Empathy welcomed me on 22 January 2020. At the time, I was a Psychology student who wasn’t quite sure about the difference between back-end and front-end, but I was eager to learn more about Tech and the Search world in detail.
Landing in a company with 60 employees, where everything happened so rapidly, my creativity and proactivity went even faster. Within a few weeks I had finished my internship and became part of the team, and with no small responsibilities. My mission was clear: Build the foundations of the HR team (or People team, as we prefer to call it) from scratch!
One of my first tasks was to take charge of a new benefit, the Personal Training Budget. At Empathy each employee has €2.5K per year for training. At that time, this meant a total investment of €150K, which would triple a year later with our 170+ members, and I was responsible for it. ME!
At that moment I got down to work: establishing the process, documenting the cases that arose, collaborating with my finance colleagues by tracking the invoices… but above all saying YES to the requests. I had become the genie of wishes!
“I want to sign up for this course!” - YES. “Can I subscribe to my favourite e-learning platform?” - Sure! “Can I really go to this conference in Canada?” -100%. After a few months the pandemic drastically reduced the requests for training trips, but that did not discourage my colleagues from participating in virtual events, enrolling in all kinds of platforms or ordering a total of more than 600 books (and e-books).
The training budget is not just another benefit. It gives each employee the possibility to build their growth experience. And in a sector where technology is advancing exponentially, flexibility is key.
CERTIFICATIONS? GIVE ME ALL OF THEM!
In addition to the budget, Empathy takes care of all the certifications you want to obtain, and my colleagues and I have not overlooked such a great opportunity. Elastic, Kubernetes, Jenkins, Terraform or MongoDB, as well as Professional Scrum Certifications, have been the preferred certifications this year. Which one would you seek?
After a few months, I realised that in many cases training had become a team-building activity. Teams were signing up for the same training together, the more experienced people were advising the less skilled, and my colleagues were relying on me to recommend language schools or the platforms that others had chosen.
Then, I became aware of what I had in my hands. I controlled the database with all these requests, and I had to find a way to share it so that everyone could hear about it and participate in it. Improving documentation and opening an internal comm channel was the perfect way to show the rankings of the most requested books or the most popular events.
Ensuring the health and well-being of our team, and providing strong professional development and engagement, are always top priorities for us. We work hard every day to inspire our people, cultivate an inclusive and diverse culture, and invest in our team through different initiatives such as our training program.
Throughout this year I have seen messages of thanks from my colleagues to Empathy for the support with the training budget. In this case I would like to be the one to thank not only Empathy for delegating this amazing challenge to me, which has allowed me to get to know all my colleagues better, but also all of them for giving value to my work.