Author: Canidium News
Rodney Ray is the Manager of Canidium’s Learning Program, and he works out of Houston, TX. He joined the company in 2014 and has since trained and helped in the professional development of numerous Canidium employees.
How did you come to work for Canidium?
Rodney’s background was in building learning programs to enable enterprise system implementations (e.g. payroll, supply chain, etc.). In this function, he was a consultant and project manager for many years. He was initially recruited by Mike Stus, Canidium's CEO. They had worked together before, and then, upon being interviewed by Dave Kohari (Senior Vice President of Strategic Services and Customer Success), Rodney “knew within 3 minutes” that he wanted to work for Canidium.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities and tasks as the training manager?
“It’s a spectrum:” Rodney does everything from meeting with the leadership team and practice leads to responding to employee questions about passwords and which area of training someone should focus on next. He sets his priorities for resource creation/improvement based on the larger priorities of the organization. Rodney is therefore involved in many practice-level strategic meetings and participates in defining company metrics of growth and success. Of course, the core of his position is building, refining, delivering, and testing training materials. To keep up with the growing demand for Canidium’s services, “a lot of work lately centers on the care and feeding of new hires” for Rodney. He helps new employees orient themselves within the company and the industry, and gives them the tools for becoming successful consultants.
What kinds of skills do you use in your job?
There's a variety of skills necessary for his position, but Rodney employs a lot of strategic thinking and project management. Also crucial to his position are organization, multi-tasking, public speaking, and meeting management. Rodney is tasked with giving many webinars and presentations on training topics, and with finding new ways to better develop Canidium employee’s professional abilities. Finally, “instructional design” is a core competency of his role, in terms of deciding how to best create training materials and most effectively convey information.
What strategies do you use to best promote learning in employees?
Rodney says that the great thing about his job is its function is always in demand. Canidium employees want training and are constantly looking for new skills to pick up, so he has no shortage of willing participants. He works to leverage resources like our company newsletter, Google+ communities, and monthly consulting challenges in order to find opportunities to build training: “It’s very grassroots, and involves lots of conversations and chats with people.” He also tends to organically have high-touch conversations while checking in with employees to help him gauge areas where more training is necessary.
What is your favorite thing about Canidium?
Rodney loves the company culture, which he describes as “collaborative and people-oriented.” getting to constantly work and problem-solve with “very smart people.” In his view, Canidium is made up of “a lot of smart people who work together well,” and he appreciates being a part of such a people-focused, synergistic environment.
Describe the company’s evolution during your time here.
When Rodney first joined, Canidium had very little internal training available. Employees would often get thrown into SPM projects with little to no orientation process and would have to learn and adapt as they went. He began collaborating with co-workers to slowly but steadily build up the learning practice, and now Canidium’s resource library rivals those of far larger companies. We have also more than doubled in size during Rodney’s 5 years. Since 2014, he has been involved with many internal initiatives, such as implementing a new scheduling/time monitoring tool, ramping up the mentoring program, and helping develop Canidium to have better-defined practices and practice activities. Today, Canidium is a recognized industry leader with several growing practices and areas of unparalleled specialization. One thing has remained consistent, though: Rodney has “loved every minute” of his time at Canidium.
Canidium values each other’s diverse interests and experiences. We asked Rodney some fun questions to learn more about him outside of work.
What are your favorite things to do in Houston?
For Rodney, it’s hard to narrow down the list since there is no shortage of delightful activities in the Houston area. However, some of his favorites include lots of dancing (salsa, two step, bachata, waltz, polka, merengue), attending open mic nights, visiting museums, hiking nearby trails, and road tripping to the beach: “We’re only an hour away from Galveston Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.”
What is your favorite type of music?
Rodney loves “lots of different kinds of music,” but he has a special fondness for anything Americana. His favorite singer-songwriter is Townes Van Zandt.
If you want to learn more about a career with Canidium, click here to see our open positions or to apply.