Here, Rachel Sedgwick, Learning and Development Manager, shares what JDX does to make both ‘inclusive thinking’ and ‘continual learning’ a part of the five values which JDX uses to benchmark, not just staff behaviour, but the behaviours within the organisation.
We have all seen them. Those multi-coloured company values posters spread over office walls laden with corporate-speak perfect for buzzword bingo. They have been dutifully hung up in an effort to perpetuate a good set of corporate goals and ambitions only to be met with a wave of rolling eyes.
The internal communication campaigns that these kinds of posters typify are often written off as propaganda dreamed up in an ivory tower. This approach simply won’t cut it anymore. Not with a workforce who is now expecting – no, demanding – a certain level of authenticity and personal connection in their chosen careers and lives.
So, what is the best way to instil a set of strong corporate values today and promote inclusivity? To quote a group of people who were unwavering in their mission to succeed, the suffragettes – “deeds not words”. Companies must breathe life into these kinds of campaigns to really make their employees feel valued, included and part of something bigger.
While thankfully many organisations have some sort of training programme which is often linked to corporate culture and inclusivity, much of the focus still seems to be targeted at upskilling employees to be better at their specific job. If this type of training is done in isolation, today’s workforce is likely to look at this as a self-serving act from the employer.
Development of soft skills also goes a long way and is an area that is fast becoming something people need and want from a job. Luckily, this is a belief held by those at the top too. According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report, 89% of executives report that it’s difficult to find people with soft skills, making them the number one skills gap in today’s workforce. With AI increasingly making itself known this is a fact not to be ignored. The demand for manual skills is on the decline while the demand for creativity, leadership skills and critical thinking is on the up.
JDX believes that learning and development are fundamental in creating a happy, engaged culture with people who deliver quality work – and that means investing in their most valuable asset with full gusto. And in a time when a lot of firms are pulling back to what they consider as ‘nice to haves’, JDX is doubling down on its learning and development plans to promote inclusivity.
From its commitment to an extensive tiered academy structure, where each level has a blend of technical and soft skills development, to the personalised glasses featuring success stories of ‘JDXers’ learning and development is truly at the core of the company culture. In fact, the company’s commitment to this cause has ramped up, even more, this year, with the launch of its first-ever Learning Festival.
Broken into four days, ’JDXers‘ get to design their own agenda, picking one session from the technical skills stream such as ‘Introduction to Code- Learn to Talk to Your Computer’ or ‘Neural Networks- Take a Look into the Machine’s Mind’, and one from the soft skills stream such as ‘defining happiness’ or ‘the confident networker’.
In addition, JDX is encouraging its staff to push themselves out of their comfort zones by selecting a third option from the creative stream at the festival, including acting classes, learning martial arts with Hollywood stuntmen or playing in a rock band.
We believe that by engaging the various parts of the brains to stretch, develop and grow JDXers will be assimilating transferable skills and increasing their potential to grow and develop in other areas, aiding them in their day-to-day roles. Ultimately, the more energy and vibrancy brought to the workplace with tangible programmes that everyone can be a part of, the better the culture and inclusivity of the organisation. And as we’ve all heard – culture really does eat strategy for breakfast.
Rachel Sedgwick, Learning and Development Manager, JDX Consulting
Rachel has nearly 10 years of learning and development experience in a variety of sectors and is currently responsible for managing the day-to-day running of the L&D function at JDX Consulting, including team and budget management, and the production and implementation of innovative learning content across the organisation.