This Company Dedicated a Week to Learning With Huge Success
June 30, 2017
This year, Jagex’s People Development team wanted to further promote the culture of learning at the company. So, they dedicated an entire week to learning, featuring both online and in-person learning opportunities, and the results were impressive.
In May, the Cambridge-based video game company best known for the games RuneScape and Old School RuneScape participated in Learning at Work Week. Learning at Work Week was started by the UK-based Campaign for Learning in 1999 and has since been adopted by several organizations throughout the United Kingdom.
It was the first time Jagex had participated in the event, and yet their employees were eager to take part. Throughout the week, the company’s 307 employees participated in more than 550 learning activities. And, when surveyed, 95 percent said they’d like to do it again next year.
“People have come up to me and said they loved it,” Jagex Development Trainer Dave Bevan said. “Our biggest feedback was that they’d like to see more events like this.”
How Jagex promoted the week
Jagex’s Learning at Work Week ran from May 15th to May 19th and was voluntary for employees to participate in. That meant the first challenge happened before the week started – Jagex’s People Development team needed to promote the event, so people would participate in it.
Here was their marketing plan for the Learning at Work Week in bullet form:
- At an all-hands meeting a few weeks before the Learning at Work Week, the People Development team announced the week of learning to employees and said they’d release more information soon.
- The release of the schedule for the Learning at Work Week was done over time. The Monday before the Learning at Work Week, the people development team announced the schedule for the following Monday. Each day thereafter, they released another day’s schedule (so the Tuesday before they released next Tuesday’s learning schedule, the Wednesday before they released Wednesday’s learning schedule, etc.). This kept the marketing momentum going the entire week before the event.
- For each session an employee attended, they got a raffle ticket to potentially earn an experiential prize (also, if the employees took a Lynda.com playlist during that week, they also earned a raffle ticket). Those prizes included “studio recording session” and “supercar diving experience”, with the winners being announced on Friday, May 19th.
- The Monday the week began, a schedule for the Learning at Work Week was on every employee’s desk, and posters advertising the event were hung throughout the office.
What Jagex’s Learning at Work Week looked like
The actual Learning at Work Week featured four in-person learning sessions each day that employees could participate in, as well as a Lynda.com playlist they could take around their schedule.
“Different people learn in different ways,” Dave said. “To accommodate that, we offered as many learning options as possible.”
The four types of in-person sessions were:
- Workshops: The workshops were led by either Jagex Head of People Operations Jay Sharpe or Dave and were capped at 15 people. Topics focused on communication and project management.
- Knowledge Shares: Here, employees at Jagex would either talk about a subject they were strong in or reflect on a project. The most popular knowledge share session was a look-back by two Jagex employees on a game they developed that didn’t catch on, and the lessons they learned from it.
- Lunch-N-Learns: For these, a member of the Jagex executive team would show a TED Talk that inspired them and discuss how they used the lesson in their career. Jagex CEO Phil Mansell was first on the docket, presenting on Monday.
- External Speakers: As the name implies, at these events an outside speaker would come in and talk about a relevant topic. The most popular speaker was Ian Livingstone, a pioneer in the British gaming industry who helped create the Tomb Raider series.
The week accomplished exactly what the Jagex team hoped it would – it showed off the full spectrum of learning opportunities at the company. Yes, there is in-person training available; yes, you should absolutely learn from each other; yes, there are eLearning courses that are available to employees anytime, anywhere, which can also compliment that in-person training option.
All of that created a buzz around learning, with people more inspired to take advantage of all the development opportunities Jagex offers moving forward.
For companies intent on building a stronger culture of learning, doing something similar makes a lot of sense. By having a week each year where you focus your entire organization on learning, not only do people benefit that week – it exposes and inspires them to continue that learning in the remaining 51 weeks too.
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