Practice what you preach
Donna McWilliams, Electra Learning

Donna McWilliams, Electra Learning

AS A change management and learning specialist, it is increasingly important for us to ensure we practice what we preach and embed a culture of continuous learning and improvement within Electra. We’re often so busy training others that we forget to stop and reflect on our own learning and development.

To address this issue, a critical initial development for us was to stop using our old appraisal system which we’d implemented across both our UK and Canada offices. Following this we introduced a custom-built competency and personal development framework called PACE (Personal Achievement Continuously developed at Electra).

The PACE model provides tools to enable:

  • Our people to develop technical skills and behavioural competencies in relation to their role to ensure our knowledge is continually progressing with ever-evolving changes in technology
  • The ‘Electra Way’ to support and assist our team to live and breathe our values, and ensure this is reflected when working with clients
  • Our people to have the right skills and resources at the right time to fulfil any project requirements

We used our core values of teamwork, passion and quality, combined with our business objectives, to develop the behavioural competencies of PACE.

During the process, discussions take place between an individual and their line manager in order to progress personal development plans and identify any competency gaps. Following this, steps towards career development are introduced and clear goals are established.

It’s been six months since PACE was introduced and, in the spirit of continuous learning, we have already identified development areas within the framework which we are now implementing. We have also received great feedback from our team about how it is supporting them, some comments include:

“I think the program is great as it lets us discuss performance and areas of improvement. This is a completely new approach for us, and I felt it worked great. I found it worked really well for me,”

“The framework works well. It lets me see if I'm on track with my goals and how I've developed over time.”

“It gives me the time and opportunity to reflect on what I am learning.”

“It motivates me to develop my skills and identify areas to improve, and it gives me an achievable goal.”

One objective of the new framework is to encourage everyone at Electra to reflect on their own abilities and competencies, with a view to the company introducing steps to ensure we are always supporting our team, to assist in their own progress, and our clients, by using a system of constant improvement to ensure we achieve their goals.

The value of continuous learning comes from the opportunity to advance your skills and share it with others. From new starts and onboarding through to talent development and succession planning, the PACE framework supports us in our endeavour to continuously improve upon our abilities. Through evolving our knowledge, and supporting others in their development, we can empower individuals to work confidently and achieve more.