Highly Commended - getAbstract Impact Award for Inspiring a Lifelong Learning Culture
Horizon’s first Learning at Work Week supported three business objectives – it's opening of its new site, the introduction of a wellbeing strategy, and to initiate the Horizon Academy. The learning and development team built activities linked to each objective using its Learning at Work Week theme - ‘create our future’ - and created an inspiring week for its colleagues.
The team worked in partnership with individuals from different teams, departments, and levels across the business, who shared their skills and delivered learning. As an operational business centre without a traditional learning environment, it was important to promote the use of different formats with various delivery styles, and the idea that learning is something that colleagues and peers can deliver themselves, and that they can learn from each other. Learning at Work Week was an opportunity to put this into practice.
Thirteen activities were scheduled for the week and were made available at Horizon’s two sites. They included:
• Afternoon tea with the trustees to ‘think future’ where colleagues could find out about changes and growth plans.
• ‘Future fit’ wellbeing sessions to support physical and mental health including information on company benefits and freestyle cardio and body conditioning
• ‘Future skills’ tasters of Horizon Academy modules to develop colleague and team skills
To ensure colleagues could attend there were scheduled for different days and times. Colleagues were offered overtime payments to attend sessions that were outside of their working shifts, and the number of staff available on each shift was increased each day to enable more people to step away from their day job and join in. For colleagues who decided not to attend a scheduled session, there were opportunities to look at career profiles across the business that they might aspire to and visit the employee feedback forum stand ‘My Bright Ideas’ and make suggestions for the future.
By providing a diverse range of activities and addressing any barriers to participation, Horizon highlighted to colleagues that there regardless of their position and role in the business or path they wished to take, they are valued and learning is accessible and will continue to be so through their time in the company.
The classes were promoted by posters, the company’s internal communication programme and on Linkedin in the lead up to the event with more specific information about what to expect and how to book made available closer to the week. The messaging was clear about the importance of lifelong learning. The team highlighted that there would be something for everyone and that all colleagues would be supported to attend as many sessions as they liked by their departmental managers, who led by example and attended too. By sharing photos from each session, the team continued to drive up attendance and encourage participation.
Forty percent of permanent colleagues participated. Their feedback and testimonials from the week were highly positive on relevance, delivery and engagement. Colleagues benefited from being able to take time out of their working day to learn something new in a fun and engaging way and meet different people from around the business. The business has benefited from colleagues developing skills and understanding and becoming more aware of the company’s objectives.
The team continues to highlight the importance of learning and continuing to learn by offering and supporting different opportunities throughout the business. Moving forward, the team plan to build on the success of their first Learning at Work Week using it as benchmark and grow the number of employees involved in the planning and promotion for 2024, to ensure all teams and employees can participate.