Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Tara Mansfield (People Operations Manager)

Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:

We’re back, folks! It’s our 3rd Staff Q&A event and our first one of 2018. I hope everyone is fired up to find out more about a completely different Monzo staff member and their relevant team - let’s get those brain cells in gear and come up with some awesome questions.

This week the awesome Tara Mansfield is joining us, and she’s our People Operations Manager!


Tara’s role includes onboarding all of our new employees and helping to support the People Team. She was also instrumental in helping us get our Cardiff office up and running amongst many other things!

She’s been at Monzo since October 2016 and her favourite thing about working here is feeling like her work has meaning and is impactful :grinning:

Get your questions in now and Tara will be here on Thursday to answer them! :grinning:


I guess you like people, but what’s your favourite animal and why?

What got you into managing people?

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How does the Cardiff office feel, and do you have a preference between the two?

How do you go about not letting there be a divide between developers and non-developers? Do you think you/Monzo have found the right way to do so?

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How many onboarding Party Rings have you given out to new recruits? :open_mouth:


What do you think will be the most challenging thing for you at Monzo this year? Also, what feature are you most looking forward to Monzo introducing in 2018?

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Wait, the icing covered round bright biscuits?


How do you balance massive upscaling and keeping the personal touch?


What’s the best thing about being a Monzo employee?

Some fantastic questions, all! @Tara will be here on Thursday to answer them :slight_smile:

My favourite animal is a very tough animal. I love dogs but if we’re talking exotic animals then it’s a firm tie between alpacas and pandas.

It was never my goal to work in a People/HR team but in all of my previous roles I always found myself taking on extra responsibilities to create a community within the office. Whether I was in the finance team of social services or working for a professional body I was always very concerned that people there felt fulfilled, enjoyed coming to work and that it was a good environment. After finding in my last role that while I was really good at the part I was paid to do but the bit I enjoyed the most was what I volunteered for I decided to make a change and that’s when I moved to Monzo!


I must stress that @michaelcolley was the person who was instrumental in getting Cardiff off the ground and making it such a lovely environment. I got the ball rolling but handed it off to him at quite an early stage. Colley ran with it and did amazing things.

I think the Cardiff office feels very much like Epworth Street did in terms of vibe - it’s very chilled out and a fun place to be, but atheistically is 1000% nicer than our Epworth Street ever was. We want it to be a Monzo office but also accept that it’s in a different place with different people so at every step we’ve asked the people who work in Cardiff what works for them and tried to source locally as much as possible so it’s a ‘Monzo office’ but is uniquely Welsh too.

I prefer the Cardiff office because it’s smaller and so has all the benefits of a smaller office that doesn’t have to do everything our London office does. It looks a lot like my living room in the social areas too so it feels very homey to me :joy:

In terms of a divide I think we have found the right way to do it as I wouldn’t say there is one at Monzo. There will always be individuals who because of where they have worked before may arrive at Monzo with a mental divide between their role against someone else’s but as a company this is not the way we work and not the way we think about people at Monzo. Ideas and diversity are wonderful and it’s why we hire people with different backgrounds/experience, but treating everyone with respect is a requirement to be in the ‘Monzo world’. All roles are valued as everyone is moving and working to achieve our overall goal. Ensuring people have context of how their work impacts others and having the ability to ask questions also reduces any feeling of hierarchy or divide.

We also encourage all members of staff to do COps training and have time helping customers so they understand the challenges of different people in the company and it better informs the work they do going forward. We give regular feedback so that we all work together in the best way so any issues that arise are promptly resolved.

Our socials are for everyone so people build social connections with different people across the company and as part of onboarding every person is introduced to five people in different teams/roles from them to ensure we break down any perceived barriers right away. Could we be more integrated? Absolutely! When we are growing by 10+ people a week it is hard to stop divides forming, but it’s something we’re very mindful of and keep trying new things to ensure it doesn’t happen.

Sorry for the long answer - this is something that is on my mind quite a lot and wanted to give it proper thought.


We have given out 210 packets. However, Cardiff have chosen Animal Biscuits as their biscuit of choice.


Cardiff wins. Animal Biscuits are the superior biscuit.


The biggest challenge will probably be ensuring the People Team scale to support all of the new Monzonauts that we have hired. It’s important to me that Monzo continues to be an enjoyable and fulfilling place to work so finding ways to ‘delight’ and bridge gaps as we scale will be a key challenge!

In terms of features for the app I am really looking forward to money rounding up and going into a pot. This isn’t on the road map yet but following the blog post on Pots I have hope that it’ll arrive!


This is something that’s really important to me as the personal touch to me has always been what I valued about the place I work. I think it’s about being mindful of the things that really matter to people, the speed of which they need those things and then where the personal touch will really make a difference.

We have changed some things from being hand typed and personalised to each person to templates but made sure those templates are as warm as possible. However, your anniversary cards and birthday cards are still hand signed. When you need to talk things out you can speak to someone in the People Team right away but we also use engagement software so that you have the option of a person when you need it, but that isn’t the only option to have your voice/opinion heard.

It’s something we have to keep looking at as we scale and spread across multiple offices but it’s always on my mind.


It’s 100% the people. I originally joined because I loved the product and the mission, but what makes my day fulfilling and keeps me coming back is that I’m surrounded by thoughtful, bright, committed people. I have learned so much since joining Monzo, from things that give me better context for my job, to how to make a really good cup of coffee, to different ideas and viewpoints I’d never thought of and much more. It’s a challenging, supportive, interesting environment.

The Monzo rocket sweater is also pretty sweet.


Nearly everyone from Monzo I’ve interacted with has been great. Really nice bunch of people. It’s genuinely pleased me that that’s your answer.


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