The opportunity to develop in one’s profession is not only an attractive benefit but a necessity. Companies that encourage and enable their employees to grow in their work have everything to gain in today’s job market, both in terms of fulfilled colleagues and better delivery to customers.
My name is Vernisa and I work at Softhouse as Talent and Performance Manager. I have two clear professional passions: people and ways of working. And my Softhouse journey has allowed me to work on both. I have worked as a chief operating officer, product owner, and scrum master. If there is one practice that cuts across both these passions it is growing through shared engagements. Today I work strategically with our candidate and employee journey. I have the great privilege of influencing the mindset and structures around, among other things, joint learning. It brings me joy to use learning as a platform to further build on our solid foundations. I would like to share with you how we at Softhouse work on our learning culture.
When we look in the rearview mirror on our journey at Softhouse, we are proud to have taken many steps in the right direction to create good conditions for learning. Smart matching between people and projects has allowed us to always look ahead rather than stay stuck in the present moment. Today we are a company where joint learning is something that our colleagues are most proud of. Here are some of the Softhouse fundamentals that have served us well in our journey to become and remain a company that shares and grows together:
Make learning an important piece of the puzzle in the corporate culture
Softhouse has now been around for over 25 years. From the beginning, there has been an awareness of the importance of learning, and 20 years ago we put this into words. Our statement motto, we share and grow together, characterizes our entire way of working both to our customers and just as much internally. Sharing our expertise is an important part of our consultancy, as much as it is to always give a helping hand to a colleague at all times.
Learning = Competitiveness
In order to help a customer be at the forefront of their business, it is important to be able to offer services that are at the forefront. Sharp consultants who can both translate a business challenge into a technical solution and know their craft are what drive the business forward. The fact that learning provides competitiveness is perhaps a cliché, simply because it is true and should be repeated over and over again.
Employees who thrive best in a learning environment have a so-called growth mindset. They are lifelong students who realize the importance of constantly developing personally and professionally and want to find the right place to do it. They would learn everywhere but the supporting environment increases the magnitude of that knowledge. In our recruitment, we are careful to evaluate whether the candidate matches this mindset. We are brave to opt-out unless the person does not prioritize their learning and is not a team player who shares their experience with others. We simply want to grow together with the right colleagues.
Make it a systems thing
Shared learning is an ecosystem where each person plays their part and pulls their straw to the pile for common benefit. Such a system needs an environment where we can ask for help and be sure that somebody will be there for us. These are some of the building blocks of ours:
I am responsible for my learning
Many opportunities to learn to open up when you work at Softhouse – whether it be in your assignment or in one of our joint competence development forums. We build awareness from the beginning that I myself have the ultimate responsibility to take advantage of the opportunities.
My closest leader is my coach
Each colleague has an active dialogue with their leader about what they want to achieve during the year. We work with a development plan that each person develops together with their leader at the beginning of the year and which is followed up during the year.
I have a network of 300+ colleagues to grow with
A helping hand is just a slack message away! Our Softhouse network of colleagues who are there for each other in small and large issues is something we are very proud of. This is also the most important reason why colleagues state why they feel fulfilled and satisfied at Softhouse.
The most sustainable competence development is built into all layers of the company. In the best of worlds, it flows through the entire ecosystem, through people and ways of working, and comes together in what we call our culture. Share and Grow with Softhouse is a promise we give to each other at Softhouse. The company to the employee, the employee to the company, and between colleagues. It is a healthy codependency that we are really proud of and that makes us Softhousers.