Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018 - 52

CASEBOOK

ELEVATING

NEW LEADERSHIP
BY CHRISTI MOOT

Building strong leadership teams can
make or break a company. Investing
in managers to help them inspire
action, instill company values, increase
retention, and ensure every employee is
fired up to come to work can generate
exponential value for the business. This
investment can create a multiplier effect
- a powerful cornerstone that is essential
for an organization to be successful.
With over 500 global employees,
AdRoll strives to build the most
powerful marketing platform through
performance, usability and openness.
The company's core values are embodied
by its spirit animals (see Figure 1 on page
53). The owl resonates most with the
values of the training and development
team, as it represents the value of "Hire
great people and help them grow."
Growing our people, keeping them on
an Everest-steep learning curve at all
times, making sure they feel challenged,
motivated, pushed out of their comfort
zone, and they have resources to help
them learn and grow - that is the crux
of our job in training. It's a mission that
is backed by our company values, and
that comes through in every project and
initiative we work on.
THE PROBLEM
Over the last several years, AdRoll has
offered strong people development for
the greater organization, and leadership
development programs for its managers.
However, we noticed a gap in our
offerings in early 2017: While we serve

| 52

our current managers well, we've lacked
a curated, purposeful path for new
managers who get promoted or join the
company. Our initial solution for newly
promoted managers was to enroll them
into any upcoming leadership trainings;
however, having them join programs
mid-cohort felt disjointed and ineffective.
We needed a direct path for new managers
- a cohort program where new managers
could build strong relationships with
leadership across departments. Where we
could assess skills, provide foundational
new management training, and build
from there.
This is what we set out to solve for in
Q2 of 2017. The project team consisted
of two representatives from the people
team and two representatives from
the training team. We wanted to build
a program that was deployed twice a
year, after each promotion cycle. We
also needed this to be a global solution
that would work for all regions. Our
goal was to see a clear improvement in
manager skill sets after they completed
the program.
THE ANALYSIS
Research that went into building the new
manager training paths was extremely
comprehensive. We gathered intel in
the form of qualitative assessments
from HR Business Partners (HRBPs),
who have had ongoing dialogue with
every manager for several years, and
we looked for any themes that emerged
from the conversations.

The project team interviewed seasoned
(and newer) managers on what they'd
like to develop within themselves.
Themes of strategic decision making,
motivating teams to perform, and
retaining top talent were top findings
from this research.
We
went
deep
into
industry
benchmarking and research. What
are similar companies doing? What's
working/not working at other companies
our size, with similar cultures? Having a
resource group for this type of datageneration really helps. I have a San
Francisco-based
monthly
meet-up
with peers across quite a few tech
companies that is always a valuable use
of our time. We learned that we weren't
alone in this gap; not many companies
have established new manager ramp
programs that are separate from
ongoing leadership development.
Lastly, we wanted full executive buy-in
for the new program, and to get their
point of view on how new managers
can best drive value for AdRoll. We
presented a strawman proposal to
our exec team, and they were fully
behind the idea. They shared some of
our company's top initiatives for 2017
so that we could build a program that
would help new managers drive results
around these top goals.
Doing robust and varied research helped
give us a strong baseline before diving
into program creation. We huddled
in a room (and over video conference),



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2018

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