How these NYC tech companies set their employees up for success

by Katie Fustich
January 3, 2019

It’s the start of a new year, which means everyone and their grandmother are furiously plotting their self-improvement goals for the coming year. At these New York City tech firms, however, growth is a year-round affair. These companies know that investing in professional development helps individuals, teams and even entire companies succeed. Find out how the following companies are helping their employees grow:


image via fundera

Each day, Fundera’s tools help small businesses and entrepreneurs gain access to the funds they need to succeed. Behind the scenes, it’s clear that this tone of empowerment extends to Fundera employees themselves. Alisa Krasner, Fundera’s VP of people, walked Built In NYC through the extensive professional development programs offered by the company, and how they’re making an impact.


What kind of professional development opportunities do you currently offer employees?

One of our most utilized development opportunities is an annual stipend we offer for outside education. We have seen employees participate in programs that help them learn a new skill, such as learning a new language, or improving on a variety of skills, such as presenting in front of teams. The stipend can be also be applied to other educational uses such as books/reading materials or accessing paid professional communities and conferences.

We also offer trainings in the office, either facilitated by outside companies or other employees. For example, this year we offered trainings on time management, communication, SQL and machine learning, to name a few.

In addition, we host monthly Brown Bag Lunches where we bring in entrepreneurs, small business owners we've funded through our marketplace or other speakers to discuss interesting topics with our employees.

We also offer clear career paths to employees so they know exactly how they can advance either in their team or other teams.

Fundera was funded in its Series A round by First Round Capital, a venture capital firm, and as a result, Fundera employees have access to the First Round network. This exclusive community offers special group meetups, mentoring opportunities and an online forum for education. Members of our team have greatly benefited from the development opportunities in the network.


How have you seen these offerings making an impact on your team?

These offerings have had a great positive effect on our team by making employees more well-rounded or skilled in certain areas, better contributors to Fundera's goals, and better prepared to advance in their careers.

For example, employees who have participated in marketing courses have been promoted after learning and applying valuable new skills and participants in management training programs have learned to better manage teams.

Brown Bag Lunches have been great opportunities to spark internal conversations and improve the overall conversation on the team surrounding how we can improve in different respects.

Clear career paths and opportunities for advancement within Fundera have led to over 10 percent of the company assuming additional responsibilities, new roles, or even changing teams in the last quarter.

Participation in the First Round network has made employees better connected with the tech community at large and in New York.


image via alphasights

AlphaSights works to make the world a more informed place by connecting businesses ranging from corporate consultancies to nonprofits with top experts in their fields, allowing them to acquire the knowledge they need to make their next business decisions. Chris Wrobel, the company’s VP of professional development, explained how AlphaSights takes a similar approach in building its thorough employee growth programs.


What kind of professional development opportunities do you currently offer employees?

AlphaSights offers programs at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Throughout their time here, our people experience onboarding training, regular development catch-ups and continued internal training through lunch-and-learns, speaker events and touchpoints with leaders. We also have an in-house career services team who provide career path guidance regarding internal moves, or even to the next best opportunity post-AlphaSights. Engineers have access to the career services team, including resume reviews, mock interviews and salary negotiation guidance. Specifically for our engineers, we fully fund coursework, workshops and conference attendance. We've also hosted a number of meet-ups at our own space.


How have you seen these offerings making an impact on your team?

We've found that these programs have kept our people engaged with their work and have resulted in increased satisfaction with life at AlphaSights. Attending conferences allows our engineers to stay on top of changes in the tech landscape. The broader professional development programs have allowed them to work efficiently with their teams and develop soft skills like people management, giving and receiving feedback and communication skills that are becoming ever more crucial to knowledge workers.

As part of the global PD team, it's been incredible to see our mission come to life. Every day we aim to cultivate our workforce's commercial, interpersonal and leadership skills, strengthen AlphaSights' commercial effectiveness by increasing people's abilities, improve the quality of work life and job satisfaction and help everyone accelerate their careers.


image via cadre

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or an amateur looking to break into the arena, Cadre is here to help individuals make smart, data-driven choices when it comes to real estate investment. Kelly Furlong, of the company’s talent and people division, explained why supporting employee growth is critical to the success of this mission. 


What kind of professional development opportunities do you currently offer employees?

Though it may seem obvious, one of the greatest opportunities for development available to our employees is the collaborative nature of the organization. Our people and teams are cross-functional and this collective mindset fosters an environment of continuous learning and sharing both successes areas for improvement. 

Training and development workshops for managers aren’t just a perk, they’re a requirement. Managers attend workshops twice a year that focus on developing  core skills for effectiveness and confidence in their roles including coaching skills, feedback skills and how to effectively use one-on-one time with their direct reports. 

Additionally, we offer self-service tools for all employees to support career development including access to a Career Action Plan, a budget to attend conferences and classes related to their roles, bi-annual 360 feedback cycles, and an open invitation to present to the company at our monthly townhalls.


How have you seen these offerings making an impact on your team?

Offerings for personal and professional development create a more engaged, agile and productive environment. We’ve added tremendous value through development resulting in greater individual alignment with overall organization goals, more communication and more actionable feedback. Professional development is one of the most critical parts of employee happiness at Cadre, which to us is everything. 

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