In one of our previous articles, we explained why growth and development is so important in a company without managers and why we really believe employees know better than a manager what’s best for their growth. But how do you keep track of growth and personal development in an environment like this? Good question!
Not having a hierarchy asks for a different strategy. If we don't have quarterly performance conversations with the same manager every time, what do we offer our employees for personal growth and development? And how do we bring this to them?
Let’s start with showing off our very own personal development model in the picture below. This model supports both professional and personal growth and is the beginning of becoming and staying the best. However, creating a fancy looking model isn’t enough. Several steps need to be taken to make it succeed.
To give you an idea, I’m very pleased to open up our doors and show you what our Employee Experience squad together with Mariel, our CPO, have prepared to tackle all the questions inside the company.
To add some structure, we divided our ‘hows’ into Professional, Personal and a combination between the both of them.
1. It all starts with the right job onboarding
Starting a new job at a new company asks for a seamless onboarding. Because that’s the moment where growth and development starts for every new career. Everyone remembers their first day at their new job, so make it a good one! Our Employee specialists created a ‘Job onboarding plan’ which guides new employees in the first half-year. In this first half-year, we want to provide them with all of the tools and know-how to accelerate in their new position. They have access to training on how we work at Nmbrs, which tools and platforms we use, job responsibilities and much more. We also pair everyone with a mentor that will help them throughout the year in their job and also in their integration inside Nmbrs.
To go forward, you have to learn from the past. For that reason, we organise retrospectives on a regular basis. In those retrospectives (guided by our scrum masters), teams look back at the previous period. What went well and what can be improved? Not only feedback will be collected but also new opportunities can be brought up. A great moment for the team to receive and give feedback to each other.
3. Team dynamics - Together we achieve more
We truly believe in teamwork. As our CEO, Michiel, says ‘Magic happens at the coffee machine’. The place where people work and enjoy together, magic does happen! Michiel even wrote an article about it which you can find here. To make sure everybody is able to grow together as a team, we do Team Dynamics. In these sessions, we learn about the work preferences of our co-workers and what’s the best way to collaborate together and to understand how everyone deals with the same problem in a different way. This not only helps for a better understanding between colleagues but also to achieve goals.
We have access to an online study platform where we can find all kinds of online courses. When more expertise from outside is needed, there is also a (quite nice) budget for external training, workshops, events and all other things which are needed to help us grow.
For everyone at Nmbrs we have two personal coaches available. They are always reachable for a chat or to help out when needed. Twice a year, we offer one-on-one coaching sessions. Those sessions are not just fun, they are very useful for us to keep track of our personal and professional development. Our coaches will make their best effort to help us become or stay the best.
6. MBTI - What's your preference?
It can be quite challenging for any of us to understand and help out our colleagues. To make this a bit easier, it’s very valuable to first know more about ourselves. What are our strong points and preferences? Together with a personal coach, every employee has a session to find out their MBTI profile. Finding this out will not only lead to greater self-awareness but will also help to accept and value the differences within others.
7. Feedback culture
We love feedback. It is one of the most important things to help us grow. Collecting feedback from peers on a structural basis is necessary to grow on a personal and work-related level. To make this possible, we created our very own Nmbrs 360 tool. With this tool, it’s not only possible for an employee to find out his or her growth points, but also to see if they are making progress on their previous ones. And since our employees are the ones in charge of their own growth, this tool is available all year. We still have a long way to go in implementing a continuous feedback culture, however, we’re working hard to set the right tools and processes for it.
8. Are we sailing without a captain?
Working without managers doesn't mean we don’t want to have leaders. As mentioned before, one of the biggest impacts of having no managers is that we are all responsible for helping Nmbrs, but also our colleagues, achieve their goals. In our eyes, leaders are authentic, responsible and have a growth mindset.
We have created the Nmbrs Leadership Sessions to help promote the development of leadership inside Nmbrs. It’s composed of 12 online sessions that focus on, for example, emotional intelligence, failure, the brain and we even have a Vlogging course!
Are we there yet?
One of the most beautiful aspects of growing and developing is that it’s never finished. You’ll never stop learning and people are always able to grow. That even counts for us! We don’t follow the existing paths but decided to create our own. Making that decision brings challenges but every day we do our best to make sure all our colleagues develop new skills and become the best professionals they can be. Our goal? Not only give the possibility to become the best professionals in our field but also empower us to become the best version of ourselves.