We all know finding next-level talent is tough. But keeping rock stars thriving is even tougher. This holds true for high-demand subject matter experts — earned media specialists, social media specialists, data analysts — and others who are typically expected to pick a lane and stay in it at traditional firms. Account managers also feel stuck sometimes—they may love their clients but want to support the work in new ways beyond their current skillsets.
Today’s talent — especially millennials and Gen Zers — want to reinvent themselves and their careers continuously. They want to grow out and grow up. In many cases, the only way for them to “scratch the itch” is to change companies.
At Real Chemistry, formerly W2O Group, we have always supported learning new skills and understood the value of being conversant in multiple disciplines. To encourage team members to stay and build their careers in different ways, we built a unique program to help our people break out of their swim lanes and ultimately become more impactful in our shared mission of making the world a healthier place for all.
Enter Real Chemistry’s “Hybrid” Program
The idea was simple — with a ton of intraorganizational collaboration and our typical #MakeItHappen attitude — build a bespoke (entirely virtual) learning and development program to teach self-nominated participants at all levels in the company new skills they craved from our wealth of experts.
Participants chose from a list of focus areas based on their interests and our top solutions, such as data analytics, social media, influencer engagement, paid activation, value and access, earned media and integrated account management.
But the benefits of the 3-month “semester” went far beyond technical skills. We introduced hybrids to the latest Real Chemistry solutions and experts, which was critical as we now have nearly 2,000 employees! The program also forged stronger relationships for participants across the network and increased their confidence in connecting the dots on their own parts of the business.
Driving Client Value
Our healthcare clients also benefit from having newly minted hybrids deployed on their business. Because hybrids know how to pull in the right integrated solutions and people, they’re better equipped to spot opportunities and seamlessly and efficiently connect the dots among other parts of the company. Hybrids support clients of all shapes and sizes because they have the training and know-how to effectively flex to the unique needs of their business in a way they may not have before the program.
Nearly 100 Hybrid Graduates (and Counting…)
Why does our Hybrid program work?
• Dedicated mentors, coaches and buddies prioritize their time to support participants
• 1:1 coaching sessions with our dedicated team of experts offer ongoing guidance
• Bespoke, “choose your own adventure,” career pathing makes it easy to change one’s role at the company (or contribute differently to one’s current role)
• Soft-skills tutorials tackle presentation training, boosting creativity, enhancing one’s online personal brand and optimizing cross-functional teams and client problem-solving
• The unwavering commitment from our Hybrid participants over the years who are putting their new skills into practice AND paying it forward by mentoring our next Hybrid cohort (because yes, we’re expanding the program so even more colleagues can benefit)
So, is Hybrid the future? Yes — in a fast-paced, digital world, none of us can afford to stay one-trick ponies. Programs like Hybrid, among many others at Real Chemistry, develop and diversify our greatest resource — our people. This keeps them here — doing what they do best — connecting, stretching and contributing to our mission of making the world a healthier place for all.
So, are you feeling stuck in your lane? Get unstuck now. We’re hiring committed, capable and curious rock stars ready to turbocharge their careers. Learn more about our open positions and feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.