How Nous Group ensures effective on-the-job learning

by John Hilton09 Mar 2016
Employees learn on the job every day at Nous because no two days are the same, no two project teams are the same, and no two clients are the same, said Lauren Douge, chief marketing officer and former organisational capability consultant at Nous Group.  

“I think that a lot of people are drawn to consulting, particularly early in their careers, because it accelerates your learning and you get a lot of feedback and exposure to things,” Douge told L&D Professional.

“People learn a lot at Nous really quickly and sometimes it’s not until they stop and reflect on the last six months that they realise how far they have come.”

Nous Group recognise the importance of on-the-job learning by giving people opportunities to stretch themselves and by putting them on projects with others who are encouraged to provide insightful feedback, added Douge.

This involves the more junior employees working closely with senior people who are constantly developing them and coaching them when working on projects.

Moreover, Nous Group is really explicit at the start of projects that the whole project team will share what their development goals are.

“This way, everyone is aware of what each team member wants to learn or improve upon and can constructively assist one another in achieving their goals,” Douge said.

“At milestone points throughout projects our people will revisit how those development opportunities are tracking, so that they remain a consistent focus.”

Project teams provide a very open environment and there is a sense of joint accountability for development. Consequently, the whole team – not just the project director – is responsible for enabling L&D opportunities.

“In line with that, we encourage people to speak up if they feel they’re not getting access to development opportunities. This way we can work to enable them rather than having people feel disgruntled or like they haven’t been stretched,” Douge added.  

“At the end of the project, team members will revisit their original development goals and share what they’ve learnt. So there is a continuous cycle of awareness in place to help our people get the most valuable experience from the project work they do.

“The ethos and culture in Nous is to absolutely give people the learning opportunities they seek.”

Nous Group are a management consulting and leadership development firm with clients throughout Australia, Europe and Asia.

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