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#WomenLEAD—Female Leaders in Learning, Enablement, and Development on the Lessons of Remote Work

#WomenLEAD—Female Leaders in Learning, Enablement, and Development on the Lessons of Remote Work

As part of our ongoing #WomenLEAD series, we’re turning to the female leaders of Revenue Enablement, Customer Education, and L&D to gather the most important lessons of remote work. In this cohort, thought leaders from companies including Zoom, Asana, and Iterable, share how the last year taught them to focus on relationship-building, invest in self-care, and find inspiration in their new surroundings.

Find Ways to Build Meaningful Connections – Virtually

Joanna Miller, Asana

Joanna Miller is the lead of Learning & Development at Asana, where she owns global manager enablement, leadership coaching and team collaboration programming. 

What’s one unexpected lesson remote work has taught you?

Meaningful connection is the number one employee engagement and resiliency strategy. With the right framing and facilitation, it’s possible to create that connection virtually. Early in our transition to remote work, our learning and development team considered reducing the frequency of enablement activities. However, when we shifted the focus of manager training from learning best practices to an opportunity practice “putting on your oxygen mask first” through real time problem-solving, we saw our satisfaction scores increase. 

Using those learning moments to invest in building connections with peers who could be on the job collaborators provided real value to our community. Remote work has reinforced for me that our role as people leaders is to create an environment for candor, agency and experimentation to flourish.

How will you define success in your role this year?

In the past, our team has focused on expanding the breadth of our offering and scaling the delivery to meet the needs of our global team. In 2021, success will also be measured by how well we can target the right learning opportunities, at the right depth, at the right time in the employee journey—all in service of helping employees filter options to make the right choices to drive their growth forward.

Asana is currently looking for a Learning & Development Lead, in addition to dozens of other open positions.

 

Adopt a New Remote Work Rule: Always Over Communicate

Fiamma Jean-Baptiste, Electric

As the Director of Sales Enablement, Fiamma Jean-Baptiste is dedicated to empowering and enabling success of the customer facing teams at Electric with the goal of providing a stellar customer interaction at each stage of the customer’s buying journey.

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

Being remote has taught me there is no such thing as overcommunication! Where in the past, we could rely on leaning over a desk or shouting across the room, we have to be much more diligent in communicating. Post in Slack. Send emails. Set up Zoom calls to check in, brainstorm, practice, or just eat lunch together. People who are struggling need to know they can ask for help. People who are being successful need to know that their efforts are recognized. Overcommunication allows for the potential barriers that can surface with remote work to be knocked down.

How will you define success in your role this year? 

Success for 2021 will be defined by participation rate. Participation rate is the percentage of team members who are at or above plan. I believe the value of Enablement should be measured by how we’re impacting business outcomes. 

Electric is currently hiring for open roles in its New York, Dallas, and Phoenix offices.

 

Embrace Self-Care as Your Key to Success

Stephanie Middaugh, Zoom

Stephanie is a spunky professional with 10 years of experience in Enablement and Sales Operations roles spanning across early-stage start-ups to well-established technology companies. 

Stephanie enjoys inspiring others to find and share their voice via professional social networking and internally at their companies. Stephanie co-founded a Sales Enablement networking community and web-series where Enablement professionals can find and share tactical best practices.

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

An unexpected lesson I’ve learned during remote work has been that I need to MAKE the time to get up, away from my desk and reset. When we first went on lockdown, I would sit in my home office all day, barely open the blinds, and then wonder why I was so mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day. 

The work hadn’t changed, but I realized that a seemingly simple commute to and from the office or going out at lunch was enough to refresh my mind and body. It really is important to get away from your desk for even just 15 minutes; I now have 2 scheduled walks every day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and it makes such a BIG difference at the end of the day in my mental clarity.

How will you define success in your role this year? 

I started a role at a new company in 2021, not just any company, but at Zoom—the company keeping the world connected during the pandemic! I’ve been at hyper-growth startups before, but never anything like this. Success for me in my role this year will be to plug-in and help support our Enablement team to be as productive and efficient as possible by operationalizing their Enablement processes and programs. In order for our team to continue to support our huge Sales Organization, we have to operate at a very high-level. Operationalizing processes and programs can really help a team achieve those high-levels of output with maximum impact and value. I’m honored to be part of such a talented team and be able to help out wherever I can!

Zoom is currently hiring for 400 open roles across global offices.

 

Remember the Human — Be Curious and Empathetic

Grace Tang, Reddit

Grace Tang is a Senior Principal Learning Experience Designer leading LX strategy and design for Global Sales & Partner Enablement at Reddit.

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

Working remotely during a pandemic has definitely been a great reminder to remember the human—whether you’re talking one-to-one and one-to-many virtually or designing programs that need to engage and empower people in diverse ways. Being curious and empathetic has always been core to my work and it has never been more important than the moment we’re living in now.

How will you define success in your role this year? (Does it look different from 2019 or 2020?)

As Reddit continues to grow rapidly, I want to help accelerate our ads business by designing scalable strategies and programs for our increasingly global sales force. We’re very much in build mode which means I’ll be looking at learner engagement, sentiment, and performance so we can iterate effectively. However, if I had to name one measure of success that means the most to me, it’s delivering the kind of value where more leaders, teammates, and partners are coming to us because they trust the breadth and quality of our work.

Reddit is hiring for a number of open roles – including Sales Onboarding Manager and Learning Experience Designer on Grace’s team!

 

Celebrate the Resilience and Creativity of Your Teams 

Alex Love, Unite Us

Alex Love is the Senior Director, Learning, Development, and Diversity at Unite Us, an outcome-focused technology company that builds coordinated care networks to connect health and social service providers. 

