Article May 31, 2022 Derivative Path’s Greatest Investment is its Employees Remote Team Success: Insights from a Tech Trailblazer Natalie Hayes Contributing Editor How do you cultivate and maintain a positive remote work environment that keeps teams engaged and excited about making impactful contributions? If you ask Derivative Path Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Chris Renaud, the answer is a rather simple one: invest in the success of your people. Renaud is a hands-on leader with deep technical, business, and regulatory knowledge he gained in various roles with startup companies, including debt management platform Monetics, where he was CTO before the company was acquired by capital markets technology provider Derivative Path last year. At Derivative Path, Renaud manages several teams comprised of a total of about 40+ employees (about half of the company’s total employees–most of whom are dispersed throughout the U.S., Canada and the Philippines). Unsurprisingly, managing a rapidly-growing remote tech department comes with unique challenges. Renaud shares some key insights into how he successfully leads tech teams at Derivative Path. Because Renaud’s ingress to Derivative Path happened rather quickly, iteration was key to adapting to the major changes reshaping the company and its dispersed workforce. Following the acquisition, Renaud remained focused and worked hard to establish an awesome culture that makes employees feel motivated to come to work every day from their living rooms and home offices. In fact, Derivative Path’s company culture recently earned the title of Best Workplace for Talent Investment in Financial Technologists’ 1% awards. So what does it take to lead and motivate remote team members to accomplish great things they feel proud of? Facilitating a growth mindset in the pursuit of scale The highly fluid nature of the tech industry today means employers must work hard to gain employee loyalty. The pressure is on for tech leaders to prioritize investment in learning and development (L&D) initiatives to ensure they retain top talent. Meeting the needs of different learning styles in a fast-paced, dispersed work environment requires a dynamic and adaptable work setting. Learning and development programs are integrated into the work culture, and the rapid changes in the fintech space are seized as growth opportunities. A strong component of a dynamic work culture is giving employees access to ample learning opportunities to explore their personal strengths and pursue continued growth, both personally and professionally. Learning and development programs are integrated into the work culture, and the rapid changes in the fintech space are seized as growth opportunities. “It’s so important to allocate work hours to learning interventions that are both relevant and impactful by aligning training opportunities with high-priority projects and strategic business objectives,” Renaud said. The combination of informal learning and relationship building influence growth and development, so Derivative Path is focused on building a culture centered around supportive learning communities. Encourage separation of work and personal lives and don’t measure success by the number of hours spent at your desk For many of us, working remotely has blurred the lines between work and home life. Renaud encourages employees to form boundaries to promote better mental health, among other reasons. For example, learning and development time is encouraged to take place during the workday so that employees don’t feel compelled to take it on outside of the business day. “We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our family time,” Renaud (a father of two) said. “Let’s protect our downtime by promoting clear separation of work and personal time.” And while many employers still operate with the antiquated mindset that an 8-hour workday is a measure of success, Derivative Path’s leadership team focuses on the work itself, regardless of how much time was spent on achieving the end result. Mentor to create lifelong learners with a clear vision for the future The Derivative Path team brings strong experience and industry knowledge to the table and takes pride not only in their work but in the strong relationships they form with colleagues. The mentor-mentee relationship is foundational among Derivative Path teams. Renaud’s take on that relationship is to embrace the mindset that you should always be training your successor. If that seems strange, here’s how he explains it. “I focus on growing with others and not in spite of them,” Renaud said. New employees are matched with a mentor (usually from outside of their team). The ‘buddy system’ as it’s referred to, helps new hires learn company values, navigate benefits and get a general lay of the land, which can be a challenge with remote onboarding. “The truth is, you won’t be in your role forever, so invest your time in training your successor.” New hires are always introduced in Slack and are welcomed by the CEO, who calls them personally to welcome them on board. Encouraging tight-knit relationships helps people feel comfortable from the onset and sets employees up for success. “You should always be able to understand what you need to do to be successful and to help your team see a clear path to success too,” Renaud said. “The truth is, you won’t be in your role forever, so invest your time in training your successor. If you help facilitate someone’s career, you’ve formed a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship.” Empowering employees As a fast-growing fintech company, Derivative Path is laying a foundation to create opportunities that drive performance and engagement, including offering scalable training solutions and supportive learning communities. With the goal to activate employee strengths and encourage collaboration, Derivative Path strives to leverage the power of its people to continue to expand its client base and work to accelerate the global transition to tech-driven financial solutions. Interested in joining a fun, collaborative and hardworking team united by a passion to revolutionize capital markets? View our open roles. Learn more about us on LinkedIn.