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People Hero: Marie Krebs, People Partner at Learnerbly

We’re super excited to announce this month’s People Hero - Marie Krebs, People Partner at Learnerbly.

After becoming a People professional at Learnerbly, she co-founded People Stories, a community focusing on connecting individuals in similar roles so they can learn and share with each other.

We caught up with Marie and learnt more about her current role, why 'People Ops' became 'People Experience' at Learnerbly, and how the last year turned out to be shaped quite like a boomerang!

Could you tell us about your role at Learnerbly?

I split my time between 1️⃣ People Partnering and 2️⃣ People Experience Design.

1️⃣ People Partnering

People Partners are trusted advisors and coaches whose goal is to enable Leaders to unlock and drive performance across their teams.

Think Customer Success, but applied to the People Experience. People Experience is the product we want everyone to be satisfied and engaged with. Managers and Leaders are my key stakeholders.

I guide, coach and support Leaders across development, performance management, difficult conversations, organisational strategy, and everything interpersonal that lives in between.

2️⃣ People Experience Design

As a People Experience Designer, I build, develop, market and launch people experience initiatives.

Again framing People Experience as a product, this side of the role is about building "features" in the shape of varied internal initiatives and programmes that aim to unlock, enable and drive people's growth, and making Learnerbly the best place you'll ever work at.

We use agile and human-centered design methodologies to put bottom-up input and data at the core of people's experience. 

The initiatives our team designs span across the whole employee lifecycle, and my focus is on values, learning & development (L&D) and diversity inclusion equity & belonging (DEIB)

What sort of stuff do you deal with on a day to day basis?

Well currently I’m working on a really exciting project: elevating our company values. 

Our values were great, but not scalable. They were designed when we were under 10 people! 

By elevating our values, we want to retain the sentiment behind them, but have our new values reflect future changes needed for our next phase of growth.

My day to day has been following the strategic flow of this project. 

First, running a survey and focus groups with everyone at Learnerbly. 

Then, analysing all the data (that took a while 😅), summarising it, mapping it out, running a finalisation workshop, finessing the wording and FINALLY building a launch plan from communications all the way to which rituals, trainings and habits will help us embed them into our every day! 

What interested you to start a career in People Ops?

Learnerbly! That’s how I discovered Learning & Development. 

Learnerbly is a workplace learning platform that enables employees to own their development through personal budgets and a bottom up approach - and they’re a super supportive bunch.

I got stuck in every L&D, Culture or People opportunity I came across - Learnerbly focussed on building our Learning culture really early on and I was loving it. I never thought you could get paid to enjoy work so much 😂. After building their open-source employee guide, I became their first People Operations Manager.

When I got the People Ops title, I had very limited experience. Throughout my time in Operations, Ops Stories had been an incredibly salvatory community and resource. That’s why I sought support from them and co-founded People Stories.

You are clearly very passionate about anything HR and Talent related - you founded the “People Stories” community. Could you tell us more about that?

People Stories is an independent community of people with similar roles who want to help each other out and share their expertise with each other - so that no single person ever has to reinvent the wheel from scratch. Everyone can apply!

What is the biggest challenge you faced at work over the last 12 months?

Leaving a company whose values were not aligned with mine - not Learnerbly 😂! 

I actually boomeranged back to Learnerbly

"When I left Learnerbly after three years there, I knew the door wasn’t closed but I certainly didn’t expect that I would be opening it again so soon.

Sometimes to move forward in your career, you do need to go back; in other words, be a boomerang."

What professional achievement are you most proud of?

Setting up the People Ops & Culture foundations at Learnerbly through scale from 10 to 60 and a global pandemic.

What do you foresee as a major change in the People Ops space?

That we call it People Ops? 🤣 If you look at the definition of People Ops and some of its working principles, it’s really about the experience people have at work, one pillar of which is Operations which enables it to run smooth.

So the new HR wouldn’t be People Operations, but rather People Experience which encompasses People Operations as my Manager Lauren, our Head of People would put it!

What are you looking forward to this year?

Professionally, the whole values project coming into fruition. And also moving back to the UK to make it all happen! And personally, for my wonderful partner to join me in the UK. 

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