Say hello to Shaked Rosenberg, our February HR Leader of the Month. As the Training & Development Specialist at monday.com, Shaked shares with us her experience in overseeing organizational and people growth processes, as well as the curation of company culture.
Shaked has been working at monday.com for three years. After her first six months with the company, she was promoted to HR Specialist, where she dealt with certain processes such as onboarding and compensation.
For the last year, Skaked has taken on the unique role of Training & Development Specialist tending to onboarding, management development, professional and career path, performance and feedback talk, employee satisfaction and engagement, employee evaluation and assessment, and more…
We’re glad you’re here, Shaked! We’d love to begin by hearing about your background and how you got started in HR.
Sure! I originally began my journey in HR as a Human Resources Officer in the IDF, serving in Golani’s elite unit and as an officer in the 906 Unit. My role as an officer in the HR team was to address all Human Resource aspects such as courses, promotions, and welcoming new soldiers to the unit. Then, I successfully pursued a B.A in psychology and Human Resources from Haifa University and an M.A in Organizational Development from IDC. During my M.A studies, I worked as a Human Resources specialist in the Prime Minister’s office.
Now, I’m a Training & Development Specialist at monday.com, where my goal is to increase employee effectiveness by driving company-wide development initiatives and enhancing leadership capacity. I do this by identifying the employees’ needs and implementing new processes across the organization. I tend to several processes at once: onboarding, management development, employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as performance evaluations and people feedback. That’s just to name a few! There are several more responsibilities and processes that my role is tasked with.
It sounds like a dynamic position. What is it about the industry you enjoy most now?
I love that the HR industry consists of a wide variety of roles like recruitment, welfare, organizational development and training, data analysis, compensation – there are so many specialties to acknowledge. This type of range allows you to be in constant growth mode, learning and gaining new skills consistently while remaining involved in every aspect of the employee development cycle.
In your opinion, what’s the ideal company culture?
In my opinion, the most important thing when it comes to culture is acting in accordance with the defined values of your organization. Culture should be built and preserved by the people. The ideal company culture is one that allows employees to have a voice and influence. It’s important that people feel as if they have a large part in the success of your company and have the allowance to make a significant impact. This mentality influences company growth and results in a positive working environment for everyone. You need to have a defined culture with meaningful values that people can agree with and act upon.
For instance, when I first joined monday.com, I fell in love with its values and culture. Everything is about transparency! As an employee, you get a daily report about the company’s financial status, how many new customers we have, and how we progress in terms of targets. Also, everyone is updated with the company’s current goals and strategy, and you feel a part of mondays.com’s growth.
An example that speaks to transparency is the engagement survey we recently conducted, asking our employees about their experiences working at monday.com. After receiving the survey’s data, we decided to release the results to our people (even the “less glamorous” ones) so we could find out what they think of the answers and how we can improve as a company. One of our key values here is ownership and impact, and although the company is scaling and becoming more structured, our people still have the agility to lead projects and make decisions on their own.
The final aspect of company culture, which I feel is super important to manage, is implementing a “no-ego” approach. Everyone here works together, and everyone is considered equal. Anyone who works at monday.com is a valued employee, so we strive to make each individual feel included regardless of job title, position, or seniority.
That certainly does sound ideal! And, what is your leadership style? How would you describe it?
Well, as a Training & Development Specialist I work within a team and don’t currently manage others. But, I used to manage a team as a Human Resources Officer in the army. My approach then is similar to the way we all behave at monday.com now, which is to fuel an environment that encourages collaboration and teamwork. I believe that as a leader you need to empower your employees, equip them with new skills and tools, share knowledge, and ask their opinions. A good leader is someone whose team is constantly developing and independent. Your team can be a solid reflection of your leadership skills.
Well said! Let’s talk about digital tools for a second. Do you use any in your daily activities?
monday.com is a great tool for managing HR processes and today, I use it to manage almost all of my organizational development and training processes. These include OD projects, course content, training requests, and training effectiveness. We’re also working with bob, managing our feedback and performance processes there.
Do you have any advice for potential job candidates out there?
Yes; while it seems the company always does the picking and choosing, remember that the hiring process is actually mutual. Candidates get to choose the company they want to be apart of. To know whether they want to join a new company, they should deeply research it, especially the less “declared” topics related to its culture. Learn how people work together, what are the company’s values, and how decisions are made. Those factors will dramatically influence the day-to-day, plus an employee’s routine and environment.
For example, at monday.com, we have a podcast called “Startup for Startup.” We use it to share our challenges, viewpoints, and how we make decisions in the company. Specifically, we have chapters talking about recruitment and what we’re looking for in job candidates, and about our culture and environment. By listening to the podcast, candidates can earn significant value and learn a lot about us and what it’s like to work here.
How do you think the role of HR has changed or evolved over time? And, can more HR leaders get a seat at the coveted “Executive Table?”
In the past, I think that HR experts were perceived as professionals who were more oriented to manage and qualify the soft skills of candidates and employees. Now, people understand that this isn’t the case. If it was, we couldn’t have preserved amazing talent in a very competitive market.
I do believe that today, more than ever, HR leaders have a seat at the “Executive Table” alongside managers and VPs. Successful companies are those that retain committed and talented employees, and in order to have that you need to include the HR team in executive conversations. Being a “business partner” is not just a title. As HR, we need to deeply understand the company strategy, product, and terminology, so we can add value and be an integral part of decision-making.
What are the bigger challenges facing HR today?
I believe the most challenging aspect of the high-tech ecosystem is working globally. Today, monday.com employees are based in 2 different sites: Israel and the US. But, soon we’re planning to add 4 new sites all over the world. That means different time zones, different cultures, and diverse employees and conceptions. Our aim as a company is to feel we’re not divided into sites, and instead one united organization. Those differences make it harder to achieve these goals and we need to make sure that on one hand, we do everything the same, but on the other hand, adjust strategy and activities to the new employees’ needs and cultures.
It’s important to work on communication, make sure employees get to know one another, and still feel as if they’re part of a larger company.
What trends do you believe will shape Human Resource departments over the next five years?
I see three clear trends developing over the next five years. As I mentioned, HR is becoming much more business-oriented and is an integral part of company strategy; this is why I see “HR experts” gaining more tools and skills in the “business and the product” areas.
Next, HR currently bases more decisions on data and quantitative details, and I believe that new trends will influence this field and help it advance further. New tools, processes, and newly-created positions will add to the data analysis aspect of the HR role.
Finally, new technology is developing all the time. I believe that certain new and innovative technologies will enter the HR world, especially software that eliminates manual processes and protocol. This type of tech will allow us to focus on other activities pertaining to soft skills, engagement, and culture – three areas that need to be combined for the better.
Do you have any advice for growing startups?
We’re around 400 employees at monday.com, and our HR team has 24 employees. Compared to other startups our size, that’s a lot! We see ourselves as a scale company, trying to predict any challenges we’ll face soon, and build processes to prevent future difficulties. My role is something you usually see in bigger companies. Here at monday.com, we made the conscious decision to have a dedicated team that focuses on employee development and growth, professional paths, and continued learning.
In a nutshell, my advice is that it’s important to understand what “scaling” means; it’s not just about the size of your company or how many employees you have. You need to consider the growth effects, needs, and development of the existing people at your company.