We sat down with Jen Korsun, director of people operations, and her newest HR team member, Ryan Eastman. Ryan’s been a vital part of iVenture’s tech side and he’s recently stepped into a new role: learning and development specialist.
1.Where did the inspiration for this position come from?
It was based on a need to enrich our employees, specifically personal and professional well-being. We needed someone to own that. Once the initial idea formed, we did plenty of research including talking to local organizations who had roles similar to what we wanted.
iVenture is only getting bigger. Our team needs to have the right skills to grow with us.
2. Why don’t other MSPs have a position like this?
It’s just not on their radar. Other companies are still figuring out how their services work. We’re beyond that. We can focus on our people more.
From my experience, most companies focus on client happiness only. They just don’t have the resources to foster an employee-centric culture.
Thankfully, our size and experience allows us to think bigger. We’re able to invest in employees. We help them improve and, in turn, that brings big benefits to our clients.
3. Why Ryan was chosen?
Ryan was already part of the iVenture team. We place a strong value on hiring from within so that was a plus. He had experience in training and development, and wanted to return to that.
We wanted someone our team could relate to. Someone who could speak their language and identify what skills are most needed. Ryan fit the bill.
Ryan’s passionate about helping people. He’s got the team’s respect and, most importantly, he understands our culture incredibly well.
4. What does this role look like day to day?
Right now, I’m focused on listening and recording. I’m identifying what our learning needs are through employee feedback.
I’m working to create a better learning platform for our techs. I’m creating specialized training courses for different career paths.
We’ve already created the iVenture Concierge program. New employees can send in questions and they’ll be funneled to the right person to respond. It makes everyone more accessible while eliminating the Q/A run around.
5. What advice do you have for other companies looking to implement this?
First, know what you want and define it clearly. Be sure to measure each piece’s effectiveness as you roll them out.
Remember, not every idea is going to be a winner. You’ve got to constantly tweak the process. And it’s not going to be done all at once! To have a successful learning and development strategy, be methodical.
And if you can, hire someone internally. They’ll understand your culture better than any outsider. It will give you a jumpstart.
Take the necessary time to hire the right person. Find someone who can work independently. They need to be a self-starter.
Because this position is so new, candidates have to be courageous. Not afraid to bring new ideas to the table, voice their opinions and maybe even encourage leaders to change their mindset.
For me, being able to experiment, measure success/failure and learn from that is so important. I would say “flexible” best describe the ideal person for this role.
iVenture is no beginner when it comes to new positions. As we grow, we’re constantly looking for ways to specialize our processes. Employee learning and development is that next step.
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