"One of the great things about adMarketplace are our career advancement opportunities. If you see an opportunity or gap, you can go for it and create your own path - you can 'choose your own adventure!'"
Growth and opportunity are imperative when it comes to maintaining a successful business, especially in the rapidly evolving adtech industry. To stay on top of diverse and dynamic changes, adMarketplace prioritizes building a culture of continuous learning, innovation and curiosity.
With that goal in mind, over the past two years, Senior L&D Manager, Helen Meaney, has become a necessary resource for internal growth at adMarketplace. Helen’s growing team has created new avenues at adMarketplace by rolling-out an employee development platform, a manager training series, a company-wide goal-setting framework, and a learning portal to centralize learning and development content and resources. The purpose of L&D is to improve employee skills, capabilities, and performance and the role of L&D is to make this easy, meaningful, and scalable at adMarketplace.
Discussing Helen’s experience at adMarketplace:
Tell me about yourself and your journey to getting involved in the L&D realm of the business?
I started out my career in Sales Operations and based on this operational experience and background, I became very interested in change management and in particular understanding behavior change and what motivates people to learn, grow, and develop. This led me to complete a second degree in Psychology and then ultimately to pursue a career in L&D. To date, I have built my career on being the first L&D person hired to build out the L&D function for companies in hyper growth mode – I guess you can say that’s my superpower! This can be a daunting task, but I thrive on designing and developing learning experiences and organizational learning capabilities from the ground up, and I am very excited to be doing this at adMarketplace.
Has there been anything interesting recently about the trends in your field?
Employee development continues to be a hot topic. Employees want and expect career growth potential and development. This is one of the reasons building out our career paths is so important. In addition, supporting employees to create individual and personalized career development plans is key. Career growth does not always follow a linear path and we acknowledge that. At adMarketplace, we want to provide our employees with a career path framework in terms of how to progress your career, while also remaining flexible to enable employees explore their own individual career path. A person’s career, like their life, is always changing, evolving, and growing and it is unique to the individual.
Definitely, we can see that sentiment growing more prevalent these days. What makes adMarketplace’s L&D different from the other companies you have worked with? Is there anything that stands out about us?
Our training and career advancement opportunities are really what sets adMarketplace apart from other companies I have worked for. From day one, new hires get to participate in our robust onboarding and training program where you get to learn all about our business and to meet the key stakeholders across the organization. I’m proud to say that we get such great feedback about our onboarding. It is truly a full team effort and it helps set up all our new hires for success. Facilitating cross-functional training and career movement via our rotational program has also been very successful when it comes to enabling our employees to learn and grow.
One of the great things about adMarketplace are our career advancement opportunities. If you see an opportunity or gap, you can go for it and create your own path – you can “choose your own adventure!” People want to learn and grow here – they are curious, and we have built a culture that encourages it. Everyone has an open-door policy – you can go to anyone here to learn more and to start a conversation. Something else unique about us is definitely our “Game Days” – this is when leadership takes time to collaborate with their teams to understand and to solve a common challenge. This fuels our collaborative and curious culture to further drive creativity innovation and continuous learning.
What’s the biggest challenge your team is solving in L&D?
The biggest challenge we are facing currently is scaling training in line with how the company is scaling and hence keeping up with demand. This is a good challenge to have and as a result we have started to grow our L&D Team, which is a major milestone.
Prioritizing what is needed the most when it comes to learning will continue to be a challenge. Since there are so many contributing factors that come into play with every learning need, we need to pinpoint the problem we are trying to solve and then understand how L&D can support, whether it’s through additional training, workshops or supporting teams to more clearly define, track and achieve their goals.
What makes someone successful on your team?
Someone who embodies our 5 C-values: Collaboration, Curiosity, Commitment, Creative Conflict, and Competitiveness. If you’re hungry to learn, want to work hard, and can pivot and adapt to change, there’s a place for you here.
What is your favorite C or a value you practice daily at work?
My favorite C is Collaboration because it is in everything we do! The people here drive our culture and working together makes our work meaningful.Finding meaning in our work not only helps us do our jobs better, it also gives us the satisfaction and confidence to ultimately achieve great things. When you care about your work and the people you work with, it makes life a lot easier.
We cannot agree more. You won an award for Commitment at our Annual AMP Awards – way to embrace all our C’s. Well deserved, Helen! What projects are you looking to focus on heading into 2023?
I’m looking forward to fully building out our competency models and career paths in 2023. Developing the functional competencies we need to meet our clients’ needs and the ever-changing needs of the industry is going to be key. In addition, we will continue to introduce different training methods, from formal training to online learning to coaching and stretch goals and assignments. All of this will help us drive more continuous learning this year.
In particular, I am excited about the likely prospect of introducing a Learning Management System (LMS) for the first time at adMarketplace in 2023. This will enable us to create a more engaging and blended learning experience for the full employee learning lifecycle, from onboarding to cross-functional training and on-the-job learning, to professional development. An LMS will help us ensure we can maintain and enhance the effectiveness and impact of the training experience for all employees as the company scales and grows.
In 2023, we will also continue to lead knowledge-sharing events like Lunch and Learns to help bridge gaps in knowledge across teams. It’s always great to feel the energy and engagement in our Lunch & Learns as people learn more about topics such as media value measurement or industry trends and what’s happening in the search advertising landscape, like data privacy legislation and what it means for the industry.
Helen embodies adMarketplace’s pillar of competitiveness at and outside of work. You won’t be surprised to find her training at least three times a week in preparation for marathons. She ran her first NYC Marathon just last November. What started as a hobby during quarantine blossomed into a passion. We love passionate people and Helen is most definitely one of them.
Wishing you lots of luck in the marathons to come, Helen – we can’t wait to continue to cheer you on!
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