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from remote work is that the human spirit is more resilient than we could ever imagine. There was no way we could have predicted a year-long pandemic, but somehow our team found innovative and creative ways to keep doing the life-changing work of connecting social care and health care; all while remaining in good spirits, and continuing to build an internal team culture of respect, kindness, inclusion, and belonging. 

How will you define success in your role this year? 

This year success in my role is all about continuing to make an impact with our learning programs. Supporting rapid growth without sacrificing the quality and culture that makes our Learning, Development, and Diversity work so effective for our team members. Through partnerships with platforms like WorkRamp and processes that support the “new normal” of flexible work environments; the big goal is to make sure that the learning team helps people achieve their learning goals efficiently, effectively, and with a smile!

Unite Us is currently hiring for a number of open roles — including Learning and Development Manager on Alex’s team!

 

Lead with the Why, Reinforce with the Goals

Petek Hawkins, Fivetran

Petek Hawkins combines strategy, plan, and process to design programs for the sustainable growth of multi-million global SaaS companies such as Zoom and Fivetran. She is adept at driving individuals to full productivity by aligning the core competencies of any role to intelligently designed data-driven programs that meet learners where they are. She leads companies to quickly grow revenue engines with scalable enablement, learning, and development.

 

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

Our employees are feeling the pressure to stay relevant, show that they are working hard, and hit their numbers. You may think that is expected, and it is, but what is unexpected is the behavior patterns that these pressures have created. I wrote an entire article about my observations.

How will you define success in your role this year?

Last year, we did most of all the heavy lifting, this year we have to focus on fine-tuning. Data-driven enablement is our key focus. We have to tighten up why we do enablement, what we do, and show direct impact while cutting out the non-essentials. Our goals are represented by three main pillars:

  • #CultureOfCoaching – Leadership enablement is at the forefront of all of our projects. 
  • #DataDrivenEnablement – We will have a better alignment with our rev-ops teams to tie each playbook to tangible results. 
  • #NextLevel – New challenges mean we need to be agile and change the way we sell and grow accounts, so a new methodology implementation will be one of our bigger projects. 

Fivetran is hiring for a number of open roles — including a Technical Enablement Specialist on Petek’s team. 

 

Recognize Time As Your Most Precious Commodity

Rachel Ha’o, Iterable

Rachel Ha’o leads Global Sales Enablement at Iterable. She is a native Hawaiian cheese specialist with a desire to amplify people’s superpowers. 

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you? 

The biggest and most unexpected professional lesson I’ve learned is time management as it relates to managing my own time, managing my teams’ time and attention, and the time of the people that I work with peripherally (directors, frontline managers, and ICs). And I had previously considered myself as a productivity whiz! The hours we’ve gained back from commuting does not translate to productivity, and the nature of Zoom meetings impacts cognitive loads. In remote work, time has become an even more precious resource that needs to be managed accordingly. 

Personally, I’ve learned about creativity; creating space for myself when I lost many physical spaces or boundaries and being okay with how different those look from before. I’m even proud that I have found new ways to take care of myself mentally.

How will you define success in your role this year?

Success looks so different than it did in 2020! At the beginning of 2020, I had really aspirational goals of leading the team to exponentially increase revenue and decrease ramp time by launching major projects. While the team did an amazing job accomplishing both goals, I didn’t hit the targets I set out for myself because we reworked a few projects based on our new climate. The way I’m defining success in 2021 is in my ability to let good be enough and recognize that it’s okay to ask for help without worrying that it will annoy my colleagues. If I can do that while executing on projects in 2021, I will feel I have grown and been successful.

Iterable is hiring for 100+ open roles in its San Francisco, New York, Denver, and London offices.

 

Trust That Life Can Be Disruptive, Challenging, and Delightful – All at the Same Time

Chauncy Cay Ford, Quantum Metric

Chauncy Cay Ford is the Director of Customer Education at Quantum Metric,  a continuous product design platform that supports digital experiences for brands such as Alaska Airlines, Lululemon, and Lenovo. Chauncy spearheaded the development of Quantum Metric University (QMU) to train and educate over 1800 Quantum Metric customers and partners.

What’s one unexpected lesson that remote work has taught you?

I’ve been working remotely at least 4 days a week for the past 12 years. We even built a tiny house in the backyard of our home in central Austin to function as a workspace about 6 years ago. The biggest difference the pandemic brought was the addition of the rest of my family—including a Kindergartener—at home. My partner and I split Kindergarten teacher duties and it’s, well, disruptive, challenging and delightful all at the same time. 

I’m learning a surprising amount from my daughter’s teacher. Do you realize how effective learning through stories and songs is? Briefly turning off screen share to ask for visual feedback over Zoom instead of chat, “reactions,” or audio? It wakes up the audience, raises engagement, and saves so much time. I wrote an entire Data Storytelling workshop inspired by Ms. Lormor’s Kindergarten class. This is why I have her take most of her 4 daily Zoom calls without headphones and save those for the lovely Math games she plays after class.

How will you define success in your role this year?

It doesn’t look any different this year. If we look at adoption, it’s similar numbers or a percentage based on account size. The real difference in the way that I measure success: stories. If I can get one story of customer success using our products—I’ve been helpful. I’ve not only enabled them to use the product, but empowered them to deliver with confidence and share their story. It’s all about the story. What’s yours?

Quantum Metric is hiring for open roles on its sales and customer success teams.

 

#WomenLEAD is a collection of stories, interviews, and advice from women who are spearheading the future of Learning, Enablement, and Development. If you know an inspiring leader in L&D, Revenue Enablement, or Customer Education who should be featured in a future installment, please get in touch!

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