Olympus Corporation’s Medical Systems Division has introduced a new and engaging development option to encourage its staff to take greater responsibility for their own learning.
Hemsley Fraser, the learning specialist, is managing and delivering a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme, which operates through a system of ‘credits.’
Employees in the Medical Systems Division are each given a number of credits depending on their seniority or tenure, which entitle them to attend the open training programmes, with one credit equalling one day of training.
Peter Hawkins, Head of Professional Education at Olympus Medical Systems: “In the past, we’ve supplemented our own internal management courses with ad hoc training programmes from different providers but we decided to create something fairer, more substantial and identifiable that would engage and empower our employees and also benefit the business.
“We’ve branded this programme ASPIRE. Rewarding our staff with credits means they don’t have to worry about the course prices and it removes any comparison of the monetary value of each person’s training.”
The online catalogue includes 90 open programmes covering subjects such as people management, leadership, interpersonal skills, communications, sales, marketing, presentations, project management and finance.
“Staff can self-select any course that will enhance their development and help further their career. Also, following their personal development reviews, our staff can choose any programme that will meet their learning needs and help them in their roles. They’re not limited in their choice. We’ve tried to remove any obstacles for them and make the CPD process as simple as possible, added Hawkins.
Hawkin said the feedback had been positive as people felt empowered to self-select training that was relevant to them and enjoyable, well facilitated and tailored to what they needed.
“It’s too early for objective evaluation data but anecdotally we believe the programmes have been very beneficial for our employees and for our business. ASPIRE is also an attractive benefit when we’re recruiting staff, as we can promote that we have a CPD programme which gives them the opportunity to develop or enhance their skills.
“Our business philosophy promotes integrity, innovation and involvement,” said Peter Hawkins. “The ASPIRE programme fits within this as it’s an innovative approach to developing people’s professional education. It involves staff and adds value to their experience of working for us. That, in turn, helps them to add value to the business.”