At Axelerant, we pride ourselves on our Staff as Stakeholders approach, which runs through all of our internal operations as a core philosophy. We invest in mentoring each and every team member, and this begins on day one and does not stop. It runs throughout each person's tour of duty with us, evolving to suit their needs as they learn and mature.
In short: we believe here, and powerfully so, in the value of coaching and mentorship.
This is intrinsic to our Axelerant Values: Enthusiasm, Kindness, and Openness—without being powered by continuous learnings and experiences shared, these would be empty words.
And for team members to better understand how they can contribute to our ultimate mission, it’s important to delve into the details. Here’s our thought process, from beginning to beyond, beginning with our people.
We believe in setting people up for success.
For us, it’s important to start new team members off on the right foot. A solid foundation allows them to find a stable footing, and reach deeper into their core strengths.
There are different kinds of mentors for different purposes.
With that in mind, we like to provide a variety of support systems and assigned mentors to support our people on their journey: Reporting Managers, Onboarding Buddies, Peer Mentors, and a Life Coach.
The role of a Reporting Manager at Axelerant is focused on team members rather than on projects or clients. Reporting Managers are there to help team members identify the direction they’d like to take their career, and guide them along their chosen career trajectories.
This begins for each team member with the articulation of an Axelerant Career Ladder, and continues over periodic one-on-ones. These conversations between managers and reportees are focused on how the individual is doing, and how they can push themselves in newer directions to achieve their desired career goals.
Enabling personal and professional growth for each person is the objective. This in turn helps people find fulfilment, and stay engaged and productive for the length of their tenure.
It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by new information during the first few weeks of starting a new job; not having any established relationships with peers yet, people often do not know who they can go to for help. This can leave some team members with a sense of being adrift.
It’s important at this time to have people assigned to help solve problems and address any needs. To that end, new team members at Axelerant are assigned an onboarding buddy. It’s their buddy's role to help them effectively handle any challenges they may face.
Buddies help new team members quickly absorb the information they need to start working as part of a team. They also equip employees with the means to acquire relevant knowledge on their own, including introducing them to subject matter experts (SMEs) who can help guide them in specific areas, showing them how to use various tools, where they can find documentation, etc.
This process is aimed at getting all team members to a place where they're able to solve roadblocks independently and integrate seamlessly with other team members.
We recognize that it’s important to help each individual leverage their unique strengths in their role and achieve their career goals. This aids us in team allocation, career growth, and technology evaluation. As teams grow, staying in tune with each person’s needs becomes increasingly challenging.
We introduced one-on-one mentoring at Axelerant to ensure that team members have access to support in their professional and personal growth. The mentoring model also helps everyone stay aligned with our organizational vision.
Mentoring considers each individual’s general health and happiness in the organization, their management style (whether they might be interested in technical growth or in technical or project management), and technical assessment to determine whether there are new skills that the person wishes to learn.
Mentors conduct regular one-on-one sessions with mentees. Information gained during these one-on-ones aids mentors in facilitating team members to achieve their goals and advance in their career. It also enables departments to spot any gaps and opportunities early (in terms of evolving the tech stack, identifying hiring needs, etc).
But we're not only focused on team members' technical advancement. We’re always training mentees to become mentors themselves in the future; our goal is for everyone to be a peer mentor, and to mentor others in their own unique areas of strength.
To that end, we maintain a list of individuals interested in becoming mentors and their areas of expertise—so that others in the team can select topics that might interest them, request mentoring from an individual with knowledge in that area, and benefit from their expertise. In this way, team members are able to explore multiple avenues and grow their skills and knowledge in different directions, becoming more effective in their roles overall. Topics can include communication skills, time management, relationship management, conflict resolution, etc, apart from technical skills.
This is one of the most unique perks of Axelerant culture. As an organization that is fully invested in the well-being of team members, we believe it is important for people to have access to support as needed. We find that people are able to truly thrive when they have their needs and concerns addressed in a timely way in matters of professional and personal growth.
Our full time Life Coach plays a key role in this, through regular conversations with team members, and by designing and implementing programs intended to foster happiness and engagement. Proactive monitoring of team engagement and satisfaction helps us ensure that any challenges can be identified and addressed early, and that each person is able to avail support when they need it.
Continuous improvement in all aspects is fundamental to the way we do work.
We find that our focus on mentoring and supporting our team members is a big part of what keeps our team connected, motivated, and driven powerfully towards our shared purpose: fueling digital experiences with agency affiliates as the integrated global delivery partner. And this is also what enables us to deliver thoughtfully engineered and value-focused solutions to our customers.
*Contributors: Ankur Gupta, Hussain Abbas, Nathan Roach, Priyasha Agnihotri, Madhura Birdi.
Axelerant Editorial Team
The Axelerant Editorial Team collaborates to uncover valuable insights from within (and outside) the organization and bring them to our readers.