There are a number of distinctive HER policies and procedures which elevate DEW as a preferred employer by employees. DEW has several mentoring programs which support the development and training of new staff. The programs are an Important way to engage new hires into the DEW culture, and this could be their first professional job out of college (Trademarks Animation, n. D. ). In a 2010 interview, Trademarks Animation’s Head of HER is Daniel Sweethearts stated, “In a rapidly growing environment, that can be difficult for a new person to grasp because it can all be overwhelming” (Burns & Sweethearts, 2010).
The Animation film industry Is a complex business with a lot of “moving” parts. DEW flimflamming Is a timely and expensive undertaking which starts with someone’s Idea and storyboards (Wolff, 2003). This production will involve many people who steer the process?from the in- house staff, freelance writers, technology, and their reference library of other work. The animated production process, creating storyboards, writing and revising scripts, drafting artwork, character creation, for a “full-length feature film can take approximately three to four years” (Trademarks Animation, 2011).
This extensive recess also employs “small collaborative teams that are responsible for preparing storyline and ideas for the initial stages of development” (Trademarks Animation, 2011). During these intense early stages of a project new hires are placed in mentoring initiative program. Mentoring supports the overall project while also providing direction to the newest staff members. Thus, “ensuring that ideas follow the best creative path within a desired budget and schedule parameters” (Trademarks Animation, 2011).
The first 90 days are In orientation, but afterwards new employees are trained on the DEW “proprietary software” and attend “welcome session hosted by CEO Jeffrey Guttenberg” (Henchman, 201 AAA). There are many different mentoring programs at DEW. These programs primarily focus on recruitment of mid-level talent, new college graduates, entry level professionals, and the highly specialized (Trademarks Animation, n. D. ). All of the DEW mentoring programs pair the new hire with an experienced staff member.
The Henchman (AAA) article, discusses a recent graduate In the DEW mentoring program. The trainee Is a Visual Artist, named Each Glenn, and Is coming up on the end of his training (AAA). Henchman (AAA) continues describing, the Visual Artist’s downtime allowed him to be able to help his mentor, who was having difficulties on a “snowball” scene (AAA). The mentor asked for suggestions, and the trainee had a chance to learn more about the scene while helping (Henchman, AAA).
The trainee Each, explained, “I’d show him what I’d come up with, and he’d show me what he had been doing. So we Just kept that process up, and coming over to each other’s desk and showing the progress we had until we merged these little effects into the snowball” (Henchman, AAA). Mentoring examples like this show how there is a great opportunity for learning from both the trainee and the mentor. This also levels the playing field and allows the trainee to feel they are a “peer” with equal status.
There are mentoring programs that DEW uses to recruit entry level graduates and then pair them with the seasoned employees. One of the mentoring programs Is scouts potential new talent in “Art/illustration, Design, Character Animation, Computer Graphics, and Media Studies graduates from colleges and universities around the globe” (Trademarks Animation, n. D. ). In addition to the scouting, they also offer training programs and coaching for these entry level positions. DEW also offers in-house digital training and artistic development training programs available for all employees.
There is another outreach mentoring program for entry level professionals and recent college graduates referred to as the “Challenges/ Initiatives” that select new hire to participate in one of four (4) different programs; The Story Initiative Program, Character FIX Initiative, FIX Challenge, and Character AD Challenge (Trademarks Animation, n. D. ). These four mentoring programs offer a broad range f topics and discussions on; how an animated film pipeline is organized, the principles of animation, interpreting character designs, and how to incorporate them into the animation process.
Each of these training program initiatives supports the trainees learning in the specific areas chosen. The program’s training objectives are implemented over the first 90 to 180 days, depending on the program. The mentor programs pair a trainee with a seasoned and specialized mentor. The trainee has to perform duties in a simulated training environment. The training environment is identical but separate from the real projects that the mentor is on. The mentor observes the trainees activity, and the decisions made. The environment is parallel where the trainee can experience the same challenges as the mentor.
