Ben Valdez knew professional development would be a big part of his role when he joined Telesign in 2019 as senior director of global customer success and support. He brought with him seven years of high-level leadership experience to the digital identity verification company, including five years spent leading and growing customer success and support teams.
Professional development has indeed been a big part of Valdez’s Telesign story, but the company has made his own growth just as much a priority as the growth of its team.
“My journey at Telesign has been filled with significant professional growth and learning experiences,” Valdez said. “I have developed a diverse skill set that has driven success and value for our customers and the organization.”
Valdez has since been promoted twice and is now vice president of global customer operations. Despite climbing even higher up the career ladder, Telesign’s approach to professional development ensures even its most seasoned leaders have continued opportunities to learn and grow.
“I am excited to take my leadership journey to new heights and am confident I will continue evolving as a successful and impactful leader,” Valdez said.
What makes Telesign a unique place to work from a professional development perspective?
Telesign is a diverse and inclusive environment where collaboration and teamwork are encouraged and advancement opportunities are provided. Employees are exposed to different perspectives, cultures and ideas, which promotes personal and professional growth. Clear career paths enable everyone to see a future with the organization and motivate us to invest in our long-term growth. Additionally, our collaborative work environment enables employees to learn from one another, share knowledge and collectively solve problems, which enhances skill sets and further expands perspectives.
How have you grown professionally at Telesign?
I focus on building solid relationships with our clients, understanding their needs and ensuring their satisfaction. This customer-centric approach has taught me the importance of empathy and active listening in delivering exceptional service. I’ve also gained valuable leadership skills and have learned how to motivate, coach and empower team members, creating a positive and collaborative work environment. I developed strategic planning skills working closely with cross-functional teams to align customer success initiatives with the company’s overall goals. I’ve also grown my skills as a decision maker, data analyst and in project and change management.
“I’ve gained valuable leadership skills and have learned how to motivate, coach and empower team members.”
What professional development tools and resources, informal or formal, have you utilized?
I attend industry conferences and webinars to stay updated on the latest trends, best practices and emerging technologies. I also utilize online learning platforms that offer courses and certifications on topics such as customer success strategies, leadership development, project management and data analysis. Engaging in mentorship programs and receiving guidance and advice from seasoned tech professionals has been invaluable and has helped shape my career trajectory and decision making. In addition, I regularly read books and articles on customer success, leadership and operations management. I also dive into industry research and reports to understand market trends.
As a manager, how do you support the career development of your direct reports?
It starts with helping them set clear and achievable career goals that align their aspirations with the company’s objectives. Ongoing and regular performance reviews must be provided as constructive feedback helps employees understand their strengths, areas for improvement and supports skill development.
It is also critical to identify skill gaps and provide opportunities for training and upskilling. Whether through internal workshops or external courses, direct reports must be given access to resources that enhance their abilities. As mentors, managers can offer guidance, support and share their own experiences to help direct reports navigate their career paths. Finally, managers must advocate for their direct reports’ career advancement within the organization and recommend them for promotions
How has joining Telesign positively impacted your professional and personal journey?
Professionally, I have been provided opportunities to work on innovative projects at the forefront of our industry and collaborate with talented teams and thought leaders. I’ve had the privilege of guiding and nurturing exceptional talent, and contributing to my team members’ career growth and achievements has been incredibly fulfilling.
Telesign’s commitment to fostering a culture of continuous learning and development has enabled me to better adapt to evolving challenges and become a more effective and empathetic leader. The supportive and inclusive environment has helped me to form meaningful connections with colleagues, too.
Beyond the workplace, the focus on corporate social responsibility has given me the opportunity to participate in initiatives that positively impact the community and the environment. Overall, joining Telesign has been a significant milestone in my professional and personal growth.