Learning and development strategies of the world’s leading companies

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 10:00
AIM Blog - Learning and development strategies of the world’s leading companies

Effective learning and development programs empower people to gain new skills and cultivate new knowledge. It’s become well understood by “employers of choice” that employees are more likely to be engaged at work when their organisation proactively offers learning and development opportunities. There are various methods for making learning and development programs successful so what can we learn from some of the world’s most innovative and successful organisations? Let’s examine organisations such as Apple, Google and Facebook to understand their approach to learning and development.

1. Apple encourages staff to own their learning and development

As one of the most successful companies in history, Apple’s competitive advantage lies in being able to frequently produce new products in completely different industries such as computers, media and mobile phones. Therefore, its employee skillset and expertise requirements change faster than any other organisation. Apple’s strategy for learning and development requires them to place a greater focus on encouraging their employees to be self-reliant.

Apple encourage their employees to take ownership of their own professional development so they can continuously learn the skills that will be required for taking on new projects.

2. Google give employees room to grow

Another company with innovative learning and development at their core is Google. Widely renowned for having one of the most cutting-edge internal cultures, Google famously encourages their employees to spend 20% of their work day on personal projects. This initiative has yielded many of their most successful products such as Gmail and AdSense.

Whether working on a project individually or in a group, Google projects are designed to encourage employees to experiment with the new skills and knowledge they’ve learnt from formal training. Their belief is that people learn more through on-the-job learning than they do through formal training, a belief we also share at AIM.

3. Facebook dives deep with Bootcamps

As a business that experience rapid growth, Facebook created a program called ‘Facebook Bootcamp’, designed to get new team members up to speed as quickly as possible. Facebook Bootcamp is an example of an innovative on-boarding program for new staff (Facebook engineers and project managers) in which they spend their first few weeks immersed in the company’s code and strategies. Employees start working on projects that end up live on the site within a week of their start date so they’re able to build confidence while they learn.

The bootcamp program encourages new employees to maintain high standards, while also identifying potential leaders with a knack for teaching others. It matches new employees with the right mentors who encourage engineers to learn by fixing real problems within the business. Because engineers aren’t hired for specific teams at Facebook, engineers connect with teams by routinely exposing themselves to different departments of the organisation so they can find a project they have an interest in working on.

At AIM, we know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to learning and development programs which is why we partner with organisations to determine which strategy will work best for their people and their organisational objectives. Like Facebook, Google and Apple have demonstrated with their approach to L&D, it’s important to empower individuals to take ownership of their learning, especially in the workplace. At AIM, we design our training programs with a focus around on-the-job learning and mentoring,. We know that learning doesn’t stop when employees leave the training room which is why we’ve developed an industry-leading approach that encourages continuous learning back in the workplace. To find out how we can help you to create an innovative learning and development program of your own, get in touch with us today.