Career growth and learning at Speednet
Earlier this year, Linkedin diversified company profiles to include the option to add a “commitments” section, along with a brief prompt “showcase what your organisation cares about – top talents are looking for employers who share their values.” Five categories were suggested for completion: career growth and learning, diversity, equity, and inclusion, work-life balance, social impact and environmental sustainability.
First impression – great, we have something to boast about in all the proposed categories – we’re filling in! Second impression – whoops! We need to hook up some materials – a small blocker here! Of course, we have a few blog posts about company culture, company values listed on the careers page, and videos about the IT industry in which employees speak out about what values are fostered here and why it’s good to work here. However, we concluded that we should approach these topics in more detail.
… and so, the idea for a short series of articles in the area of company culture inspired by Linkedin was born 😉
For starters, let’s talk about…
Career growth and learning at Speednet
We have almost doubled in size in the last three years, now employing more than 220 people. It is a big challenge and responsibility. We are constantly growing and looking for new opportunities – both in business development and the organisation’s growth. Taking care of our employees’ professional development has always been one of our top priorities. However, logistical and organisational issues have only sometimes been our strength – in some areas, we constantly organise and improve processes.
In the last two years, we have taken career growth issues firmly under the microscope and managed to improve “this and that” 😉
The training budget
Last year we introduced a structured training budget. Now it is in full swing, and what is encouraging for us – it is pretty popular! Each of our employees is entitled to an annual development budget proportional to the length of employment. The most popular budget choices are online courses and training, individual language classes and purchasing supplementary materials like books or e-books. Offline conference tickets or subscription purchases are also gaining popularity. In an era of hybrid work, we are keen to ensure that each of our employees can make time for development at their convenience. We do not dictate what the budget is to be spent on, but in moments of uncertainty – on what and whether it is worth spending the budget – we always offer advice and try to suggest suitable options.
One of the more engaging initiatives we also introduced last year is Tech Talks, knowledge-sharing meetings. These are organised by the willing for the willing. The purpose of the meetings is to share knowledge and experience. On average, we manage about 15 such technical meetings once a quarter. The meetings are held in a hybrid format, with some people showing up on-site in a conference room and some joining online. We collect the materials from the panels on a dedicated platform so that the “younger generations” can benefit. We do not have strict guidelines for the scope of the meetings. Anyone can propose a topic of interest at any level. We discuss new libraries, consider case studies of design problems, present and consult new solutions… or watch the Apple Conference together.
German and English courses
Less of a novelty and more of a “market standard”, we have been learning German and English in group classes for several years. Our lecturers are in our office almost daily, conducting offline and online classes. Why is it worth joining the course? Aside from the holy grails of grammar and vocabulary, this is an excellent opportunity to gossip a bit and get to know more people we only sometimes work with daily.
Learning languages can open new opportunities and broaden one’s perspective. Business communication is critical in any company, especially multinational ones, where relationships are built between companies, shareholders, and individuals involved in the business operation. At Speednet, we work with clients from all over the world, so it’s essential that both parties feel comfortable enough that the corporate speech doesn’t build any barriers.
Although our company has grown significantly in recent years, which has entailed several organisational changes, we invariably strive to keep our organisational structure as flat as possible. Why? The flat organisational structure fosters a positive culture with open communication, support from superiors and colleagues, and a positive attitude toward learning and developing one’s skills. What are we doing to support a culture of open feedback? At least once a quarter, we conduct an anonymous job satisfaction survey in which everyone can openly share their observations, suggest improvements to the company, or point out areas that need improvement. In addition, at least once a year, we conduct periodic interviews with each employee, discussing professional development, goals, challenges, and project difficulties. Listening to those who make up your company is an unreplicable and unique value for managers and the entire organisation.