The topics of the blog series will be diving into diversity, autonomy and professionalism, freedom of opinions and courage, experiments and learning, an easy-going atmosphere, and putting life and people first in modern work culture. Here are the previous posts on the series:
“Sometimes finding your path requires experimenting with different things. I found my way to the tech industry after studying linguistics, working as an au pair, and taking shifts in restaurants. Today I’m working as a Software Designer in an international PSLifestyle project as part of team Solita.”
These are the words of Beata Kuśnierz, who works as a Software Designer at Solita. Her story is a great example of learning. Of experimenting, combining different skills and finding new career paths. What lies behind experimenting is interesting. One interpretation of the word “experimenting” is the following: “To try something new, especially in order to gain experience”.
What drives us to try something new? Usually, it is curiosity. “Sounds interesting, I just have to learn more”. As we all know, curiosity in action you can most easily find by looking at children. They are the experts of experimenting.
Sometimes we fail to see the places for learning, as we think learning happens only in training sessions or at a school-like environment. But if we think further, it is evident that learning is a skill which can be practiced everywhere.
When was the last time you paused to think about what you learned in the previous weeks, what has raised your interest and why? Could you maybe take a curious approach (rather than judging) to something new to you? When was the last time you read a book from a new topic? Or had a coffee with a person new to you. Sometimes it is enough to change the scenery – and you already start thinking different thoughts.
At Solita, we have always been curious. As a company, as a community and as individuals. Curious to know more, to understand more, to make new connections, to find new routes. To ask the right questions. This requires both enough psychological safety (it is ok to try new things or to not know everything) and enough “unlikely encounters”. As a company grows, it is essential to foster and nurture these kinds of encounters to happen, as they are really the seeds for something new to emerge.
At Solita, we have several concepts to spark this kind of encounter and continuous learning. These include e.g. open ‘Info Sessions’ that anybody can arrange on any topic they feel would be beneficial to share, or our ‘Better Thinker program’ with guest speakers. One is also our new concept “Thought Leader Forum”, for which all Solitans can suggest participants based on some joint topic.
How are we doing then?
We have biweekly surveys for Solitans in which we ask how people feel about our company. In the surveys, we have also questions related to our learning culture, and this is how the answers look for example to these questions (grades on a scale 0-10).
- My job enables me to learn and develop new skills (8.7)
- I feel that I’m growing professionally (8.5)
- My coworkers welcome opinions different from their own (8.7)
Our ways of supporting continuous learning at Solita
At Solita we see people’s learning and development as an investment for the company. Therefore we don’t only allow it, but strongly encourage people to use work time for learning.
- We focus on learning at work, which means focusing on pair/teamwork instead of working alone, and flexible job rotation: new tasks, new roles, new projects, new customers. Trying out new tasks and approaches in the current role. It means facilitating places to encounter (retros, dailys etc.), to give and receive feedback, learn and reflect.
- For people in the early stages of their career, or ones changing their career course, we offer ways to kickstart their career at the Solita Academy.
- For all Solitans, we have Solita Growth Academy, which enables everyone to grow holistically as a professional. We have developed training and coaching e.g. on self-leadership, community skills and consultation skills. Growth Academy also includes longer learning paths such as Connectivity Consultant Architect path or Growing as a Specialist learning path.
- To feed our curiosity, Solita Mentoring Concept gives room for people to challenge their thinking and career paths
- To share and think together, facilitated peer groups for different leadership roles: people leads, project managers and account directors – led by others in the same role, give time to pause and reflect.
Are you curious to try something new? Check our possibilities.
Read the next parts of Outi’s blog series: An easy-going cultural atmosphere embraces love over fear, and Humane working culture and healthy business, do they go hand in hand.