As we gear up to hold our third annual Allies Week this January, which is organized by the Advocate Group at Source Allies, we thought this would be an excellent time to share a bit of the history behind the Advocate Group.
The Early Days
Source Allies has been a flat organization since its inception which allows teammates to organically grow programs that address certain needs while keeping us lean and focused. One way to achieve this organic improvement is the Advocate Group which started back in 2010 by teammates who were enthusiastic about improving the quality of life for all teammates at Source Allies. They took initiative after hearing common challenges, solutions, ideas and feedback from fellow teammates when talking about what it’s like to be a consultant at Source Allies. They felt that Source Allies needed a space where teammates could advocate for such ideas and see them to fruition.
In the early days of the group, the focus was on the journey of a teammate from when they’re being interviewed and then joining the team, their experience in the first couple of weeks, and their growth in terms of skill sets and expertise in the coming years. So the group made improvements to our interview process, created the Onboarding Buddy program for when a new teammate joins, implemented 360° Feedback methodology and improved the yearly performance review process.
Onboarding Buddy Program
To help new teammates have a smooth start, the Onboarding Buddy program was created. New teammates are paired with an onboarding buddy who meet with them regularly in the first three months, answer any questions they might have, provide guidance, share their own experience about working at Source Allies and consulting with our partners, and make introductions to other teammates.
360° Feedback Tool
When it comes to career growth, we strongly believe that feedback is a crucial element that can help a teammate reflect on what they’ve done well and what they can improve on. A teammate can then set goals inspired by that feedback. The 360° Feedback methodology fits Source Allies’ flat structure very well because a teammate can seek feedback from anyone and everyone they work with. To enable this style of feedback and goal setting, it required investment in a tool that made it easy. The Advocate Group took the lead with experimenting, recommending and onboarding such a tool.
The group also holds a diverse lineup of talks and discussions at our weekly Monday Meetups around topics that teammates find useful like career growth, building trust with our partners, agile practices, joining a community of practice, and many more. Our favorite format for such meetings is the Park Bench which creates a welcoming and productive knowledge sharing environment by allowing all teammates to join the discussion with ideas, questions, or comments.
Those internal initiatives and many more like the hackathon, the Tech Radar, and adding parental leave benefit are considered an integral part of what makes Source Allies a great place for collaborative technologists seeking mastery.