Learning Café — Our Take on Internal Learning

At enpact, we are proud of the diverse, creative and cozy work environment that we have established and continue to strive to improve. Part of how we measure the impact of our work is through the wellbeing and engagement of the team, partners and participants working on a project.

We value our ability to focus on solutions that are story-driven, collaborative and empower people. When we set out to design our programs, we always start with one goal: Create an engaging experiences that inspire curiosity and spark a desire to know what will happen next. So naturally, when we set out to design our internal processes, we started from the same place.

This is how the Learning Café, our own take on organizational training, was born. In this article, we share a quick overview of this internal initiative: How it started, how it works, and what it aims to achieve.

Learning is fun and easy

A focus on learning and development has been extremely prominent throughout our past years. As our teams and our projects grew, we started trying out different formats to bring team members from opposite sides of the world closer together to work on personal and professional development – and have fun along the way.

“Tell me, and I forget; Teach me, and I may remember; Involve me, and I learn” – Benjamin Franklin

We formed the “Learning Café” during our annual retreat in early 2021. The Learning Café was our internal take on employee training, and came to life through a joint effort by dedicated team members who put together a plan for compelling learning and development sessions for everyone at the organization.

What’s next for 2022?

In addition to supporting the technical aspects of the Learning Café, such as recording live talks, allowing interactive breakout rooms and recording them so that they’re available later, the team also measures the effectiveness of each session. Upon joining the team, I built on the foundation established earlier by colleagues and friends. Thanks to that exceptional team, the Learning Café has been a success!

Promoting workforce collaboration

Just as we believe that entrepreneurs know best what their businesses need to grow, we believe that our team know best what they need to grow. We conduct surveys with different teams on a quarterly basis to learn more about their training needs, and source the Learning Café content accordingly. Our speakers include founders, mentors, colleagues and subject matter experts from all over the world. We choose each topic and host based on the relevance to our organization and the needs of our team. Our speakers also include team members themselves who share their own skills; from creative writing, to financial management, to even building your own simple productivity tools tailored to your needs. Sometimes we also choose a topic just for the opportunity to learn more about a new technology platform that could be beneficial to our work. Sessions generally last 120 minutes depending on the topic and we put a special emphasis on setting aside time for working groups so that attendees can interact. This is the most important component, as the Learning Café is not a webinar or a mandatory company training tape, but a collaborative, practical and hands-on training session.

Building diverse relationships

Participating in a Learning Café session is an opportunity to share knowledge in an engaging workshop and allows our diverse team to work together, have fun and learn all at the same time. We initially ran one session per quarter, but increased the number via a mixture of external and internal speakers. Most of the sessions delivered were able to meet the expectations of our participants.

In the beginning, we struggled to accommodate groups in different time zones and geographical locations, which resulted in a low attendance rate and reduced participation in live sessions. Experience and feedback helped us address these challenges. We started by allowing flexible time during the day of sessions and worked to reduce the duration of sessions and make them more engaging by bringing in noted keynote speakers who covered in-demand topics.

Boosting employees’ morale

In my role in people relations at enpact, I have found that the Learning Café has allowed me to engage with my remote teammates and better understand their needs, have more open conversations and help them do their best work. As we head into 2022, our plan is to host more sessions that directly target topics identified by our different project teams, because the required skills and training needs requested by our PR team are different from our M&E team which are then different from our content development team and so on.

“You don’t understand anything until you learn it in more than one way.” – Marven Minsky

The Learning Café is our way to learn, acquire and develop new skills in a relaxed and safe setting. Our colleagues get together during their workday, but aren’t discussing day-to-day work in this event, which is also a nice way to break up the day and get fresh energy and new perspectives before going back to work.

To know more about our Learning Café toolbox and our take on making organizational training more collaborative and efficient, download the 3rd edition of our Yearbook!

How do you approach training at your organization? Let us know your tips and tricks!

Former Human Resources Program Manager at enpact

Sharmila is an experienced and Certified Corporate HR Professional, trained in SAP HR, with an industry-relevant Master of Business Administration (Human Resource Management & Corporate Social Responsibility) and a Bachelor of Technology in Electronics & Communication. She has a proven track record of utilizing technology and management skills across a large variety of sectors. Sharmila documented success at attracting, selecting, appointing, inducting, managing and developing staff at a variety of levels across multiple disciplines.

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