Learning and Development Lead
Here mistakes are treated as just another way to learn and excel.
Nina Grueva graduated with Organizational and Social Psychology and has worked in both Employee Experience (EX) and Training Departments. Her thesis was about employee engagement and she felt that the position at Melon was just right for her. "I was so enthusiastic when in 2020 I saw the job ad for Employee Experience Specialist, it was not common for companies to have a dedicated person that cares for people engagement and well-being," she says. Once she opened the website and saw the Melon values, she was captivated. "At first, I thought this may be only on paper, but once I started I realized this is the culture."
In September 2020, Nina began her journey at Melon as an Employee Experience Specialist. The company had already felt
It's time to structure training and development efforts.
"Initially, I was combining both, EX and Learning and Development (L&D) but the initiatives we took on were so many and so beneficial, that it became evident I'd need to be fully dedicated to L&D". She now runs the processes related to career development, performance evaluations, and addressing the learning needs of all the teammates in Melon.
"What helps me the most is the culture we have. Here mistakes are treated as just another way to learn and excel. Feedback is given with empathy and care. There's no better way to embrace learning than actually recognize and appreciate the very moment it is happening."
Before joining Melon, Nina had experience with developing and leading training programs but her role here is very different. She coordinates a variety of events and ensures that those bring real value to the people. To do so, she assesses company's training demands which requires to be a really good listener and simultaneously keep the full picture in mind.
Her main tasks include continuous communication with all the leads and analyzing the company needs. Together they prioritize the demands and accordingly organize soft skills training, and also help with the administrative part when it comes to technical courses. Most training is conducted in-house, and sometimes using external vendors.
Nina learned a lot at Melon.
The key thing is to be a little braver and to just give a try of the ideas she has. "I used to aim for perfection before launching a training but what I learned here is to do small steps and adjust on the go instead of planning giant changes that might never be implemented." The support from her team has also helped her to a great extent with her professional development. "I just feel appreciated and I know that the feedback I get is always intended to encourage me and not to bring me down." She also took advantage of Melon's coaching program. It was launched in 2021 as an extension to the successful leadership program aimed for people from the middle management. "We wanted to support our people in leadership roles in their efforts to improve and help their teammates develop." The program is organized annually and provides a broader view of the leadership role, while the coaching program allows the leaders to focus on the current challenges they face and find the best working solutions for themselves.
Nina shares that even though Melon doesn't have structured career paths yet, the company is working on implementing various processes to support everyone's development. "If there is a training, conference or even the employee wants to attend, we are more than happy to provide financial and logistic support," she adds. Furthermore, there is a craft lead in every team responsible for the technical development of the software developers.
When we asked Nina, what is the most challenging part of her job, she said it is to strike the balance between the need for a process and the need to let things happen on their own, organically.
"We really try to avoid bureaucracy and implement processes only when needed to avoid future mistakes or help us do our job better." We don't create processes for the sake of having them," she adds. The one thing that Nina enjoys most about her profession is
Enabling people to get better at what they do.
And she loves doing it at Melon because of the people she works with: "They are all so colorful and different." She remembers: "I came back from one of Ali's concerts and I was just flying, thinking how cool it is that Melon managed to gather so many different people who are good not only at their job, but also in their hobbies. We have a university teacher in Astronomy, a whole bunch of musicians, jeweler artists, etc." The idea that she works with people growing in such different directions motivates her to further develop herself personally. "Sometimes after a conversation with colleagues I feel inspired," she adds.
Her work is interesting, not only because of the communication with her colleagues. She recognizes the benefit of what she does. The satisfaction of getting things done especially when it comes to large projects. "It is so fulfilling to see that you contributed even a little to someone finding a better way to do their job," says Nina.
Nina loves to spend her free time travelling or chilling on the beach, sometimes even both. Her pro travel tip to all is: "Traveling without a plan is the best plan!"