In the face of a global pandemic and a newly digital, multi-generational workforce, effective corporate learning programs are essential to influencing company growth. Technology and product-oriented organizations, in particular, must recognize that investing in learning and development (L&D) programs is critical for attracting and retaining top talent, increasing productivity, maintaining employee engagement and, ultimately, impacting the bottom line.
Successfully meeting the individual needs of employee learning styles in fast-paced work environments requires that L&D programs be dynamic and adaptable. Whether through live instructor-led sessions, online modules, job shadowing, coaching or hands-on experience, learning at work should contribute to both personal development and career advancement goals.
So what does L&D look like at Amount?
To make sure we provide our employees with ample opportunities to tap into their personal strengths and help them grow, our L&D team meets with employees individually to understand their goals. We also work closely with leaders across the organization to ensure that respective learning interventions are both relevant and impactful, aligning training opportunities to high-priority projects and Amount’s overall strategic business objectives.
Currently, our L&D initiatives are centered around three core learning pillars:
Our standardized and scalable onboarding program allows new hires to efficiently and effectively integrate into Amount’s culture, as well as provide them with the knowledge they need to quickly make substantial contributions to their team and the company. To kick start our onboarding maturity efforts, we’ve gathered a team of leaders who are dedicated to understanding onboarding needs, implementing learning interventions and scaling the program across the organization.
Upon joining Amount, new hires have access to Amount Foundations training, through which they learn about our partners, the Amount platform and our solutions. As we develop a holistic onboarding experience for new employees, we’re also partnering with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in the engineering department to create resources and courses that specifically focus on how an engineer at Amount can be successful in their role. For example, engineers now have the ability to set up their local development environment (i.e., BuildKite, Github, Jenkins, Jira) within their first couple of days by taking an interactive, self-paced online course. Once we pilot the engineering-specific experience, we’ll scale our solutions organization-wide to meet the needs of other teams.
Providing skills-based training that relates to an individual's personal goals and career aspirations is a top priority for our L&D Team. Amount University, our online Learning Management System, is the central hub where all employees have access to Amount-specific training and resources, as well as LinkedIn Learning coursework.
Beginning in January 2022, employees will have unlimited access to over 1,000 LinkedIn Learning courses. To curate these courses, we used both internal feedback and external data. Internally, we gathered employee requests and manager input and, externally, we leveraged sources that highlight the most important technical and professional skills in which employees can invest. The catalog spans across a variety of categories, including software development (i.e., SQL, Python,Github), web development (i.e., Ruby, Typescript, GraphQL), data science, project management, leadership and management, business software and tools (i.e.,Google Suite, Excel, Jira), security, sales, marketing and more. Many of these courses also provide certificates that contribute to over 30 different certification preparation programs and seven continuing education programs.
Moving forward, we intend to implement our skills and behavior-based competency framework that will be used as a guide for career development. Leveraging the skills framework, managers can coach their team members and partner with them to create individualized development plans that focus on maximizing high-skill areas and strengthening less-skilled areas. Development plans capture the ways employees acquire and apply skills, such as on-the-job assignments, individual strengths, team collaboration, working on new projects, participating in cross-functional work, shadowing, and additional skills and behavior training.
Informal learning and relationship building are two factors that highly influence growth and development. Therefore, our L&D Team is focused on building a culture of supportive learning communities. One current example is our Software Development Guild, which is a grassroots community focused on the exploration, discussion, practice and exchange of technical concepts and ideas relating to software development. Their current programs include a technical webinar series, a monthly newsletter and a book club. In the future, they plan to bring in external SMEs for more education, become involved in external communities (i.e., podcasts), and host and participate in hackathons.
In order to further enable informal peer-to-peer learning, our L&D team will support other learning communities, including product-centric lunch & learns, companywide project demo days, learning summits, manager-development discussions and Slack channels.
This is just the beginning of what talent development looks like at Amount. As a new organization, we spent the last two years laying down our L&D foundation to create programs that drive employee performance and engagement. Now, we’re focused on using that foundation to create dynamic and experiential learning approaches, scalable training solutions and supportive learning communities. With a goal to provide developmental opportunities that activate employee strengths, we seek to unleash the power of our people to drive better business outcomes and accelerate the world’s transition to digital financial services.