Education Is the New Currency: We Make Learning Our Life’s Everlasting Habit

By Ionela Barbuta

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young”

Probably not all of you are familiar with Henry Ford’s statement, yet nowadays, this is truer than ever. People have realized that learning is part of who they are and what they can become. Constant learning and development helps them improve, both personally and professionally, allows them to grow and gives them access to a totally different world, full of opportunities. By learning, people can reinvent themselves and keep their brain young and ready to take on new challenges.

Companies alike have reached the conclusion that it is necessary to make training and development the center of their activity. People are actually their greatest assets and those who are given a healthy environment where they can learn and improve themselves can turn out to be a competitive weapon. As the US Association for Talent Development also concludes, “organizations are more competitive, agile and engaged when knowledge is constantly and freely shared.”

Weapons or not, we acknowledge the fact that continuous improvement is part of success, hence, we aim to make learning and development part of our culture. Be it a new technology or a new Fintech trend, we want to be on top of everything and make sure any new experience adds value to our professional confidence and competence. The future is coming and we ought to be prepared for it.

How are we making sure everyone gets access to information and feels that is able to grow and develop together with the company?

Sharing our expertise in different areas, frameworks and technologies is one of the paths towards employees reaching a higher level so they all have similar skills and knowledge. We share knowledge not only during day-to-day activities, but also on Training Days. We periodically give everyone the chance to present a new framework they’ve been working with, a new approach that proved to be more efficient, a new industry trend or any other topic that will allow us to learn from each other and improve ourselves.

Attending industry conferences is another great way to stay up-to-date with all developments and learn new things. And we also put our knowledge into practice. In May 2016, two of our colleagues have joined a 48-hours Fintech Hackathon and the application they’ve developed has won the 1st prize based on the novelty of the idea, versatility of software, cooperation between team members, business model and design aesthetics.

On top of that, recently we’ve decided to use an innovative Agile learning tool that allows teams to develop through continuous learning. How is this software going to help? First of all, people will gain access to large pieces of information structured per categories to make it easier to choose a certain area of interest. In addition, everyone can plan their training, thus, being able to learn at their own pace. Second of all, each employee can see his progress and make notes to increase knowledge retention. Hopefully, this new tool will further foster on-the-job learning and development.

According to The Economist, with all the disruptions in the modern economy, particularly technology, ongoing skill acquisition is critical to persistent professional relevance. Furthermore, an infographic put together by Teamfluent reveals that 35% of millennials believe that good training and development programs are the most desirable quality in a workplace. Additionally, the existence of such programs is considered to be the most influential factor in choosing a job, as stated by 65% of respondents.

In this ever-changing world the only thing that is constant is our ability to learn and develop. That is why we constantly try to find new means to create a work environment that supports ongoing employee growth and success. And we do this by carefully considering each employee’s knowledge, skills, abilities and experience, and looking for on-the-job opportunities that address learning needs and expectations.

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