Aim higher: How 3 Chicago tech companies will help you set and hit goals

by Michael Hines
January 8, 2019

The technology industry provides numerous opportunities for growth, but setting and hitting goals can be difficult and time-consuming, especially when balancing it with work at a fast-growing company. Chicago tech companies know this, and many have made professional development a top priority. Here’s how three of them are helping their employees identify and achieve their long-term goals.

 

Hireology employee professional development

Hireology’s hiring and talent-management platform is used by companies to streamline their recruiting and onboarding processes as well as payroll, benefits and time. VP of People Shannon Ward said the company’s commitment to helping employees hit their long-term goals resulted in almost half of its team receiving promotions in 2018.

 

How do you work with employees to identify and achieve their long-term personal and professional goals?

In order to build a culture of transparency, our managers strive to have open and honest conversations with their team members on a weekly basis about their personal and professional growth. We encourage employees to drive these conversations and include their short-term and long-term goals. Our managers help identify potential outlets for growth, whether it’s on a special project or a cross-department initiative, and empower their team members to seek outside training when needed. We are supportive of our employees’ growth and career development, and recently hosted a lunch and learn that highlighted internal opportunities.

In 2018, we promoted 41 percent of our staff, often across functions.”

 

What programs, initiatives or opportunities are in place to help employees hit their growth goals?

In addition to on-the-job training and mentorship programs, we provide an on-demand coaching and professional development service, Bravely. As our team grows, we intend to invest more resources in their ongoing development. Our sales and customer success teams have incentive metrics in place that allow them to achieve uncapped commission and promotions. We ensure our teams always know where they are at in terms of achieving their goals, and recognize individual promotions at our all-company weekly huddle. In 2018, we promoted 41 percent of our staff, often across functions.

 

Grubhub long-term professional growth

Grubhub’s online and mobile food-ordering platform connects eaters in over 1,700 American cities with local restaurants. Senior Associate of Organizational Development Sam Basiorka said that in addition to opportunities to attend trainings and networking events, Grubhub employees also get to take advantage of an experiential learning opportunity unique to the company.

 

How do you work with employees to identify and achieve their long-term personal and professional goals?

We help our people reach their goals by providing them with a variety of training programs and networking events. Our career development model provides employees with the power to take control of their professional growth. Through quarterly check-ins with their managers and regular learning sprint trainings, our people are given the tools and support they need to reach their greatest potential and work toward the company’s overall priorities.

Our career development model provides employees with the power to take control of their professional growth.”

 

What programs, initiatives or opportunities are in place to help employees hit their growth goals?

In addition to quarterly check-ins and learning sprint trainings, we offer experiential learning programs throughout the year. One example is Slice, our in-house restaurant at Grubhub’s headquarters. We open Slice a few times a month, and employees run the entire operation, from receiving orders to packaging food for delivery and making sure orders are given to the right diners. Another example is Rudolph, our delivery test car. Employees volunteer to drive Rudolph and perform deliveries to Grubhub diners in Chicago, downloading and using the driver app and interacting with restaurants and diners. Our employees develop increased awareness of the challenges faced by our customers and can relate to restaurants, drivers and diners with more empathy, furthering their personal and professional growth and improving the overall performance of Grubhub.

 

BRD employee professional development
PHOTO VIA BRD

BRD’s mobile app is designed to make it easier and safer for people to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. According to VP of Human Resources Bob Lehto, the company has recently invested in new technology to ensure all employees are setting, and working toward, long-term goals.

 

How do you work with employees to identify and achieve their long-term personal and professional goals?

BRD has a culture of continuous feedback. Our leadership team ensures employees have regular one-on-one check-ins with their manager. Status updates are handled in stand-up meetings so that one-on-ones can focus on long-term goals. We’ve recently invested in a continuous feedback and goals platform and are launching new training to ensure all employees are committing to their goals, receiving proper praise for their successes and are accountable to their challenges. Only then can BRD effectively support our team members in reaching the goals that are important to them.

Growth is a process and our programs may change, but our commitment to development will not.”

 

What programs, initiatives or opportunities are in place tho help employees hit their growth goals?

BRD has always had a practice of corporate goals and transparency about progress in attaining them. Our goal strategy in 2019 is evolving and will be easier to understand and measure. We are introducing cross-organizational goals that will link individual goals to departmental and overall corporate goals. We anticipate this will increase both engagement and accountability.

We encourage our engineering team to further enhance their skills with biweekly “Engineering Free Days,” which is an opportunity for them to tackle projects outside their normal realms. Other roles and departments are equally encouraged to develop through lunch-and-learns, stretch assignments, outside conferences and mentoring. Growth is a process and our programs may change, but our commitment to development will not.

 

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