While growing a design career, it can be difficult to track personal growth and set future goals. This is harder when you’re managing a team of designers and helping each one realise their full potential — how do you motivate them to excel at what they do, while also challenging them to reach new heights?
This was the problem Vincent Guillevic faced in 2019, as a design director managing his London-based team remotely from San Francisco. His company, Onfido, a tech startup founded in 2012 had branched out from London to set up offices in San Francisco, Paris, New Delhi and Singapore — and they were continuing to grow at an exponential speed.
At the time, the company had already established a career growth framework – but it was too generic and Vincent found that it didn’t quite fit the needs of his designers. He realised that as his team grew they would need a more tailored and comprehensive way to plot each designer’s development within the company.
Having a clear framework would also help with the ambitious hiring goals he’d set — by demonstrating how seriously the design team took the career progression of every one of their teammates.
After a long search, someone from his team introduced Vincent to Progression. Though at that time the product was in its infancy (built on Airtable with a custom UI on top), the concept behind it was solid and he realised it had the early makings of what his team needed.
This personal growth tool allowed each designer to chart themselves against the skills needed to reach —or excel at— different levels of their career, whether as a junior or a lead.
“The idea of an industry-wide standard for design career progression resonated with me.” — Vincent
As expected of an innovative tech company, Onfido was fully onboard with their design team working with Progression to finesse the tool. Motivated by a common goal, Vincent’s team adopted each iteration of the product and provided valuable feedback through workshops and testing sessions.
Through working together for close to a year, the Onfido team’s feedback was pivotal in turningProgression into the sophisticated tool that we have today.
When Mark Opland joined Onfido as VP of Design in late 2019, he was delighted with how mature the Progression career framework was — especially when compared to much larger companies. Each designer now had clear personal objectives to work towards, putting them in a better position to accelerate their career growth at Onfido and beyond.
Having just moved over from Facebook, Mark knew that growing a design team required a mindful and deliberate approach. A team of five would naturally have different needs from a team with a hundred or more — hence, having a career progression framework that could scale with the team is always a huge asset.
“Progression has accomplished three things for us. We’ve improved how we hire, our team is engaged and we’re prepared for future growth.” — Mark
Having witnessed the benefits of their design team adopting Progression, Onfido are now talking about potentially rolling it out to the rest of the company.
Progression’s goal is to turn this conversation into a resource that can power anyone’s career growth —not just in a single role or within one company— but across someone’s entire career. We’re eager to keep working with Onfido and other teams to ensure that the product stays relevant to each industry.
If you want to partner up to create a career framework for your own team, get in touch.
Thanks to Raemarie Lee from the Onfido team for helping us with this case study!
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