Over the last year we have had hyper growth at Mitiga — we went from 20 employees in the beginning of 2021 to 75 today. This growth created a new layer of team leads, many of whom were promoted internally into management roles.
In the beginning, we thought that working with the HR team could help lead them on to their new managerial path, but quite soon we realized that we had an excellent group of people and we wanted to do more. We wanted to create an effective management training program, equip our new managers with the right tools, and build a strong and empowering peer group.
Hybrid management training
For this project to work, we needed to find an experienced and dynamic organizational consultant, who could lead this process in our hybrid environment. We received a warm recommendation for Maya Schutzman and, once we met her, our connection was immediate.
The biggest challenge was working in a global hybrid mode: we had two new team leads in the United States (US) and seven more in Israel (IL). Maya took on the challenge and together we decided to conduct four virtual sessions and four face to face sessions by bringing all the participants together in Israel.
The beginning was challenging; we scheduled our Zoom meetings at a late hour to fit both the US and IL time zones. It was not easy on IL participants, but it was important to compromise and work together to accommodate the unique needs of our team.
In addition to the late hour, we asked them to join from their individual laptops and from different rooms. People in Israel wanted to enjoy the fact that they can sit together and were not very happy with that request. We listened to their feedback and frustration, discussed it and helped them to understand the benefits of a team experiencing the training the same way. It was also an opportunity to understand the challenges of a global company and find solutions to deal with the struggle.
The challenges of a global company
We also changed, listened, and adjusted ourselves to the situation. We started with the easiest parts and moved to the difficult and moved from individual work to group work. In the virtual session, we learned managerial self-perception, time management, delegation, and the growth model.
We also gave each of our team leaders goody bags for the Zoom sessions to build more group experiences – even during virtual training. It seems counterintuitive, but we created more intimacy by dividing participants into smaller groups in separate Zoom rooms. Together, we went through the phases of group formation, so when everyone came to Israel we could focus and take the training to the next level.
When our US team leaders finally came to Israel, we all met in the Tel Aviv office. Being able to meet everybody face to face made the experience much more engaging and allowed us to deepen our relationships, improving the feedback, effective communication, team building, and team development. We also discussed how to work productively together and how the new team leaders could engage management to pursue new projects or ideas they want to lead.
Building our first line management team
What happened in that meeting room will remain a bonding experience between those participants forever. It was a clean space for openness and sharing. That is how we built our first line management team at MItiga.
In our graduation ceremony, our team leaders shared that they felt they were given a framework for processes that would not necessarily happen naturally. These processes made them think about the wholesomeness of their team versus the individuals, while the activities helped the process of things to sink in. It was also a lot of fun meeting and bonding with colleagues in the company.
When something works well, we need to thank the person who made it all happen— starting with a huge thank you to Maya, who was wonderful, attentive, sensitive, and tuned in with the group all along! She customized the sessions to our needs and shared her knowledge with us. No doubt this is just the beginning of our work together.
I also want to send a big thank you to our team leaders, who participated, invested their time, and understood the importance of the training. We know this is only the beginning of their managerial path, but we are sure they will grow with Mitiga and contribute to the company’s future success.
And lastly, thank you to our founders, who led, supported, and took an active part in the activity. Thank you for understanding that our people are the most valuable resource we have — and investment in them is crucial for Mitiga’s success.