Welocalize Office Exchange Program: From San Mateo, CA to Frederick, MD

5C - DCJonathan Biddle works on the Welocalize Staffing team. He recently traveled to Welocalize’s global headquarters in Frederick, Maryland. Jonathan tells us why he went to Frederick and what happened during his visit.

My position within Welocalize is Program Manager, working on Welocalize’s staffing services. We provide our clients with localization personnel. I manage and support our team of QA Testers, Linguistics and Design Specialists who work with us through our clients, whether it is remote or on location. I love working with people and with my team. The team is constantly growing.

People management is incredibly important and a big responsibility that I never compromise. When I first took on the staffing role mid-2012, it was a smaller part of the company. Now into 2014, we have grown into quite a huge team of amazing people from all around the world. I have told many people on our team that I feel like we pretty much are like our own United Nations of sorts.

My goal of going to our Frederick office was to learn from my colleagues and understand how they do their job, including the management of their workload.  I could then work to improve my approaches and how I communicate information to them plus, improve efficiency so we can work together with more fluidity.

We have all this technology to improve our communication and I have come to find that really, nothing beats one on one contact with another person. I can see their face, their expressions and it just makes for a better learning experience sitting together and going through the materials. I work a lot with our HR and Finance people. While I was in Frederick, I learned specifics when it comes to the preparation of paperwork for new employees and about compliance. We focused on improving our processes and many of the changes have been put into effect this 2014 year and so far, super stellar!

This trip was mainly for learning from my colleagues; however, I did have the weekend to take in the Frederick experience. I ended up driving around “pigging out” on all the delicious food that Frederick has to offer. On Sunday, I drove to Antietam to visit the battlegrounds with the top down on my car. What a beautiful drive. Oh, did I mention the guy at Enterprise Rental Car totally hooked it up and gave me a Red Mustang Convertible for the price of a mid-sized car? It pays to be polite!

On Monday, my manager and I met in Washington DC and he gave me the grand tour. It was super cold that morning and eventually turned into a nice day. Through this experience and granted, it took a few months to put what I learned into practice, my team’s communication with HR has improved greatly.  I have also been able to work with my HR colleagues Aimee and Diana and support them and reduce the amount of e-mails that go back and forth between us.  The employees we recruit, both onsite and remote, and our clients seem to be very happy with our partnerships as we continue to build together.

When Welocalize offered me the opportunity to visit another office for a week and meet my geographically distant colleagues, it was really a unique opportunity that I hope other companies offer to their employees. I loved it so much that my friends and I are planning our own trip back to Frederick and we’ll be exploring DC, PA and eating all around trying as much cuisine as we can.

It’s probably going to be pretty fantastical.