Taking care of your people is one of the keys to creating a world-class company culture.
According to Kari Fralick, BlackLine makes sure employees know they are valued and feel supported as they build their careers at the women-led tech company.
BlackLine Magazine sat down with Kari to explore her role at BlackLine, her level of work-life balance, and how leadership is making sure employees reach their full potential.
BlackLine Magazine: What do you do at BlackLine?
Kari: I am a Quality Assurance (QA) Lead. At BlackLine, we have teams that run an Agile Scrum approach, which is one of many types of agile approaches.
We have developers and QA personnel on the same team. They are involved in the very early stages of a new product or feature. They understand what the users’ needs and pain points are and can mimic what the user experience will be, making sure it delivers what the end users really want.
The development, tech, and testing teams have constant communication. We write our test plans and do exploratory testing. We share responsibility with product and development, ensuring that all requested functionality is taken care of and there are no unintended consequences.
BlackLine Magazine: How is QA different at BlackLine?
Kari: In other organizations, UX and Designers usually design the product and pass that on to developers, who then pass it onto QA. At BlackLine, QA actually gets to participate in the decision making and have more ownership in the product and end result.
Better decisions are made this way and it creates more ownership and participation. This is why we use an Agile Scrum methodology.
BlackLine Magazine: What is your favorite thing about the QA department at BlackLine?
Kari: The individual contribution and the continuous encouragement of innovation. We can pitch our own ideas for what can be an improvement to the company and our products.
If we come up with an idea, we get to participate in seeing that idea come to fruition. It’s cool to see the creativity, independence, and participation.
BlackLine Magazine: What is your team like?
Kari: QA, in general, is very creative and driven. We are driven to succeed, build our skills, and continually do better.
BlackLine is great at working with employees to build their skills. If there is a direction that an employee wants to take with their career, BlackLine supports that instead of forcing them into a box. We encourage leadership from the team, and I think we’ve been successful with supporting and creating equality.
BlackLine Magazine: What is your favorite BlackLine memory?
Kari: The closing ceremonies for the BlackLine Internship. At the ceremony, the interns were discussing their projects and talking about how their decision for the future had been changed from this internship. I was happy to hear this because we had added a lot of career information and mentorship. I think this is rather unique and those efforts made the difference.
Knowing that BlackLine had an impact on these lives is a great feeling. It was such a group effort, and everyone was so supportive.
BlackLine Magazine: How is the work-life balance at BlackLine?
Kari: I love the work-life balance here. Sometimes you have to work a little longer, but the company really works to balance out the other side.
The benefits are designed for people with families, and acknowledges that there are a number of reasons why people may need to take some time off. At BlackLine, you need to get your work done, of course, but they treat people like human beings, which creates loyalty from the employees.
BlackLine Magazine: Would you recommend BlackLine to a friend?
Kari: Yes. Of all the companies I’ve worked for in the past, BlackLine is one of the most supportive and people-focused companies out there. Their concern is for their employees as people, not just as workhorses, and their support of flexibility in careers is unlike any other company. I have seen leadership make an effort to help someone find a place where they are really enjoying their job.
We also work to keep leadership accessible to all levels, C-Suite on down. BlackLine encourages a friendly, open-door policy where every employee feels comfortable going to anyone.
The benefits are great, but that’s more of a secondary bonus considering the company itself.
Head over to our Careers page to learn more about how you can build a career with BlackLine.