Employee interview

From L&D to Talent Brainery: growing at Sendcloud

What does Sendcloud have to do with a brewery? Why would we talk about this in our People blog? To learn more about this unique narrative, we met with our star player Cátia Fernandes to get to know one of our most recently-born teams: Talent Brainery. 

Talent Brainery is none other than our Learning & Development team, and it all started when Cátia was trying to bridge the gaps in growth and career paths at Sendcloud. While thinking about what L&D means, she suddenly thought of the similarities between how a brewery makes different ingredients become a strongly-flavoured beverage, and how the L&D team makes different people become the best, strongly-flavoured versions of themselves. Cheers to that! 🍻

Who are you and what do you like the most about your job? 

Hi! 👋 I am Cátia Fernandes, Talent Success Hero! I love the fact that I can think about new ways to improve learning experiences for our colleagues.

It’s beautiful to think that some of the tools we provide in Talent Brainery 🧠 can help them massively improve their skills and confidence while performing their roles. At the same time, you also need to think about ways to keep those experiences fun and engaging. In the end, whatever we create has to be tailored to our culture and values and learning must be fun as well!

What does your Sendcloud journey look like?

I frequently say that joining Sendcloud was one of the best decisions of my life. I joined in April 2021, initially as an HR Business Partner. While supporting some departments, soon enough the team allowed me to also come up with new projects and ideas to improve our employee experience. The House of Talent (our HR department) always supported my creativity, that craziness that lives inside of me, which was crucial to make me thrive. The opportunity to grow into an L&D domain really showed how much Sendcloud is keen to support my development, potential, and career path. I am so grateful to be part of this amazing company.

If you could swap roles for a day with someone else in the organisation, which role would you like and why?

I would probably take the role of my colleague Mona (Creative Visual Mastermind), who focuses a lot on Employer Branding. It’s incredible how she can translate a creative thought into concrete actions within the digital world. I also love how the visuals create positive and emotional experiences for people and how that has an impact on making them connect with our brand.  

What does Talent Brainery mean?

Talent Brainery stands for Learning & Development. We are not a traditional HR department right? So, standard terminologies do not work out for us. We are the House of Talent (not HR) and we have Talent Magicians (not recruiters), Talent Partners, and so on. 

Why would we then call our team L&D? No way! The word brainery is a combination of brain 🧠 and brewery. It might sound strange, we know. But when you go to a brewery you have multiple flavours of beers available. We also want to have multiple learning experiences  available for our Star Players at Sendcloud, keeping their learning preferences in mind.

What led Sendcloud to create this team?

It was for sure a business need. In Q4 of 2021, we promoted many people to leadership roles. While that was amazing, we realised we were not providing our leaders with enough formal learning opportunities to develop themselves. So, we started by implementing some pilot activities related to coaching and training. It was basically a test, and through feedback and advice, we were able to improve it and bring it to the next step! As the first initiative of Talent Brainery, this very spontaneous move made it possible for us to be here today.

Meet the Talent Brainery squad! From left to right, Marina, Cátia, and Tea.

Which challenges do you see in Learning & Development at Sendcloud?

I would say that the biggest challenge for Talent Brainery is making sure that everyone can see the added value of L&D initiatives for Sendcloud. Even outside our company, I think it's important to bring awareness to what L&D can do for a business. Think about the impact it can have on our customers: knowing they are taken care of by the best professionals will only increase their trust in our value proposition. 

What projects are you working on?

Wow! I could stay here the whole day talking about it, but we are focusing on three main pillars.

  • Global Onboarding. 🚀 We just released a new version of our onboarding program that will be in constant improvement. Through storytelling, we will show our new colleagues what role different departments play in a successful customer journey. The ultimate goal is to create a great first impression, letting new hires connect with each other and other colleagues, all while getting ready to embrace their new roles. 
  • Product Academy. The main goal of this work-in-progress project is to create one centralised place to gather all Sendcloud-related knowledge. Whether it's about e-commerce, product, or carriers, the goal is to make it easily accessible for everyone in the organisation. In this way, colleagues will have a handy way to improve their knowledge and solve their doubts, making our customers become product experts too.
  • Leadership paths. As mentioned above, we have been testing different tools and methodologies. We are also focusing on streamlining our career tracks for leadership paths, which will target: 
  • (a) aspiring leaders; 
  • (b) leaders; 
  • (c) and leaders in a more C-level position.

Exciting times are coming; we will keep busy this year! But we love to be busy because we feel we are contributing to a bigger cause: the success of our star players, which in the end, is only a reflection of Sendcloud’s success.  

Hi there! 👋  I am Alicia and as a Talent Magician I am part of the talent acquisition team at Sendcloud. We are a Dutch SaaS company that’s revolutionising e-commerce around Europe thanks to our cutting-edge platform. Feel free to browse our People stories here, or our tech articles on Dev.to. Make sure to also browse our Jobs page if you see yourself as part of our bunch, we’re always on the search for our next star player! 

Alicia Martínez

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