On this episode of The Shape of Work podcast, our guest is Roxana Dobrescu, Vice President- People and Culture at Labster, a visual learning platform providing virtual science education.
With more than 16 years of working across functions like recruiting, organizational development, people and culture, Roxana believes in humanized companies with core values of openness, trust, generosity and courage.
With a background that extensive, it is no surprise this episode covers a lot of ground:
The blend between online and offline learning:
Labster’s mission is to not replace teaching or the happening of the classrooms. They consider it important and are willing to improve it through their services. It is impossible to customize learning considering every single student. Hence, they are supporting teachers by ensuring a 360-degree approach to scientific learning. The productivity has increased by three times. Roxana feels that it is just the beginning of the blend between online and offline learning.
People managers create a culture of being open:
Creating a culture of openness revolves around creating a culture of trust. Thus an organization needs to build a trustworthy and open culture.
Labster maintains an open mind and shared accountability. To build trust, leaders need to show it first. Roxana further talks about transparency and how it ensures a clear purpose and decision-making process.
“To build trust in a team, be part of the team.”- that is how Roxana looks at leadership.
Continuous learning culture in an organization:
Building a continuous learning culture is one of Roxana’s missions. She considers it as the only way to grow. There are plenty of extremely talented people who get comfortable with their roles and do not feel the need to learn. Hence, the company must focus on regularly updating these people with skills and trends.
Moreover, Roxana throws light on the need for an efficient feedback process. Humans tend to give positive feedback, but they cannot give constructive feedback. Thus Labster trains its employees for sending and receiving effective feedback. Leaders also must ensure good feedback. They should ensure effective learning, sharing of best practices, creating focus groups, have research meetings, and other such practices. The company needs to make time for its team members.
Maintaining diversity in the hiring process:
Diversity and Inclusion should be ingrained in the company strategy rather than the HR strategy. In Roxana’s company, the hiring process revolves around ‘culture add’ and not ‘culture fit.’ They assess if every candidate is adding value to the company in terms of skills, attitudes, experience, and outlooks. Each team member needs to be learning from the other. In addition, people need to train themselves to avoid bias. Labster holds a diverse interview committee with interviewers from different backgrounds.