Embedding a culture of learning

The past two years have seen initiatives launched to develop the skills needed to adopt digital ways of working, deliver digital services and establish a culture of learning across the organisation. During 2019 we maintained our focus on accelerating this skill development to transform our workforce and successfully deliver our strategy. Our Digital Academy is used by staff to build digital skills through online content and classroom training. The quality and standard of the Academy was reflected in its accreditation by the Royal Institute of Engineers (KIVI) in the Netherlands. To fast-track the development of new talent and accelerate technical and digital skills, we launched an 18-month traineeship for graduates which includes one-to-one mentor support, on-the-job training, talks, seminars and networking events. The vital role played by leaders in shaping the workforce of the future and high-performance teams was recognised in leadership reappointments which took place during the year.

The culture of innovation, in which employees feel empowered and able to contribute ideas and innovations to develop our activities and our ways of working, is also key to our transformation programme. The Innovation Hub, through which we gather and build on innovative ideas, is becoming increasingly well-used across our business and helps embed the culture. Currently around a quarter of our entire workforce use the Hub and, every week, it attracts about 150 views or interactions. During 2019, more than 100 ideas were submitted to the Hub. Each is reviewed and a number selected which align with our strategic criteria and mission. In spring 2019, we selected eight initiatives for a discovery bootcamp. Every two weeks, the groups working on the innovations get together to work through the steps required to develop a pitch deck and business plan. Between these sessions, our innovation space Area22 is open for additional coaching. At the end of the bootcamps, the groups pitch their innovations to an audience who provide feedback and select winners. From there they go on to pitch to the Innovation Board. To further embed the culture of innovation, workshops and co-creation sessions took place across the organisation and a monthly newsletter was launched to share innovation highlights and information about useful tools. To see more about the results of our innovations, see section 'Stakeholder engagement for innovation'.