roles I’ve had to work with CEOs and, to be honest, I always felt terrified. Shervin, from day one, has made me feel talented and special and I always feel safe talking to him. It’s another example of something I didn’t even think was possible to experience at work. 

What have you learned at PartnerHero?

Professionally I’m learning Web Design and I appreciate the opportunity to expand my graphic and design knowledge and have people trust in me to do that. 

At my last job I felt like I had to hide so many parts of myself. When I stood up for myself I was frowned upon. Because of that, I had this idea that I was a “negative” person at work and that I had a bad attitude. I never felt like work would be something I could identify with closely. I’ve learned at PartnerHero that the way people treat each other makes a huge difference in how you show up to work everyday. I will always carry that with me. How you show up and how you communicate make a huge difference in how everyone feels doing their jobs. If you can make the day better for everyone, why wouldn't you want to do that?

What have you given PartnerHero?

A fresh new look! Our previous design iterations touched on a lot of things that make PartnerHero special. As the company grows there’s a need for more kinds of design assets for recruiting and sales. Certain projects felt limited with the existing identity. We landed on these organic textures and collages and when Shervin compared it to album art it clicked. Not only because of how organic the company feels but because we have so many musicians and creatives here to tie that identity in - it feels very PartnerHero. 

Luan Teed, Support Associate

Based in: Boise, Idaho

Tenure: Six months 

“PartnerHero reconnected me with society in a time when I felt really disconnected. A lot of jobs I’ve had in the past felt culturally cobbled together or had some bias. PartnerHero is the first time I’ve felt like, “wow, these people are all on the same wavelength as me.”

You’re pretty new to PartnerHero, how did you land a job here?

I graduated from college in May of 2020. There was no ceremony, no graduation parties and I was living with my parents, trying to figure out who I am during this strange time. I had a part-time job when a good friend from college recommended PartnerHero. 

How has PartnerHero impacted your life so far?

It definitely reconnected me with society in a time when I felt really disconnected. A lot of jobs I’ve had in the past felt culturally cobbled together or had some bias. PartnerHero is the first time I’ve felt like, “wow, these people are all on the same wavelength as me.”

I have a close relationship with my mom. I tell her a lot about what’s going on at PartnerHero, all the cool people, all the cool things. We just came to the conclusion: how interesting is it that I found a company that felt so synchronous with me. Even recently we had a fun day where you could bring your animal to a zoom meeting. The majority of people had cats - we got a lot of cat people here. Maybe there’s a similar mindset in that. 

What have you learned at PartnerHero?

Professionally I’ve learned how to use a lot of new tools and technologies that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve also learned techniques on how to deal with people in a customer service setting.

Personally I learned that there are CEOs that actually care. I’m really used to working at places that feel siloed (very “you do your work and I’ll do mine” mentality).  What really shocked me was when I got a Linkedin invite from Heather (PartnerHero President and COO). I thought “wow this must be her assistant.” Same with Shervin, I was so surprised. I learned that they actually really care. 

What have you given PartnerHero?

My unique perspective and my positivity. I’ve been promoting a relatable, supportive work environment. 

Shannon Cassedy-Gray, Support Associate

Based in: Pittsburgh, USA

Tenure: Two years 

“Something that makes PartnerHero stand out is the support and encouragement for everyone to grow and do better - to take a class and learn something new, whether it's for your position or not.”

What makes PartnerHero different from places you’ve worked in the past?

The culture is different. I really love that everyone one of us works hard to make it a safe space for everyone. Another thing that is different is the open door policy all the way up through management. Being able to reach out at any time, leave a Slack message. I’ve never worked anywhere where you could slack the owner of the company just to ask them a question and they’re right there with you. 

Another thing that’s different is the support and encouragement for everyone to grow and do better - to take a class and learn something new, whether it's for your position or not. We’re encouraged to take classes through Udemy and Coursera and managers make time in your schedule so you can focus on the class. Most other companies wouldn’t encourage you to take classes unless it is directly related to your job. It seems simple but letting us take classes in things we’re interested in shows that leadership really does want us to learn and grow. 

Udemy and Coursera, different groups where you can just take a class here and there. The encouragement : definitely take that class, let’s see if we can carve out an hour a week to give you that focus time. 

What have you learned at PartnerHero?

I help with onboarding sessions and that came up. I talked about imposter syndrome - I definitely had that. With the help of others here at PartnerHero I’ve worked through it, having teammates who have your back makes a huge difference. 

There’s no cliques or office friendships that exclude other people. I really appreciate that we’re all here to build each other up. There’s no keeping someone down so you can get ahead. I’ve learned what difference it can have on my own mentality to work at a place with strong values like that. 


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