The trainee has to use their independent Judgment and their skills Just as they would have to if working on the actual project. This trainee environment provides these rich opportunities, which are “Critical to the success and learning new and potentially foreign concepts, but also the ability to work within a production team environment and seek advice from experts (Trademarks Animation, n. D. ). In addition, this is all appending in a training environment, so there is more flexibility and time to discuss situations where the trainee wants clarification.
Additional concepts discussed include key ideas important to the deformation process, programming procedural controls, and techniques to successfully present ideas and results to both creative and technical audiences (Trademarks, 2014). Data’s mentoring program seems to go beyond the entry-level and middle staff to the higher levels of the executive suite. Several DEW female executives served on a panel. The ladies’ group was called the Bay Area Women in Film & Media, and the event was at Trademarks. All women panel of DEW executives discussed workplace culture and described how it was to work in a male dominated field.
Each executive description of Data’s culture was supportive, fun, rewarding, and better than other studios they had worked. There was one unidentified executive who was speaking about being a woman in DEW “Mans world” and she enjoyed working with the men, and it was special to work with Spielberg (Cited). Implications Trademarks Animation’s Head of HER is Daniel Sweethearts, and his team performs mid-project reviews and boasts a 97% retention rate (Henchman, Bibb). After 90 says the employee is brought in for a meeting with HER to discuss “best practices,” experiences elsewhere” (Henchman, Bibb).
This HER practice of meeting face to face after 90 days for their feedback, can help improve nonbinding, and also relays an important message to the employee. The new employee has a forum for two-way communications and a valued as a new member of the team. This communication forum is important as it is early in their DEW career and will likely set the tone. DEW provides resources for new staff to engage and to better get acclimated. There are also employee training programs to help increase employee knowledge base.
For the technologists, they have established in-house digital training and artistic development training programs. In order to recruit and retain talented creative and technical personnel, they have established relationships with the top animation schools and industry trade organizations (Trademarks, n. D. ). Sweethearts, describes how the mentoring at DEW can forge a “tribal connection” between the new hire and the veteran, when it is done early in the menthe’s employment (Henchman, Bibb). This employee investment at all staffing levels is a way for employers to demonstrate their support of the employees.
Experts agree; companies must make their employees feel engaged and help them feel like they are performing meaningful work (Rickets, 2008). It seems employees are “sensitive” and will “react” positively or not positively according to the treatment they perceive their employer gives them. Corporate HER consulting expert explains, “If an organization does not make conscious efforts to not only onboard new team members, but also to create cultural moments that give them an experience?not Just the language?of the vision, then it is very difficult for them to feel bonded” (Elliot, 2013).
It can be seen how Trademarks Animation integrates the experience of their seasoned mentors to train new staff. They also are able to recruit and retain employees, with their “established relationships with the top animation schools and industry trade groups” (Trademarks Animation Form ASK, 2011). From Straightness’s discussion, part of the importance of mentoring the newest staff is to help them understand and learn Data’s culture and also to coach them in handling projects. He also mentions, “many of these individuals will go on to be leaders within DEW while others may go on to be leaders in the Animation Industry’ (Henchman, Bibb).
Sweethearts says, “We hire so many experienced people that we get lots of interesting ideas from other companies,” and add, “we hire a good number of recent graduates, so we get fresh eyes”(Henchman, Bibb). The resources that DEW puts into training new hires and pairing them with senior level employee shows they want to invest in their staff. This type of investing in staff with mentoring programs, training programs, and two way communication can be plenty reasons they are a “great place to work,” and other companies can learn to invest in staff development an result in ordainment.
Properly training staff will initially require more resources, manpower, and management coordination, but in the long run the company outperforms the competition. Research supports the idea that those companies that outperform their competition have also retained their most talented employees (Fuller, Gerhard & Scott, 2003). This further adds to the point that DEW is investing in their team with mentoring programs, training, and executive mentoring. This is a lesson worth learning for any CEO looking to increase the bottom line and provide Job
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