L&D Professional interviews Alan Sweeney, CEO of MediaHub Australia, for his insights.
How do the L&D initiatives work in your organisation?
The whole idea is to ensure that our staff at whatever level they come in have got the right level of training and we assess them for that. Then we give them a career path by providing a number of modules which are taken through a very regimented well-designed training program so that they can continually upgrade their skills. And of course that helps us directly because as their skill levels go up so too does our performance on behalf of our clients.
Do you find that L&D is important for staff satisfaction?
It’s more than important: it’s vital. It’s part of why they like working with us. It gives them an understanding that not only are they coming to work to do a job, but they have an opportunity to increase their skills and to create more value in themselves.
What do you personally find are the most interesting parts of L&D?
For me, the most interesting aspects are the increases that it provides to Mediahub as a service organisation. What we find is that when the people doing the courses reach a certain level they turnaround and start to teach us. So everyone benefits because they bring their general skills that they have got and then they say: ‘Did you realise if you do this it’s going to save you all this time?’. So it’s been terrific.
Are there any trends which are influencing your L&D?
We are definitely seeing a decrease in the age of our operational staff and our technical staff. The younger kids coming through have got enormous technical knowledge which we are always very pleased to see. I take someone like myself, an older person. I have had exposure to IT and the internet. These guys haven’t had exposure to it, they haven’t known anything else but this. And it’s quite clear that there approach to things is totally different.
What are some of the challenges you are facing with L&D?
The very nature of our business is that we have to be at the absolute forefront of technology. We can’t afford to do things for our clients which puts them at risk. As far as getting a product delivered we have got to make sure that we have the absolute latest and best possible technology. And the challenge is trying to stay up with that.
How do you hope to address that?
We send a lot of our staff to industry conferences, conventions, and everything to do with all of the emerging technologies. And then when they come back we go through a full debrief of everything that they have seen. Out of that if we think we should take anything further we then go and do further research.
How else do you create a great working environment?
We do things like supply a professional quality cappuccino machine with all the milk, coffee and everything. We also supply a great big basket of fruit every week and have regular barbecues for the staff.
MediaHub Australia was recently named 2015 NSW Employer of Choice for effectively creating a stimulating and supportive environment for their employees.