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Thinking about finding a company where you can really grow? Here’s our take on it.

Siim Sutrop, Learning & Development Architect, April 9, 2021

We know that selecting the right company can be a complicated business. And if you do not select the right job, with the right outlook, you could end up in another dead-end place. So, we wrote this article for anyone thinking about a new job. Any new job. 

In a consultancy and technology company with many different projects focusing on healthcare institutions, governments, and various businesses, the one thing that unites our 1,000 employees worldwide is: Learning. 

Over the years, we have built a unique learning environment based on the philosophy that every individual is responsible for their own growth and development. 

Companies can provide the keys to education and allow their employees to use those keys to unlock the doors to accelerated growth or leave them shut. 

This approach is called: Employee-led learning & development. And we are strong proponents of that. 

Our employee-led learning environment is built on three pillars:

  1. Learning Culture
  2. Learning Infrastructure
  3. Personal Development.

The base for these pillars is our most powerful strategic tool: The Learning Hive. 

I will share the Why, the How, and the What behind our Hives – our buzzing learning communities.

The purpose of Learning Hives

Concerning global management consulting firms, McKinsey’s seminal article on “The essential components of a successful L&D strategy,” the authors wrote:

The most important way to engage employees is to provide them with opportunities to learn and develop new competencies.

And we are glad to say that this could not resonate more with what we have been building. The mission of our Learning Hives is: To create opportunities, so our people can excel at what they do and realize their potential.

How do we make this happen?

Instead of engaging employees by creating learning opportunities centrally, we decided years ago that the way forward is through dedicated volunteers on the ground. We have many enthusiastic people, passionate about their craft, willing to teach it forward, and wanting to give back to the community – so we decided to give them a platform.

We currently have 30+ community leaders called Hive Leads in our 13 offices covering product owners, developers, QA engineers, and project managers. These 30+ people are working 80% of their time as specialists and leaders in their day-to-day projects. Then they dedicate around 20% of their time to making magic happen for their peers.

So, what is it that they are creating?

Here is the snapshot from our Hive Lead guidebook:

The key tasks of a Hive Lead: 

  1. Coordinate and deliver events aimed at (re-)engaging Hive members.
  2. Kickstart programs of learning for Hive members in your office or country.
  3. Co-design and improve learning and development related curricula, processes, and tools.

Bearing these key tasks in mind, our Hive Leads have created and organized pair testing days; certification study groups; book clubs; code katas; hackathons happening simultaneously across multiple countries; world-class speaker events with big names, including Jon SkeetUncle Bob MartinVenkat Subramaniam; and hundreds of seminars and webinars on internal case studies, and experience-sharing sessions. (For example, here’s our full talk with Jon Skeet on working with date/times.)

Our Hive Leads have also improved onboarding for specific roles, created test assignments for the recruitment process, co-designed leveling procedures, and so much more. And this all as volunteers!

Most importantly, they have impacted countless peers by breaking down silos, helping ideas flow freely, and creating communities with a sense of belonging.

To summarize

It is in our DNA to continuously improve. To foster this, we have been deliberately building a learning culture, providing employees with the keys that unlock access to world-class resources, and have created a framework for individualized personal growth. All this standing on the foundation of learning communities.

Why do we do this? 

As McKinsey’s authors put it [1]:

Research suggests that lifelong learning contributes to happiness. When highly engaged employees are challenged and given the skills to grow and develop within their chosen career path, they are more likely to be energized by new opportunities at work and satisfied with their current organization. 

Growth = Progress = Happiness = Meaningful Impact

So, the next time you are evaluating a new company as a potential place to work, ask about their learning culture, and make sure you will be entering an environment calibrated for accelerating your growth.

 

 

If this sparked your interest, then explore how you can join Nortal’s family

Let's get in touch!

Piret Luts

Piret Luts

Head of International Talent Acquisition

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