Happy employees, happy company, right? Some local startups swear by that — and it's working. We asked employees and executives at three tech companies to talk about the connection between professional growth opportunities and productivity. It’s safe to conclude that, when your company helps you grow, you do better for your company.
Outcome Health’s onboarding program for new employees is extensive, to say the least. New “activators,” as employees are called here, spend a week at the Chicago office and learn about the company, the industry and how teams interacts with one another. When it comes to individual learning, the company offers self-service, full-service and even third-party tools for professional development. The idea: when someone sees the connection between their current job and long-term career goals, they’re happier and more productive.
What employees say: “I've been able to take advantage of the self-service tools on a regular basis. They allow me to work at my own pace and learn when I want to, and to continually stay educated on the newest, most effective trends in the industry,” said campaign operations lead Kyle Gassert. “When a company offers these benefits and perks, it means they truly care about your development and growth. It says ‘we want you to not just do a job, but build a career.’”
Why it’s a priority: “Employees can feel a disconnect between their long-term career goals and the present challenges of their day-to-day work. Investing in professional development and training for employees helps bridge that gap,” said SVP of Life Science Solutions Scott Simpson. “That creates this positive ‘flywheel effect,’ where an employee becomes more productive because he or she feels a greater daily purpose that is connected to the long term, and the more productive employees become, the more the company can invest in that training and development. Rinse and repeat."
Yotpo’s “my door is always open” policy isn’t just a cliche — there are literally no closed doors in their open office. That approachable nature can be felt throughout the company, and it’s part of what inspires employees to take ownership of their work and mold their responsibilities to fit their future career goals.
What employees say: “Working in a fast-paced environment, I take on challenges that put me outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis,” said Associate Account Executive Hank Ritter. “From the beginning, I was allowed to create my own style on the phone and run with it — something that was hard but necessary for the growth of my career. I was given the opportunity to interview prospective candidates, run reports to help the team hit goals and help build an internal SDR training program, all less than a year out of college.”
Why it’s a priority: “Yotpo's commitment to passion and potential, over specific experience, enabled me to develop as a professional and opened up amazing opportunities for me within the company,” said Head of Training & Development Michael Kehrli. “When your entire organization adopts this mindset, it demonstrates to all employees (new hires and veterans alike) that this is a great place to grow your career.”
Main Street Hub wants employees to have a chance to grow within the company and beyond. They developed a Future Leadership Development series, which enables sales representatives to learn exactly what it takes to become a leader on the team. That builds skills that employees can take with them wherever they go next. The program has been the launching pad for nearly all of the team’s most recent sales manager promotions.
What employees say: “Main Street Hub has provided me with so many opportunities for professional development throughout my three-year career here,” said sales manager Dan Dennison. “I started in an entry-level position with aspirations of professional growth and career development, and I couldn't be more grateful for everything that this company has done for me. During my time as a manager, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Austin for the Sales Leadership Summit. My peers and superiors gave tons of advice for aspiring leaders on how to better develop our teams, improve our organizational skills and just become better leaders overall. On top of that, I constantly receive guidance from my leaders, not just on day-to-day responsibilities, but also on how to be a professional on a larger scale.”
Why it’s a priority: “Forward-thinking people are looking to grow. If you want to attract the best, you have to show them the opportunity to grow and flourish,” said SVP of sales Tom Calvert. “Top-performing companies know that engaging their people in growth and development is the recipe for sustained success.”
Images via featured companies.