Ben Bartosik

Head of People

From 20192023

For four years I helped lead a branding and design studio in the Toronto area. My primary responsibility was to grow and manage the team as well as advocate for their health and wellbeing. I also worked in close partnership with the founder/CEO to manage key strategic projects.

This included:

Overseeing the Employee Journey

As Head of People, I oversaw the entire journey our employees took at the company. This began with interviews and hiring, making sure we felt that we had the right person for the role. Then I led the onboarding process which involved everything from a first day orientation package to help set and manage expectations, daily 1:1s their first week, and a 30/60/90 day review.

As a remote company, it was an interesting challenge to try and help people settle in and integrate into the team. This was done primarily by establishing an early connection with myself as a safe space for role troubleshooting and making a key part of every new hire's first two weeks a 1:1 call with every other person on the team.

I also put together and led a quarterly review process for every person on our team that included a combination of self and peer feedback and steps towards performance improvement if necessary.

Skills Included: Interviewing, hiring, creating and managing the onboarding process, setting up our remote work tools, reviews, feedback.

Managing and Coaching

My role also included direct management of our whole team of creatives. This allowed the other members of the lead team to focus on their core strengths and not get bogged down in people management.

I would conduct 1:1s with every person on our team about once every other week. We used Asana to manage these meetings, allowing both of us to add items for discussion ahead of time and to keep track of follow up tasks. The primary goal of these meetings was to nurture a trusted relationship between myself and my reports and to troubleshoot any issues with their role/performance. It also gave them a safe space to offer feedback to the company.

The most fulfilling part of these 1:1s was the opportunity to do some coaching. We were able to talk about their career goals together and find ways to take steps towards them within the roles they were currently in.

Skills Included: People management, coaching, career growth, performance plans, managing interpersonal conflict.

People Infrastructure

Managing people well requires more than just good relationships, you need good systems in place. My role involved ensuring our systems and processes for managing people worked well. Everything from policies, employee handbooks, and other HR stuff fell onto my plate.

I also facilitated our weekly all team meetings in order to communicate key information, overcome any blocks together, shape company culture, and find opportunities to have fun and learn together.

Skills Included: Creating, updating, and sharing our employee handbook, managing our HR software (we used Humi), leading team meetings.

Strategy and Special Projects

One other part of my role was providing high level org strategy, specifically on things to keep us in line with our desire to be a socially good company. For instance, I helped manage our B-Corp application process and acted as strategic lead for our 2022-23 rebrand.

On top of this, I also provided support on several client projects, contributing to brand strategy, copywriting, website UX and copy, and pitch decks. Some of the clients I directly supported were Manifest Climate, Henry Rose, Three Ships, and Simplii Bank.