career development program

A company-wide program designed for a newly-minted data refinery with a need for employee direction, mentorship, and motivation.

 
Rolling out the Career Development Program in a town hall meeting with our CEO and Ryan Gosling as the perfect example of a oustanding employee.

Rolling out the Career Development Program in a town hall meeting with our CEO and Ryan Gosling as the perfect example of a oustanding employee.

challenge

At the end of 2014, I was tasked with creating a brand new department, a department the CEO called Talent, for the tech company I worked for. The Chief Talent Officer and I were given a set of goals with complete freedom as to how to accomplish them. They dealt mainly with employee retention, recruitment, and uplift. With this in mind, we set off to understand what programs and changes we could put in place to best satisfy the needs of the staff.

How might we empathize with our employee's greatest challenges and joys of work?

How might we engage employees to feel a part of the company's mission?


methodology

INTERVIEWS: For all of 2014, I performed quarterly one-on-one interviews with 50 employees regarding their joys and hardships at work, and began to track patterns with each person. Each session began with a set of questions about their overall feelings about their jobs, an assessment of their personal success that quarter, and ways in which they needed support from the company.

EXPERT INTERVIEWS: At the start of 2015, my colleague and I sat down with the top company leaders, the Board of Directors, and our subject matter experts to understand their perspective on the gaps in our organization.

COMPANY-WIDE SURVEY: I created an anonymous survey for the 5 global offices to complete, with questions digging deep into what made people feel motivated and successful at work, and what deeply engaged in them the company.  


insights

An example of the insights from the Costa Rican branch's employee survey results.

An example of the insights from the Costa Rican branch's employee survey results.

People in search of a purpose: Employees expressed a desire to be a part of the company's mission, but an inability to access the resources and support to do so. 

One-on-one attention was invaluable:  An overwhelming majority of our global employees expressed a desire for more individual coaching and mentorship meetings with company leaders to grow their skill set, tackle challenges, and understand how to mature in the company.

Unmet expectations: We found that, from both the employee and leadership perspective, neither party seemed to think the other was holding up their end of the deal. We traced this to unclear communication, mistrust on both sides, and a lack of a clear direction from company leadership.


impact

To answer the biggest cry of employees, a 2-part Career Development Program went into place that offered structure in a defined career path, and regular performance review and mentorship sessions with a designated leader. 

Trax Technologies was named Top 50 Best Places to Work in Arizona for 2015, thanks to the feedback and adjustments made by Talent. The Career Development Program led to 20+ internal promotions.