Zip Co’s chief people & culture officer on the future of learning and development

Zip Co's chief people & culture officer believes there's fresh appetite for L&D

Zip Co’s chief people & culture officer on the future of learning and development

In the ongoing war for talent, organisations are taking on a more holistic approach to the employee experience. Remuneration is just one factor, rather than the sole focus it used to be. Culture, connection and career growth – these are the areas increasing in value, particularly after the events of the last 18 months. To understand more about the holistic, people experience, HRD spoke to Anna Buber-Farovich, chief people & culture officer at leading fintech Zip Co. Tackling the topic of how businesses are reshaping learning strategies for the new world of work, Buber-Farovich said developing a world-class people experience is a game-changer for organisations vying to attract and retain the best talent.

“The challenge for people experience is the changing dynamics of the way we work and the rise of the ‘hybrid worker’. Increasingly, more people are working flexibly and the opportunity to work remotely is now the expectation. Add to this the current COVID situation and ongoing lockdowns and our people are working remotely more than ever and will likely continue to do so well into the future,” she said.

“As hybrid workers become the new norm, it's important our people experiences cater to the needs of this way of working. In fact, we have found that with our whole team currently working remotely, we are needing to go the extra mile to connect, engage and support their wellbeing, with learning opportunities being one of the key factors.

“Not only is this because Zoom can at times feel very ‘transactional’ and shifts the dynamic of maintaining ‘company culture’, but because people still have a desire to grow and develop, regardless of where they are working.”

Read more: How to take a DIY approach to your professional development

Interestingly, the appetite for learning and development has evolved during the pandemic too. As well as the obvious benefit of increasing skill capability within a business, L&D sessions now have huge cultural value too. It’s an opportunity to bring people together, disrupt the usual routine of their day, and help employees connect through a shared experience.

Buber-Farovich said at Zip, they’ve seen record levels of attendance and engagement for virtual learning opportunities, even for simple topics like goal setting, which they call Commits. They’ve also recently kicked off a 10-week virtual sales training program that has sparked high levels of excitement and engagement within the team.

“As a technology business in a rapidly evolving industry, the ability for us to grow and develop our people, most of whom are hybrid workers, and their careers is a key influencer on attrition,” she said. “People are wanting and expecting to grow and develop and if we do not provide this opportunity, they will quickly be snapped up by a company who does, and we would no doubt see an increase in attrition numbers.”

On the wellbeing side, L&D also offers the sense of achievement that many employees are craving. Particularly for workers who focus on long-term projects or goals, the day-to-day can feel never ending while working in lockdown. But offering L&D, particularly if it’s slightly outside the usual scope of an employee’s role, has huge potential to boost engagement and overall wellbeing. After all, variety is the spice of life.

Read more: VICE Media chief people officer: The role of L&D in belonging

Buber-Farovich said the overwhelming shift to hybrid working has not changed our desire as humans to learn, develop and grow. It simply means organisations have to rethink how they deliver L&D.

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