How to build an Award Winning Learning & Development Function

27 April 2017 | Lisa Stubbs | About a 2 minute read
Tags: Academy, Agile, ANDacademy, ANDbootcamp, award, award winning, bootcamp, coaching, community, Development, Innovation, Learning, Talent, Talent Team, team, teamwork, tech, Upskilling, workshops

We were thrilled to have won the Sunday Best Times special award for Learning and Development for our Learning and Development Academy. On reflection, here are some of the things we’ve done to get there:


Having a variety of ways for people to connect to learning

We’ve created many ways for people to connect with learning – after all, everyone is different. These are our main channels:

  1. Bootcamps – to help new or existing teams to learn together with short or longer bursts of upskilling.
  2. Communities – putting some structure in place but allowing a community to talk about what they’re passionate or interested in.
  3. Workshops – face to face learning, built and run by our own people.
  4. Online – licenses such as Pluralsight and Treehouse are great for our Developers and Analysts.
  5. Innovation time – our Clubs have set up innovation time for their Squads so that everyone has time to spend on their own project to learn something new .
  6. Conversation – an Academy Slack channel where we keep the conversation around learning going – everyone across the company contributes.


Building a great team who care about and understand what our people do

Our Academy team meet with our people to learn about the projects they are working on, and work with our Clubs and squads to understand the upskilling they need. We also ensure we are upskilled in the areas our people work in – we’ve all been Product Owners, been through Scrum Master training and others such as Coding 101. Speaking confidently about what our people do is a must for the Academy team!


Awarding learning credits

We think it’s really important to practice what we preach when working with our clients. That’s why we offer them the ability to earn learning credits which they can spend on all of the brilliant upskilling we have available! It’s a really great model that shows just how much we value upskilling.


Connecting with our Coaches

Our Coaches are integral to the success of the Academy. Not only do they develop and run many of our workshops, they also reinforce the learning afterwards by coaching our teams. This means the learning is retained, people do not revert back to old behaviours and the learning continues.


Rebranding learning

We’ve been really deliberate in what we call our upskilling. Instead of ‘training course’ we use ‘workshops’; instead of ‘training’ we use ‘upskilling’. This might sound simple but using this sort of language gets your brain away from thinking ’traditional classroom training’. Make your workshops fun, interactive and engaging – in name and nature!

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