DoorDash Is Forcing Its Top Executives To Make Deliveries

By Joseph Farago | 2 weeks ago

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DoorDash, the well-established food delivery company, is reinstating a program for all its employees. WeDash, a philanthropic effort started in 2013, puts executives in the driver seat, literally. The company wants all of its employees to make a delivery once a month to learn direct communication with its customer basis.

Started in 2013, WeDash is a customer-service initiative and a charitable one. All money made from these deliveries goes straight to nonprofits. One of DoorDash’s spokespeople said the program is a way for employees to understand “how the product works.” Though paused during the initial stages of the pandemic, WeDash is set to return for all workers to participate.

Some employees aren’t satisfied with the news. According to a post on Blind, a platform where users can post anonymously, a DoorDash engineer aired his grievances with the philanthropic program. “I didn’t sign up for this,” the post stated. “There was nothing in the offer letter/job description about this.” Whether the engineer was hired before or during the pandemic is unknown. The unclear expectations for each employee of DoorDash, though, might be the real frustrations behind these complaints.

The anonymous post on Blind did have commentators supporting DoorDash’s program. Many added that the program wasn’t just philanthropic but a good way for them to learn empathy for delivery drivers who endure harsh conditions and unsatisfactory customer interactions. And given that DoorDash’s CEO Tony Xu is even required to do deliveries, WeDash points back to one of the program’s premises of wanting to ensure that all employees are familiar with its dashers’ perseverance.

There were more than 17,000 posts on the original Blind post. Commenters were mixed on Doordash’s program but mostly defended the company. The original poster mentioned WeDash’s inclusion on employees’ year-end end evaluation. “WILL BE TRACKED IN PERFORMANCE REVIEWS!!” the post exclaimed. DoorDash did confirm that workers participating in the program would be evaluated on how their deliveries went. This may be a potential challenge for many employees, especially since the DoorDash app has customer review and rating options.

Another spokesperson for DoorDash reacted to the disgruntled poster stating, “the sentiment of the employee on Blind is not a reflection of the employees base at large. This is a valued program we’ve had since the company’s inception.”

Moreover, DoorDash’s reinstated program does have alternate opportunities for those who can’t make deliveries. At this point, the exact alternatives are unclear. However, the company assures that these employees will do other meaningful types of service work and interact with businesses. It is truly refreshing to see that a large corporate entity like DoorDash is actually attempting to narrow the disparities that exist between its hard-working drivers who are pushing through the daily grind and trying to make ends meet and its upper-tiered executives.

A spokesperson for DoorDash gave a summary of how the program initially started. The company wanted all employees to “learn first-hand how the technology products we build empower local economies.” WeDash, alongside its humanitarian motive, is also to experience the tech improvements of the company. Interacting with businesses DoorDash works with allows for direct feedback about the app.

WeDash is expected to start again at the beginning of 2022. Starting next month, engineers, executives, and other nondelivery drivers will be the ones bringing you your food, pantry items, pet supplies, and more. DoorDash is doing something innovative with its platform, and hopefully, the program will foster more empathy and understanding for all workers regardless of rank.