This year’s Learning at Work Week (17th-23rd May) theme is ‘Made for learning’ which focuses on our capacity to learn and how we can be great lifelong learners, which includes learning from one another. Internally within Hastings, we’re celebrating the week by highlighting some of the areas of development available company-wide on our digital learning tool, plus sharing stories of how development has been embraced by teams within the business.

Two of our colleagues, Quality Manager Kyle and Commercial Manager Michael, explain some of the actions taken in their teams to place learning and development at the top of the agenda. 

Kyle Richardson.jpgKyle:   
“Development creates a real sense of colleague engagement in the role colleagues perform, and they can also see a clear sense of direction within the function and wider business. Career pathway and progression is something which we’re working on and are soon to launch within Customer Assurance. It’s also something the team wants to see more of, so we’re in the process of creating a roadmap for training and development for the second half of 2021.

“Quality Assessors have the chance to ‘step up’ as a leader when their leader is on leave. We have a number of Colleagues about to start an apprenticeship and we support our teams in leading huddles and team meetings and building their network across Customer Operations and beyond. Over the past 12 months we have seen a number of Quality Assessors move to new roles within Customer Assurance, aligned to their career aspirations and development.

“We have a saying within the function which is ‘own your own development’, putting the onus on the individual but reassures them that the development they need (both time and materials) will be supported and assisted by leaders.”

Michael Hinton.jpgMichael:
“Although some good conversations were happening, we wanted to make this consistent. So we set up some structure around having a development conversation with their leader at least every other month, and also one with their leader’s leader every six months, giving the chance for the necessary feedback to be discussed. We also hold annual talent reviews, which along with individual performance reviews, provides colleagues with some great self-awareness on how they are doing. Plus our new capability tool allows each colleague to see what level they need to be at for their role (and potentially other roles) across a range of skills and strengths relevant for the role.

“We provided Colleagues with two templated examples of a development plan which they could choose to use. This was their own plan pulled together from all the feedback they’d received, the self-awareness they had gained, the understanding of their strengths, their aspirations, and the progress and development they’d need to make to achieve their goals. We also spent time supporting our leaders on how to have development conversations and work with their teams using a development plan.

“We’ve also allocate two hours in the diary each month where we agree not to carry out our usual tasks and we avoid booking meetings or sending emails. Instead, this time is for each colleague to focus on learning that aligns to their personal development plan. We host learning sessions on MS Teams, where a range of internal and external guests provide training on a particular subject matter, such as leadership, interviews, ways of communicating or technical knowledge, all aimed at broadening a colleague’s knowledge and to support their development. We are also in the process of improving the technical learning solutions available and developing a new induction for new starters, who now often join fully remotely.” 

Find out more about Learning at Work Week.