We all know how stressful the process of adapting to a new environment, colleagues, processes, and projects within a new workplace can be. Add to that a poorly organized and/or incomplete onboarding process, and you have a recipe for disaster.
At Typeqast, we are dedicated to ensuring a proper onboarding for all new employees, being aware that this is a process that does not end after the first day. However, even the best organized HR teams are not always in a position to be aware of all the challenges and doubts faced by their colleagues within the organization. In this situation, Personal Development Managers, the "intermediaries" between HR and employees, play a crucial role.
Why we decided to introduce this role, what it means, and how it is realized, we will explain below.
Who are Personal Development Managers and what are their responsibilities?
Despite cultivating a remote-first way of working, we want to stay connected and know what is happening with our colleagues both on a professional and private level.
To avoid certain things going "under the radar" or failing to identify certain difficulties on time that affect the productivity and satisfaction of colleagues, each new employee also gets their own Personal Development Manager
The role is social and is performed by people with some experience and seniority, in charge of monitoring the development of mentees, giving constructive feedback, facilitating adaptation to the work environment, and the like. Considering that this is a social role, years of experience are not the only criteria when choosing a Personal Development Manager. We emphasize soft skills; ability to communicate well, empathy, propensity for teamwork, and good organization.
We don’t want you to get the wrong impression: a Personal Development Manager is not in charge of one side of employee development; they are also the first person to notice if it is time for an employee to be rewarded, change position within the company, get a promotion, etc.
Trust your colleague as you trust yourself
In order to maintain quality but also to avoid overburdening, each Personal Development Manager can mentor a maximum of 10 people at a time. Monthly 1-1 meetings are held with each person, in which they give feedback to each other and discuss everything necessary for their work and personal growth.
We see great value in 1-1 communication because we want to actively listen to what our colleagues are telling us. It is also worth mentioning the fact that Personal Development Managers have nothing to do with the type of work, technology, or project their people are working on because it is a social role, not a technical one.
Of course, from time to time, there can be a bad assessment when pairing a Personal Development Manager and mentions where people can't reach a common understanding due to different characteristics, but timely communication with the HR department quickly solves this problem to mutual satisfaction.
And what do Personal Development Managers have to say?
Below is a review of two of the 19 colleagues who proudly hold the title of Personal Development Manager:
"I became a Personal Development Manager shortly after joining to the company. I have to admit that it was a real challenge for me to follow the progress of people who have been in the company much longer than me. The first meeting went well, the second and third took place, and today I communicate with most of them outside the scheduled dates.
What I can notice is that this meeting is not difficult for anyone, socializing often lasts longer than the planned half an hour, and we are not talking exclusively about work and projects. If I had chosen myself, I would not have chosen a better team. From my perspective, I look forward to hearing what’s new on their projects and whether they have once again successfully addressed some of the business or personal challenges we talked about earlier."
"I accepted the role of a Personal Development Manager at the beginning of the year, and so far none of the mentees have any difficulties, which greatly facilitates this role. I must point out that we have the excellent support of the HR department and other Personal Development Managers, so I believe that in the future it will not be different.
In the conversation with the mentees, I got the impression that they are satisfied with our communication and that they would have the confidence to talk about problems if they encountered them. They like this concept and have an individual approach."
Our team is constantly growing, and it remains to be seen how the role of the PDM will develop in the future, but caring for employees will always remain our number one priority. This is the reason why we are always in the mood for quality feedback aimed at improving not only the role of the Personal Development Manager but also the entire process within the company.