Incubeta Insider
Incubeta Insider SA: Establishing a Culture of Learning in a fast-paced Environment

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By Lianne Godfrey

Our latest Incubeta Insider piece is by Lianne Godfrey – from the Incubeta Operations Hub in Cape Town – who joined the Incubeta Global Training Team in August when she took on a new role as Operations Coordinator. Lianne elaborates on her plans for the Cape Town office when it comes to establishing a culture of learning at Incubeta. The Incubeta Global Training Team has been doing a lot of work on the subject of ‘how to train’, working with external consultants to identify a ‘Incubeta Training Method’ which takes a structured approach to planning, preparing and presenting all training initiatives going forward. The idea is that since all training sessions follow the same guidelines, training at Incubeta is always engaging, interactive and effective. 

Being part of a fast-paced environment where the business model is built on performance, the bar is set high. Mediocre just won’t cut it.  Combine this with ever-changing Google platforms and the always evolving digital industry, and you will know that we are never done learning. Training at Incubeta cannot be an event, or multiple events. Rather, we needed to create an environment that allows for continuous learning and innovation. The aim is not only to continuously grow and develop our people, but also to motivate and inspire to do better and to be better so we can continue to be one of the best performing digital companies globally. Establishing a culture of learning at Incubeta has been a process and it will still be ongoing into 2021. However as we are nearing the end of the year, it is good to look back at what has already been achieved.

Effective learning

There has been a lot of research done on effective training methods, and what this has shown is that the traditional classroom setting, where the teacher shares his/her knowledge and skills, and the learners regurgitate this, is not effective in terms of long-term retention. The 70-20-10 Model for Learning and Development for example, outlines that seventy percent of knowledge is gained through experience, the remaining twenty and ten percent socially (through interaction with others) and formally (through courses, classes and training programmes). Ebbinghaus’ forgetting curve describes how quickly new knowledge is lost, and so newly learned knowledge needs to be consciously and continuously reviewed in order to retain it in the long run.

Incubeta Training Method

Simultaneous to the realisation that we needed an overhaul on our training methods, we have also become increasingly aware that whilst we have many Knowledge Experts in our midst, we don’t have a dedicated team of trainers responsible for disseminating the knowledge and skills. And so it falls on these Knowledge Experts’ shoulders to successfully train and upskill others within the organisation in addition to their already busy day-to-day workload. A mighty responsibility, and we recognised that they can only do so successfully, if we equipped them to do so. 

And so the Incubeta Training  Method was defined and then rolled out as a framework for training Knowledge Experts to enable them to train more effectively. When I became part of the Global Training Team, several groups of Knowledge Experts had already gone through a ‘Train the Trainer’-training and as a result internal training sessions have been more engaging and practical. 

Skills Matrix

Having provided more structure to our approach to learning, we also needed to identify the training needs in terms of practical skills based on a growth approach to individual capabilities. This was tackled through a Skills Matrix which outlined all relevant skills and corresponding proficiency for each role in the business. The creation of the matrix was a collaborative project with all team leads invited to input; agreeing the definition of each skill, which is so often very subjective, agreeing certain baseline skills required for every single team member, and then also advising on target scores for growth and excellence for each different role. 

Our people then scored themselves in consultation with their team leads and their peers, and the ultimate consolidated Matrix now providing a great overview of the different teams and their individual skill sets across the business. The gap between target and actual scores determined the learning paths for each team member, making their training needs visible at a glance. The ultimate goal is to see the gaps between actual and target skills’ scores narrowing over time. 

From a content perspective, we are working closely with the Knowledge Experts in the different areas of expertise to build new training content at the highest of standards, and will continue to support them to find new ways to deliver future training sessions, and deliver these effectively.

Fostering this culture of learning that is structured, collaborative, enjoyable and valuable is a key objective for Incubeta into 2021 and beyond, with both staff and clients benefiting from this highly skilled team.