In order to keep our colleagues’ skills in sync with the rapidly changing market, continuous learning is very important. In this way, we ensure a tremendous mutual commitment and create the optimal starting point to remain experts. Therefore, we organize semester meetings for our entire staff in which we combine the useful, the educational and the enjoyable. So too last month. Continuous learning together at our first semester meeting was a great success.
The Expertise Economy (Palmer, 2018)
We know, that from the perspective of the organization, these are the 5 vital skills of employees in a successful business:
- Learning elasticity (being able to learn new things quickly);
- Collaboration & teamwork;
- The ability to question the world around you.
We also know the perspective of today’s workers. What they want is:
- Ability to influence their work;
- Flexibility of where and when to do their work;
- To see their work connect to a greater purpose;
- Have the opportunity to learn and grow in their careers.
More information on this can be found in the book The Expertise Economy (*)
Experts of the future
Informed Group is a successful company with employees who are each experts in their fields. We like to show this to our customers. Only this is not a given. To do this, you need to build a bridge between these two worlds: the people and the organization.
Our mantra “Connecting People to the Enterprise” is what we usually use when we talk about the content of our work. Realizing information management solutions. However, we also apply it to ourselves to create and maintain those 5 vital skills. In doing so, we also try to fulfill the wishes of the modern employee as best as possible. Part of this, therefore, is continuous learning.
Continuous learning at semester meeting
Jeroen Jansen, CEO of Informed Group says, to emphasize continued learning, “You can’t go home until you’ve learned something.” Our consultants sometimes translate that to: “I learned something so I can go home now.” Of course with a fat wink.
As part of continuous learning, we have been organizing gatherings for as long as we have existed – 15 years this year – where we take the entire staff out for a day in the woods. Figuratively, because sometimes it is a zoo and recently it was in the countryside of Brabant.
Successful Semester Meeting
This year our first semester meeting took place at the Heische Hoeve in Loosbroek. This unique venue is a cozy former pig farm where Dennis Hurkmans holds sway. If you want to see him overflowing with passion about how it all came about, join his tour of the whiskey distillery. Highly recommended, however. Even if you don’t want to taste whiskey.
In addition to the tour, we competed with each other in small teams in a real GPS walking tour(mens sana in corpore sano). The weather was beautiful in a beautiful setting. Old ties were tightened and new ones forged. After all, there were five employees for whom this was the first time. This was followed by group workshops which this time were mainly about “going back to the office” and everything that comes with it.
Before we sat down for dinner, a real circle talk revealed that this day had done everyone good. The newcomers described the warm bath in which we received them as extremely pleasant and very special. And that’s what we do it for! The workshops provided great engagement for everyone. This also provided valuable information for the growth of our wonderful company.
Useful, informative and enjoyable
Those of you who know us a little, know that we cherish our culture and therefore were in the habit of doing this every quarter. Never change a winning team is, of course, a truism. However, governing is foresight and so from now on we will have such a meeting twice a year. Still with everyone. Still the morning substantive, the afternoon connective, social and relaxed. Once again, the day ended in a delicious communal meal. Hence, our Quarterly Meeting has now become a Semester Meeting.
So where is the improvement? The intervening quarters are emphatically focused only on connecting in a relaxed atmosphere. With the goal of a high social character and the natural process of working together and learning from each other. This provides every opportunity to share stories from the workplace. Recognition among the experienced. And absorb knowledge by the ‘youngsters’.
Are you that expert of the future?
Invest in our culture and build solid foundations for a hybrid work environment. Because whether they are realizing a RAD OutSystems project or a heavyweight OpenText Documentum case system at the customer’s site, the spirit of Informed is the desire to keep learning. In other words, to grow ourselves and to be able to give the customer the best of the best in the process.
You probably know them. Those company vans with the ad “we are looking for colleagues” on them. We are not looking for colleagues. We are looking for the next generation of experts. Smart individuals who advertise for us through their work. Who may not be experts today, but will become so. By continuous learning. With us. Under the wing of our experts. In a safe environment and stimulating culture. Who are curious and persistent.
The meeting in Loosbroek emphasized that the wonderful people I have the privilege of working with are more than just colleagues. Continuous learning together at semester meeting. And with that, our first semester meeting in 2022 was a great success. Are you that expert of the future? I would love to get to know you.
Source: Palmer. (2018). The Expertise Economy. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.