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Growing into your best self: The power of professional guilds at Wix

Our Culture

7 April 2024

Growing into your best self: The power of professional guilds at Wix

Head of Design Guild, Niv Farchi, shares the secret to successful employee development

When a new designer steps foot in the studio on their first day, a meticulously planned onboarding process begins. One of the steps involves me, as head of the Design Guild, having a brief chat with them. The chat isn’t too fancy or elaborate—there’s no Google deck involved—just some basic facts and context about what it means to be a designer at Wix.

I've lost count of the number of times I’ve had this chat over the years. It’s become a bit like the repetitive story your uncle tells at every family event.

What lies before you is a small portion of that pitch discussing how the guild operates, and why it's so significant for us at Wix. Sharing it here is perhaps a way to get it out of my system, but more importantly I believe it can be quite interesting for those hearing it for the first time.

First things first: What is a guild at Wix?

Our organizational structure at Wix is matrix-based and divided into companies (product groups) and guilds (professional groups). Each company is made up of various types of professionals in charge of their product - designers, product managers, developers, QAs, etc., each of whom is also part of their own professional guild.

My mother often asks me, “Niv, what is it you actually do?” to which I reply: “We manage a body of over 300 designers of various disciplines with the guild being a professional umbrella for employees. We play a crucial role in their career path within the company, as well as acting as their professional community. We connect them to academies, we’re involved in the recruitment process, and we contribute to their professional training and development. In addition, the guild helps develop the infrastructure and tools professionals need to thrive in their roles and overcome the challenges of operating in a complex tech company like Wix.

My mom still doesn't get it. I hope you do.

Let's take a closer look at a guild I know well - the Design Guild.

Our Guild is made up of multidisciplinary designers divided into Brand, Product, Marketing, Content, Motion, and more. They joined us as talented and skilled designers—if you ask me, they are the top 300 designers in the world—and our goal is to provide them with tools and knowledge to become even better. We want to take them on a professional journey that will help them understand their strengths and ambitions and propel them forward through internal mobility opportunities.

The level and the bar

This type of designer journey is made possible when the guild sticks to our two main goals:

1. To continuously elevate the level of designers in the company

2. To continuously raise the bar of design in the company

As for the first part, the key thing we do is to remind our designers on a daily basis why design is their passion. We achieve this through fostering a creative culture, providing training, sharing inspirational content, and championing creative freedom. We give them a platform to stand on and shine, participate in hackathons, exhibitions, and more. We create an environment that respects design and respects the designer.

When it comes to raising the bar in the company, talent alone is not enough. We believe the designer needs to be able to think critically and flexibly, to ask the right questions, and to insist on a seat at the table. The guild's role is to create connections and relationships - guild managers are a powerful network spread throughout the organization. The guild functions as a gatekeeper on one hand and an espionage agency signaling opportunities on the other. The magic happens when the right designer connects with the right project at the right time.

A system built for growth

We don't make concessions for our designers and we don’t make them for ourselves either. A designer working here knows that they have the professional support of the guild. A group that understands them and can gently lead them even when they can’t really see the road ahead. We have a program management team whose main job is to provide designers with tools and knowledge — passionate designers take those with both hands.

The same magic happens across all our guilds. The professional paths taken by R&D, Product, Writers, UX, and QA in their guilds are equally impressive. The existence of these guilds neutralizes those day-to-day pitfalls when you need a professional consultation, someone to challenge you or provide feedback.

The responsibility for professional development lies primarily within the employee, but for those passionate about what they do, they'll find that the professional guild is precisely the type of mentoring they've been looking for all their lives.

You bring the passion - we’ll help you maintain it.


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