How do we do training & development at Lightswitch?

Its one things hiring good people, but how do you make them great?

Posted in: Human Development
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At Lightswitch we believe that self-development is vitally important to success in anyone’s career. For that reason, we encourage our team members to grow and develop themselves all the time. We don’t prescribe the areas where our team should improve or the skills that they should learn, because that’s totally up to them. We call for buy-in from our team members because it allows us to see where their interests lie and what they are passionate about. If it comes from them it’s automatically more genuine.

This allows us see where their interests lie and what they’re most passionate about. After all, nurturing passions is so vitally important.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” - Benjamin Franklin

Every 3 months we ask each employee to choose an online course that they’re interested in completing.  We provide them with a list of courses in different areas (relevant to our industry),  but they are also free to find their own course and provide us with the details.

Most of the courses are 5-6 weeks long – so in a 3 month period each team member should complete 2 courses (depending on their current workload).

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” - Mark Twain

In our weekly team meetings (held on Friday mornings) we ask 2 team members to share what they have learned that week on their respective courses.  Everyone is afforded the chance to share at least once a month.

We encourage this sharing policy because speaking about a vast amount of learning material really helps that information to be assimilated more easily and in a more enriching way. It’s certainly an improvement on simply reading it alone. The knock-on benefit here is that the rest of the team to hear about a topic that they otherwise might not have in their spare time. We’ve changed the old school saying that ‘knowledge is power’ into ‘knowledge sharing is power’.

“Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller

We are also BIG fans of TED Talks and we encourage our team members to watch them, learn from them and share them with each other.  If we can see that someone is struggling in an area (self-confidence, for example) we’ll suggest a TED Talk for them (our favourite one on this topic is Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses):

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” - Jim Rohn

There will be many times when there is a skills-gap, and we need an individual team member to become equipped in a specific area.  In these cases, we meet altogether and ask the team who they each think would be the best person to learn/develop in this area – or if there is anyone who would like to volunteer.  This way we again get buy in from that team member – and they get support from the rest of the team.  

We always try and identify skills gaps where individual team members can become more equipped. We do this together by discussing which member of the team would benefit most skills development in a certain area. If someone volunteers, that’s also cool. We then match that willingness to learn and improve with the support on offer from everyone else. That is training & development (T&D) in its most practical and beneficial form.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” - Simon Sinek

About the author

Rachel Kleinsmith
Rachel Kleinsmith

Rachel runs human development at Lightswitch

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