How Apis Supports Professional Development

Senior Consultant and Professional Development Lead for Apis, Lizzie Papadakis, discusses how the business supports professional development for its employees and aligns it to the Apis corporate strategy.

How Apis Supports Professional Development

Senior Consultant and Professional Development Lead for Apis, Lizzie Papadakis, discusses how the business supports professional development for its employees and aligns it to the Apis corporate strategy.

Why is professional development important to the business?

Ensuring we provide access to high quality professional development opportunities forms a key part of our value proposition to employees. Offering opportunities to achieve career ambitions and enable success in their roles are valued by our employees. Professional development is also critical in ensuring we grow as a business and provide high quality services to our clients.

How does the business determine and invest in professional development priorities?

Professional development is a critical part of our people and business strategies. It offers continuous improvement opportunities for our employees and strengthens the services we provide our clients. At the beginning of a new financial year the executive shape the annual strategy for professional development ensuring it aligns with the annual business plan, trends in qualifications and skills our clients are seeking and the development needs of our employees. We also research best practice learning methodologies and providers to ensure our employees are receiving high impact and quality learning products.

How do you balance business objectives with individual learning aspirations?

In our approach to professional development we use the terms company-led and self-led learning. As mentioned, much thought is put into aligning professional development with business priorities. Of equal importance is providing the opportunity for employees to identify their own development needs and seek learning opportunities that align with their own career aspirations. An example of how the business supports this is to provide learning opportunities to employees who wish to diversify their capability or move laterally between service lines.

How do you capture and share knowledge and expertise from within the business?

We have some very experienced consultants with a range of specialist skills and knowledge, who have worked in many different client environments. It would be a wasted opportunity if we didn’t tap-into this internal source of expertise. Our flagship professional development programs, such as our consulting and leadership programs, are primarily designed in-house or co-designed with our strategic partner, Yellow Edge. Not only do participants get to hear from leaders within the business, they have the opportunity to learn and experiment with their peers in a facilitated environment.

Experts across our key service lines are also involved in our Business Framework Development Groups. Part of their role is to provide learning resources and run masterclasses for employees.

Not only does this approach tap into the rich knowledge base existing within our business, it also means that our programs align closely with how we like to do business and manage our careers.

How do you ensure busy consultants are able to access and successfully complete learning initiatives?

Firstly, setting aside time to learn is just as important as day-to-day client delivery. Ultimately, equipping our staff with the necessary skills and experiences means we can offer more effective services to our clients. Our in-house programs allow for our employees to spend some time out of day-to-day work and participate in sessions with their peers.

Secondly, providing a range of easily accessible and flexible opportunities is important. This includes the provision of learning via online platforms such as LinkedIn Learning and providing short, sharp learning sessions such as our monthly professional development breakfasts and lunchtime masterclasses.

What do you think Apis professional development initiatives will look like in the next financial year?

By next year we will already have delivered two iterations of our consulting and leadership programs which have evolved based on participant feedback.  Those participants joining versions 3.0 will have the benefit of a highly refined program and gain experience from those who have come before them. We are also moving to blending online options into our programs. We are currently piloting LinkedIn Learning to deliver an ‘Apis curated’ Digital Design program. Outcomes and feedback from this year’s cohort of online learners will inform the expansion of such platforms to the wider business.