When we started this organization we knew we were working with young people, a lot of them in the early stages of their careers. To us, building good products and completing the projects on time was important but ensuring our people were learning and growing was also important.
One of our core values is Grow and we didn't want to lose sight of it. We didn't want the continuous work cycle to overshadow the learning opportunities. To make sure everyone was learning while working we needed to better equip the leaders.
Every organization tries to build on these. Below are some of the things that have worked for us and what we have learned over the last 1 year.
Learning is never a one-way conversation. Both the leader and the learner have equal responsibility when it comes to learning. Learning is different for everyone so the leaders need to understand the learner. When leaders are able to provide the learners with the necessary tools the entire process becomes much easier. This learning conversation only works with the leader providing tools and information and the learner asking questions and providing feedback.
We took this initiative by scheduling weekly learning sessions. Even dedicating an hour to learning has shown us some good results in the work environment. During these sessions, the entire team gets together and we focus on a new skill or interest. If there's something lacking we bring it to light and try to do better. We want to show the people that we don't just preach growth. That's where these organization-sponsored learning sessions come into play.
The learning sessions bring everyone together so that they can work on some skills. But this creates blind spots. Certain members might feel these sessions to be lacking. If there are blind spots, the quarterly learning sessions take care of them. Everyone creates their personalized learning path and focuses on it for the next three months. We maintain one-on-one check-ins to make sure everything is alright. This aligns the organization's vision with its people to make sure it benefits everyone.
While all the above points are great, this one is the enabler for all. Creating company-sponsored learning time for people is at the center of making all strategies possible. You can create n number of learning paths, tools, and courses, but if your people can't find the time actually learn and use those tools, nothing will make sense. What has worked for us is allowing people to mark some of their time every week for learning. This allows them to focus on learning, irrespective of the project deadlines and other impediments.
The growth and development of our people boost the growth of our organization. If they're not learning at the job we aren't adding any value to their process. So we make sure to create the right environment and provide them with the tools and opportunities for them to learn.