Article co-written by Anna van Oenen and Zoe Goddijn
Corona was an eye-opener for everyone. We can all agree, right? It made us look differently at how we live, how we connect to people and how we work. Suddenly, companies had the same challenges when topics like mental health and employee engagement gained a whole new level of importance.
Our employee’s well being was and still is what is most important. We had to adapt our focus to make sure everyone at Nmbrs felt supported during these times. Nonetheless, we wanted to keep our promise to our employees and make Nmbrs mean something on their CV.
As we extensively mention in all our communication, we have no managers. This has a big impact on how we work, collaborate, influence and inspire everyone around us. We don’t look up at our managers for answers. We create them together with our colleagues. It’s as we like to say: we are all leaders at Nmbrs. But, as we realised, saying we are leaders is not the same as being one. We need to give our colleagues what they require to effectively become leaders.
This is why we decided to create our personal Leadership program and open it to every employee. We believe that everyone who starts at Nmbrs already has the components needed to become great leaders. They only need guidance. With this program, they can choose where they want to grow and take ownership of that.
Here is what the Nmbrs Leadership Sessions are all about.
Discovering the meaning of Leadership at Nmbrs
While Leadership has some common traces, it is not the same in every company. Each organisation has its goals, values, and needs. Leaders are a sum of all of that.
When developing the Leadership Sessions, we wanted to make sure we were equipping our colleagues with the right skills for the reality at Nmbrs. We reached out to our Management Team to help define what makes a leader at our organisation. This is what we value on all of our employees:
- Have a growth mindset;
- Be visionaries;
- Help others grow;
- Shape the culture while being steered by it in return.
We want to grow as a company and a big part of that lies on our teams, on their expertise and on their ability to collaborate. Our Leadership’s competencies mirror those values.
“We want Nmbrs to mean something in their CVs so we need to give them something they need to grow. It’s great to say that everyone is a leader, but it’s better to feed that: put the money where our mouth is.”
Zoe Goddijn, People Coach at Nmbrs
Welcome to the Nmbrs Leadership Sessions
There are a lot of Leadership programs out there that already focus on some of the competencies we find important. However, we wanted a tailor-made solution that spoke to the rational mind and that was a holistic approach to the topic of Leadership. As a result, we explore body, mind and soul in many different ways throughout the sessions.
Our goal was to:
- create a program to trigger people to think about their behaviours and the behaviours of others;
- understand how our colleagues see themselves and others; and
- allow our colleagues to approach their peers on what they have learned.
As previously mentioned, we also wanted something that inspired our colleagues, and that was diverse enough that allowed them to choose where they wanted to grow and take ownership of it. Based on that, we came up with a program with 12 sessions, once per month, where we invite expert speakers to discuss different topics. Some of them are related to a peaceful mind, efficiency, failure and performance. Most importantly, all these topics are targeted at all areas of Nmbrs, from Marketing to tech, to the commercial side. There is a bit of everything for everyone.
To keep this amazing diversity, we were also mindful of finding speakers from different backgrounds and who were based in either Portugal or The Netherlands where we have our offices.
Even though the sessions are not mandatory, we have been noticing a wonderful attendance rate. Whoever finds a specific session interesting can join.
So far, our colleagues are taking value from the sessions which makes us very happy and proud to have developed this program.
What will come next?
Since the first lockdown, we have been trying a lot of initiatives to create engagement. Most of it was fun activities like games, cooking classes or online workout sessions. What we have noticed is that the majority of people who participate were extroverts. However, in these sessions, introverts are coming to the front stage and sharing their input. It’s great!
For now, we are understanding how our colleagues engage with the sessions, its content and speakers so we can later analyse the impact in the company. This program is meant to be food for the soul. Especially during these times where we crave for inspiration. For something that gives us value and helps us get out of the routine a bit.
We didn’t start this project with a problem. So we weren’t looking for a solution. This initiative is a start to bring the topic of Leadership into Nmbrs and into our employees’ minds.
We found this solution to give value to our employees, but we are sure there are other ways. We would love to hear your thoughts and case studies.
Companies with or no managers, is this a concern for you as well? Which areas of people’s development do you mostly focus on at the moment and how?
Want to experience the Nmbrs Leadership Sessions for yourself?
About the authors
I am Zoé Goddijn, and I'm a People Coach at Nmbrs. I help create an environment where people can develop and grow both on a personal and professional levels. I like to come up with different and creative things that give the sense of personalised experience to everyone. I personally like the fact that everyone is responsible for their own growth at Nmbrs. My home base is Amsterdam, but I love to go to our office in Lisboa and visit my little fisher's house in Malaga.
Anna van Oenen
As People Coach, I am responsible for the development and growth of teams and individuals at Nmbrs. I have a background in Psychology and consider myself a creative, intuitive, energetic and solution-oriented trainer / coach. And last but not least I am a mother of two beautiful daughters.