Learning & Development, or how we develop at PGS Software

January 13, 2022 Sylwester Zimon

Tags:rozwój

At PGS Software, we have always believed in development – for years we have been taking actions that allow each of us to feel that we are improving our skills and getting better in what we do. Otherwise, we would not have been able to create a place where we grew from a team of several people to over 800 employees. Development, integrity and humbleness are our core values. To support the former, in 2020 we launched the Learning & Development program, which combines all growth-related initiatives into one coherent platform.

What is Learning & Development?

The Learning & Development program is a wide range of training courses aimed at improving business, leadership, mentoring and technical skills of PGS’ teams. When working on it, it was important for us to create a program that would allow our staff members to acquire new skills leading to the improvement of the quality of services provided to our clients in accordance with the company’s work culture and values.

PGS Software requires that its employees constantly develop and acquire new knowledge – explains Patrycja Dacko, a coordinator of the Learning & Development program. – We try to provide our employees not only with technical, but also with business and leadership development options. Therefore, we deliver soft skill trainings which help us strengthen our competence in the field of client service or team management. For example, we offer a training package for Team and Tech Leaders that prepare and support them in fulfilling these roles in our organization.

Trainings are addressed not only to new employees who go through PGS Software specific development program at the beginning of their career in the company. The offer is so wide that practically every employee will find something for themselves. It covers both technological trainings based on the PGS Upskill mentoring program as well as leadership and business courses.

– PGS Software employees can choose from the vast array of trainings and development initiatives – says Agnieszka Jurczak-Dziełak, a coach, trainer and co-creator of the Learning & Development program. – We systematically extend the range of technological upskills, trainings, workshops, coaching and individual training courses to make the Learning & Development program attractive and well matched to the needs of all parties. Regardless of whether you are a software developer, a tester, a tech lead or a manager, you will find something that will suit your needs.

We learn from each other

Learning & Development is based on internal knowledge exchange. We have a team of over a dozen trainers, experts with many years of experience, and several dozen mentors involved in technological trainings. Mentors include experienced developers and testers, and a team of trainers consists of people who play such roles as a HR Business Partner, HR Specialist, Agile Coach, Scrum Master or Delivery Manager.

– Expertise and commitment of mentors, who share their knowledge with their colleagues, are the key to the success of the PGS Upskill program – explains Magdalena Małecka, a PGS Upskill coordinator. – As experts in their field, they provide participants with technical knowledge they had gained as well as share their experiences. PGS employees, who attended the Upskill program, are ready to use their learned knowledge in commercial projects.

Learning & Development focuses on providing 100% practical knowledge that participants can use immediately after the training, e.g. by taking up a role of a tech lead or joining a project where they will verify technological knowledge they acquired during the PGS Upskill training.

PLN 6,800 per year for each employee’s professional growth

Trainings are not everything. To support the growth of our employees, we have implemented a development budget based on simple and transparent rules. Each PGS Software employee receives annually up to PLN 6,800 to be spent on development of their competence. Some of the budgetary measures can be exchanged for hours and an employee may, for example, attend a conference or take part in training during working time.

As part of the budget, our staff members may choose from various upskill initiatives and programs implemented by PGS Software as well as external trainings, courses, conferences, etc. available on the IT training market.

In addition to the budget, we give our employees a chance to receive certificates that meet current needs of the company (including ISTQB, AWS, Azure), the guild meetings, courses on the Pluralsight, Udemy or A Cloud Guru platforms as well as mandatory business and leadership training.

What are the effects of the program?

In 2021, 545 individuals participated in business and leadership trainings, of which 49% were new employees. Our trainings were very well received, and the recommendation rate is as high as 97%. Technological trainings also proved successful. Out of more than 120 Upskills offered last year, 90 have already been completed. Each completed Upskill provides a real chance to join a project and verify newly acquired competence in practice.

Recognition

To ensure the attractiveness and usefulness of our trainings, we conduct research that allows us to improve and develop the Learning & Development offer. Participants evaluate both the content and the usefulness of a given course or workshop. 97% of trainees recommend them to others, and the average grade awarded to trainers for preparing an conducting training sessions is 4.9 on a five-point scale. Technology mentoring was also highly graded, and 83% of Upskill participants use already the knowledge they acquired in their current projects.

The Learning & Development program is valued not only by PGS Software employees but also by other players: we qualified for the finals of the People Innovation 2021 competition for the most innovative HR projects in Poland.

Our offer keeps on growing. We evaluate and introduce new trainings, share recommendations on how to use the development budget, and teach our trainers and mentors.


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