Growth is really part and parcel for us here at Designlab.
When you’re a small, ambitious team aiming to transform an industry, growth is both an explicit aim, and a side effect of the work that you do. Growth is also nebulous and multifaceted.
At Designlab, we push to grow the number of students we reach in order to help transform more careers; we push for curriculum growth in order to stay cutting edge; and we push for personal growth in order to engage and keep our talented team.
Our challenge is not if there is space for growth, but rather, being deliberate about the growth opportunities we empower our team to pursue. Part of being deliberate is making sure that growth pathways are visible, and up until recently, we had no good way of doing this.
So, out of the need to provide our team with inspiring and exciting growth trajectories, the idea of building out growth ladders was born. Being a team of UX/UI design educators, we knew the first thing we had to do was put the user, our employees, at the center.
Read on to learn about how we created career paths for our employees through growth ladders and a user-centered design approach.
12 Questions to Predict Employee Performance
The decision to build growth ladders left us with a challenge.
We know that growth is happening amongst our employees here at Designlab, and we believe that it’s important to our team to develop both hard and soft skills. What we sought to understand was just how much of a priority it is for employees, and, to find a transparent, engaging way to represent potential growth pathways to the team.
There is a tremendous amount of new research available on maintaining high employee engagement, while still promoting growth and a healthy work-life balance. But the Gallup Q12 statements are what heavily informed our thinking on growth ladders.
Gallup's employee engagement work is based on more than 30 years of in-depth behavioral economic research involving more than 17 million employees. Through rigorous research, Gallup identified 12 core elements—the Q12—that link powerfully to key business outcomes.
These 12 questions emerged as those that best predict employee and workgroup performance:
Do you know what is expected of you at work?
Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
At work, do your opinions seem to count?
Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
Do you have a best friend at work?
In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?
This research reinforced the importance of actively pursuing personal growth as a key pillar of our business. It also further reinforced that building growth ladders for the team would be worth our time and effort.
At Designlab, we believe that every person needs to contribute positively towards creating a culture which values the behaviors outlined by the Q12 statements.