This article is a lightly-edited summary of the key takeaways from our speakers’ appearance on our podcast, “The Shape of Work.” If you haven’t listened to our show yet, be sure to check it out here. These speakers have an incredible stable of startup experiences to draw from, the kind of stories that are unbelievably helpful for HR/people managers to hear.
In this episode, we have Roxana Dobrescu, an HR professional with more than 16 years of experience in this field.
GUEST AT A GLANCE:
Name of the guest: Roxana Dobrescu
What she does: Vice President- People and Culture at Labster.
Find her on LinkedIn.
Get Smart: “We are here to serve our people. We need to be there to fully show our support team every day. We need to ensure that we have a mission.”
- Impact of visual learning on individuals.
- The blend between online and offline learning.
- People managers creating a culture of openness.
- Continuous learning culture in an organization.
- Maintaining diversity in the hiring process.
Impact of visual learning on individuals:
Visual learning has a great impact on individuals. Making education accessible to everyone is Labster’s mission. Education needs proper innovation, and visual learning is one of them. It is critical for business. 65% of the population are visual learners.
According to sources, one can retain 10%-15% of the information after three days of reading/hearing it. Whereas, if one looks at the information and is visually engaged with it, one can remember 65% of the same after the time period.
Moreover, individuals have an attention deficit, and studies show that a learner has an attention span of eight seconds. Thus the creators need to make content accordingly. Labster uses tools to create an internal learning structure using graphs, slides, visual content, and macro learning.
The blend between online and offline learning:
Labster’s mission is not to replace teaching or the happening of the classrooms. They consider it important and are willing to improve it through their services. It is impossible to customize learning considering every single student. Hence, they are supporting teachers by ensuring a 360-degree approach to scientific learning. As a result, the productivity has increased by three times. Roxana feels that it is just the beginning of the blend between online and offline learning.
People managers creating a culture of openness:
Creating a culture of openness revolves around creating a culture of trust. Thus an organization needs to build a trustworthy culture first.
Labster maintains an open mind and shared accountability. To build trust, leaders need to show it first. Roxana further talks about transparency and how it ensures a clear purpose and decision-making process.
“To build trust in a team, be part of the team.”– that is how Roxana looks at leadership.
Continuous learning culture in an organization:
Building a continuous learning culture is one of Roxana’s missions. She considers it as the only way to grow. There are plenty of extremely talented people who get comfortable with their roles and do not feel the need to learn. Hence, the company must focus on regularly updating these people with skills and trends. The retirement age is also growing, which means people are going to work more. Hence it is important to figure how everyone is going to be productive as individual contributors to society.
Moreover, Roxana throws light on the need for an efficient feedback process. Humans tend to give positive feedback, but they cannot give constructive feedback. Thus Labster trains its employees for sending and receiving effective feedback. It is also the responsibility of leaders to ensure good feedback. They should ensure effective learning, sharing of best practices, creating focus groups, have research meetings, and other such practices. The company needs to make time for its team members.
Maintaining diversity in the hiring process:
Diversity and Inclusion should be ingrained in the company strategy rather than the HR strategy. In Roxana’s company, the hiring process revolves around ‘culture add’ and not ‘culture fit.’ They assess if every candidate is adding value to the company in terms of skills, attitudes, experience, and outlooks. Each team member needs to be learning from the other. In addition, people need to train themselves to avoid bias. Labster holds a diverse interview committee with interviewers from different backgrounds.
Roxana mentions two elements to be considered while hiring:
- Job descriptions: They should be neutral and appealing to people of all gender, cultures, age, etc.
- How we assess: Assessment of candidates should be done based on skills. It should be more open-minded and diverse.