As we approach our eighth month of working from home due to COVID-19, many people have settled into their routines and found what it takes to be successful in this new virtual environment. In typical Spreetail fashion, many members of our team have been looking for ways to push past their comfort zones and find ways to “thrive” rather than just “survive” during this time away from our physical offices.
Spreetail recognizes the importance of personal and professional development – so much so that it’s built into our mantra. “Raise Your Bar” is all about setting high expectations for oneself, pushing past comfort zones, and seeking new ways to stretch potential. With the focus on development baked into our culture at Spreetail, it’s no surprise people have been using this time to polish up their skills and think about professional development.
Developing at Spreetail
Career development and professional growth take many forms and are only made better by the support and encouragement of the people around you. At Spreetail, we recognize that career development requires a high level of employee motivation, coaching and guidance from managers, and the support of our Talent Development team.
Driven by Employees
At Spreetail, employees are challenged to drive their own growth and given the tools they need for the journey. The modern career progression looks much more like a rock-climbing wall than a traditional ladder, so we encourage our team members to explore interests and follow where their passions might lead them.
Patrick Jackman, a UX Designer, has a passion for development, goal-setting, and personal improvement. He finds his spark helping others achieve their goals by organizing 30-day challenges to excite and motivate people tackling projects or putting their plans into action.
“Folks come with all sorts of projects, and it genuinely inspires me to step my game up and keep at it. I've gotten to know Spreetailers that I normally wouldn't spend time with, and I really appreciate how open our conversations tend to be. If you need advice or just some friendly honesty, people are there to coach and not let you give up on yourself. It's a warm feeling to have a group like that - whether you're really nailing it or kind of tripping up along the way.
Personally, it's a been a great way for me to push myself, tackle things that are a bit out of my comfort zone, and really own it. That last bit is so important. I tend to overthink the things that I'm passionate or curious about, and over time, a lack of momentum can stifle that passion or curiosity. By announcing "I'm going to do _____", that thing becomes a reality. Just doing something is the coolest part.”
Supported by Managers
When an employee has the excitement and motivation to grow and develop, manager support can help provide needed guidance and help to amplify impact. Great managers can boost an employee’s impact and help them grow faster and better over time, so our Talent Development Team is focused on providing managers with everything they need to drive their teams forward. Talent Development offers a variety of courses throughout the year from Keeping it Legal, to Career Development for Managers, and more.
Erin Curry, a Sr. Marketplace Manager, has been taking time to learn and grow as a manager. Despite the fast-changing ecommerce landscape and the demands of working from home, Erin is intentional about attending workshops and trainings. Not only has she seen the benefits with her own personal development, but she is excited to keep supporting and challenging her team as a manager.
“Throughout the last six months, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several different manager training courses that our Talent Development team offers. Not only are Steph Buck and Leann McGrane great teachers, but it’s provided a chance to hands-on learn with other Spreetailers while making time for my career development.
Coaching for Managers is the most recent course I’ve taken. The class covered different ways to navigate conversations with direct reports and strategies to make them the most impactful for everyone. We learned and applied the course content through group conversations and different role play scenarios. One of the best parts of the courses is how applicable the information is both personally and professionally. Career Development is not always front of mind but is an invaluable investment in personal growth, so I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity.”
As a Process Improvement Engineer, it’s no surprise that Abbie Hilliard has been focused on her own continuous improvement. Abbie has taken advantage of this time to up her skills as a manager through attending several manager courses.
“Since working from home, I've taken the opportunity to raise my bar both personally and professionally. I started working on a certification to build my process improvement skill set and have also taken several manager training courses that Spreetail has offered. As a new manager, these have been extremely helpful! My biggest takeaway has been to ask more questions from others and help them form their own conclusions, rather than telling them how they should think about something.”
Fueled by the Talent Development Team
Spreetail’s Talent Development team works hard to provide trainings, workshops, and materials that help employees sharpen their skills and navigate their career growth. In addition to ad-hoc skill workshops, the team facilitates a Leadership Development Program and Manager Development courses for a variety of experience levels. Over the past few months, the team has seamlessly transitioned all offerings from in-person classes to virtual programming.
Recruiter Nick Sanders has taken his development to a new level over the past few months by participating in Spreetail’s Leadership Development Program from home. The program is designed for new leaders to gain the needed skills and knowledge to lead a team for the first time. In LDP, participants hone their skills on Spreetail’s philosophy of thought, people, and business leadership.
“The Leadership Development Program was a great professional development experience for me. My biggest takeaway from LDP was learning more about properly giving and receiving feedback. These difficult conversations can often be uncomfortable, but the program provided me the foundation to feel comfortable and confident when delivering or receiving feedback.”
Danielle Finochiaro, a Recruiter on our Talent Community team, has been focused on leveling-up her project management skills over the past few months. She found the recent Foundations of Project Management workshop to be helpful on her improvement journey and is eager to put her findings into practice.
"I loved getting forms and templates to use moving forward. Learning more about risk assessment and discussing personal project examples was very helpful."
Whether you are a manager, individual contributor, or just starting an internship, don’t underestimate the value of self-improvement and development. Spreetailers know that growth takes time, dedication, and support from others. By equipping our employees with the tools they need and helping our managers become even better coaches, we continue to see people develop and grow in the work from home environment.
Looking for more insights from our ecommerce professionals? Check out our blog for more stories of personal, professional, and career growth at Spreetail.