Within the last five years, Hostinger has grown from 30 to nearly 400 employees in Lithuania. Such a growth tendency facilitates an increased demand for leadership roles. As is common to technical organizations, more than half of Hostinger’s leaders are promoted to leadership roles internally from specialists.
With this in mind, we’ve searched for ways to support fresh managers in their continuous leadership development journey. To do so, we’ve aligned ourselves with the core managerial principles that have proven to help senior leaders in the past.
The idea behind
The inspiration comes from Andy Grove’s (“High Output Management”) idea that training is the highest leverage activity a manager can do to increase the output of an organization.
According to this school of thought, poorly trained employees, despite their best intentions, produce inefficiencies, excess costs, and unhappy customers and colleagues. Thus, we were looking for ways to improve the essential skills and competencies of a manager.
“A manager’s output = The output of the organization under his influence.”
Commitment by senior management – authentic leadership development
Following the Hostinger Principle of Hire & Develop the Best, our senior management and external trainers have committed to fostering said value in Hostinger’s leaders. They have prepared content for training sessions based on their own best practices, favorite books, articles, and ideology.
Aiming to develop mindful leaders, we’ve created a space to explore those practices and discuss opportunities and individual challenges. We encourage our managers to accept or reject information they receive, developing their own ways of thinking and finding their own authenticity.
By placing Hostinger’s senior leadership knowledge, experience, and external resources in a development framework based on our principles, we started the MANAGER’S ACADEMY at Hostinger.
Concept of the MANAGER’S ACADEMY at Hostinger
The mission of the MANAGER’S ACADEMY: to develop mindful leaders keen to think – critically and openly.
To achieve that, the following objectives are stated:
- To foster individual learning
- To broaden perceptions in leadership
- To build a foundation for authentic leadership
- To strengthen the cross-functional and cross-organizational manager network
- To ensure managers are studying managerial principles of “High Output Management” by A. Grove
- To ensure managers become familiar with the content in the Handbook and can readily use it as a tool for learning
To achieve the maximum effectiveness for this learning program, combined diverse methods of learning are applied.
Passive learning methods are employed during individual preparation (around 1,5 hours per day for 4 days), cooperative learning methods are used in group-day activities (1 full day per week), and the highest retention rate activities are present throughout the individual application. The total length of the MANAGER’S ACADEMY course is five weeks followed by the debriefing session two months after graduation.
One’s mindset, soft skills, managerial skills, and principles are the key development areas covered during the MANAGER’S ACADEMY, making it a challenging yet supporting journey to discover and nourish authentic leadership abilities.
Participants are required to be active leaders with direct reports at their supervision. Batches of participants are intentionally pre-formed with leaders from various departments for a healthy heterogenous managing experience. Groups of 12-15 participants are formed for each MANAGER’S ACADEMY cohort to build and maintain trust, as well as foster a cross-functional and cross-organizational network.
Feedback as the way to improve
We believe in Courage and Candidness as a principle for our work. Therefore, after each day of the MANAGER’S ACADEMY, we actively collect feedback from participants, aiming to continuously improve the content of the sessions and the concept of the course.
- “I loved that we had to prepare for every session – I knew what should I expect. Class activities were perfect – they were really interesting and useful, it really helped achieve the right mindset! And of course, I love that I was able to connect with more leaders and get to know them more in person.”
- “Loved the food for thought, real-life examples, different departments, and different people. Overall, a positive and knowledgeable experience.”
Hostinger is experiencing high-speed growth, and we often acknowledge that we must build a plane as we fly. Thus, continuous learning is a significant part of every employee and manager’s daily job.
As shared above, a positive overall experience and constant feedback prove the MANAGER’S ACADEMY as an effective concept to develop leaders in an entrepreneurial organization such as Hostinger.
Unique concept not for every organization
“This leadership development concept needs a specific environment to work,” says Justina Telycene, People Partner and lead of MANAGER’S ACADEMY at Hostinger.
“First of all – the aspiration for learning and developing the best must be in the organization’s DNA. At Hostinger, I am super proud to have senior managers as my sparring partners committed to facilitating sessions on the topics they champion. Nonetheless, at Hostinger we live by our Learn and Be Curious principle, committing to the fact that learning is a part of our job, especially if you are leading others. Having this in mind, 5 weeks of intensive studying and work in groups, as well as hours for developmental activity become a valuable investment rather than time lost.”