Food for thought this Learning at Work Week

Date : 05 October 2020

Fiona Miller

Director of People Programmes

Here at IGD we’re gearing up for Learning at Work Week – an annual event to build learning cultures at work. This years’ theme is Learning Journeys, which is perfect as we’re dedicated to offering everyone that works in FMCG access to high-quality learning throughout their career journey.

We run several different industry networking groups, and through discussions at these, we know that Learning at Work Week provides a great focal point for learning and development professionals to spread the learning message throughout their organisation. Learning that is delivered online and on-demand has really taken off this year as people, who may now be working at home more, fit learning in when it suits them and sometimes from the comfort of their sofa!

In turn, many companies run their own ‘learning festivals’ dedicated to learning during the year. The main components include highlighting existing internal learning available, booking in external speakers or internal leaders share best practice and signpost external content.

AG Barr is a great example of this, running a week of activity linked into Mental Health Week that offered colleagues a series of webinars on mental health including topics like self-compassion, resilience, and body image. Each webinar encouraged attendees to set goals based on the content and were so successful that the sessions continued to run throughout lockdown.

AG Barr also encouraged colleagues to engage in a series of activities like leaving positive feedback on message boards or watching a curated video and anyone who completed all the activities was entered into a prize draw at the end of the week.

Over at Sainsbury’s, the retailer runs Learning and Career weeks called “Be Your Best”. Running several times ‘Be Your Best’ is designed to give colleagues across the business the opportunity to find out more about careers at Sainsbury’s.

During these weeks, the retailer brings different careers to life using interventions such as webinars, leaflets, face-to-face sessions and 121s. All the different learning opportunities are highlighted so that colleagues continue to develop themselves. These two elements help colleagues build a personal development plan supporting them to build their career. This enables Sainsbury’s to grow talent internally and supports its goal to be the place where people love to work and shop.

Asda’s learning ethos is all about supporting colleagues with the freedom to learn at a time that suits them. To help, the retailer runs development days, weeks and sometimes even fortnights that provide a focused moment in time for colleagues to take a minute to stop, come together and be curious about learning something new. The events provide a blend of facilitated sessions, digital learning and guest speakers from across the industry that colleagues can book onto. Events such as these are not solely about day-to-day work but also wellbeing, social issues and provide inspiration.

By running bespoke sessions for different functions across the business, Asda has adopted a learner-centric approach so that any time spent on learning is highly relevant to the team and individual success but also remains connected to work.

Asda has discovered that learning events help create learning rituals and routines but they have to take place alongside a colleagues’ day-to-day work – then they have the biggest impact. Asda designs the events to provide colleagues with an opportunity to learn something new while also signposting opportunities for self-discovery and ownership of their personal learning journey.

Have you thought about your activity yet? There are some fantastic FREE resources on our on-demand learning hub, which could fit in easily with your plans – take a look around to discover what’s on offer.

To help get you started, here are some great pieces of learning content you can signpost to your people: