17 June 2022
At iProov one of our values is to ‘Achieve the Remarkable’. To help our teams to do that, we empower our employees to take ownership of their professional and personal development, while also providing support to help them meet their development goals.
Zara, our Organizational Development Manager, is responsible for the culture of learning and development that we have here at iProov.
Hi Zara! You joined iProov in January to drive the learning and development agenda here. Why is it important to foster a culture of learning at work?
Learning and Development (L&D) should be a key part of any business. By providing development opportunities that our iProovers want and need, we can support them in progressing towards their career goals and unlocking their full potential.
iProov understands how important L&D is in enabling our iProovers to achieve the remarkable every single day. I joined iProov to formalize the L&D function, partnering with colleagues to identify development areas and deliver initiatives that are meaningful to them, rather than just a tickbox exercise. In doing this, iProov gains more value and continues to maintain our strong position in the market, whilst building trust and loyalty among our iProovers.
People always ask me where my passion for L&D comes from. I’m lucky to have experienced first-hand how a supportive organizational culture and a focused development plan can help you make leaps and strides towards your career aspirations. This journey is by no means always easy, and you will run into challenges, but if you have a clear development focus that’s truly meaningful to you, and the right opportunities around you, what you achieve at the end is absolutely worth it.
I’m a huge advocate for people creating their own Personal Development Plans (PDPs); self-efficacy and purpose are major personal influences in the ultimate level of personal accomplishment. What I mean by this is that you’re more likely to be committed and motivated to achieve your development goals if you create a focused PDP, compared to if someone else tells you what your goals should be. So, I encourage colleagues to create focused, impactful, time-bound goals, and that they discuss these with their managers so they get the support they need.
What exciting things have been implemented at iProov to create this culture?
One of the first things I started was interview training – this was key to enabling us to stand out in such a competitive recruitment market. I’ve mentioned how at iProov we achieve the remarkable every day, and we do this through applying this value to everything we do. We focus on the experience our candidates have before they formally join the business by ensuring we ask the right questions and drive best-in-class behaviors across the board.
iProov is invested in the development of our leadership and management teams. We ran a bespoke management 360 exercise earlier in the year coupled with 1-to-1 coaching sessions. I’m also marketing the fantastic opportunities available through the Apprenticeship Levy.
Another really exciting thing that I’ve implemented is Learnerbly; an online learning marketplace, providing a plethora of developmental resources in varying forms, from books, podcasts, and traditional e-learning, to opportunities to attend conferences. It’s also the go-to place to find a personal coach. The aim is to empower our people to take ownership of their learning, as well as give them the flexibility to develop their knowledge in their own time, at their own pace.
I have an exciting role here where I get to test my creativity by ensuring that initiatives also cater to our global workforce in the UK, US, and Singapore.
Can you tell us about the sort of things people have been using?
We’ve seen amazing engagement with Learnerbly so far. I love seeing people get involved in all sorts of things outside of their normal function that’ll help them understand the wider business better. People who aren’t necessarily in technology roles are looking at things like Python or machine learning.
People are also interested in their personal growth, which will have benefits both inside and outside of the office, with popular searches including leadership, business, well-being, design, and photography. That’s pretty cool! One of our other values is ‘Remember our Resources are Precious’, so it’s imperative that we, as a business, invest in supporting our people to reach their personal and professional goals – whether that’s gaining the tools needed to confidently approach public speaking, or gaining a degree that’ll help them make their next career move within the business.
What else do we have to look forward to?
I’m currently designing a Management 101 program, and a Leadership Program is also on the cards. This isn’t something that I’m pushing on to the business, it’s something that our iProovers want and need and I’m excited to launch and deliver these initiatives!
Finally, it would be great to hear a bit about you. What got you interested in Learning and Development, and why did you decide to join iProov?
I’ve always loved helping people. I’ve done lots of charity events and initiatives in the past. After I completed my undergrad in psychology, I wanted to explore options before I decided on what to specialize in. After working as a PA for the Finance Director at Bestway, I soon realized that I had a strong interest in business psychology – specifically how to increase the effectiveness of businesses and their people. So I decided to specialize in Occupational Psychology and completed my Masters whilst working full time – I won’t lie, it was hard!
After I graduated I got promoted to the Learning and Development Department and over the course of 3 years I ended up leading that department.
It got to a point where I wanted a new challenge and to step outside of my comfort zone. So when I came across iProov I thought it was perfect – it’s an industry that was new to me, I liked what the company is doing, and the mission to make the online world a safer place spoke to me.
Personally, learning and developing has completely changed my life. Having grown up in a small city in Wales, it’s helped me realize my career ambitions, enabled me to relocate, and start making strides toward my personal and professional goals. I want others to experience the power of development too.
Thank you, Zara!
If you are looking for an exciting and stimulating role in a supportive and collaborative learning environment that encourages personal growth and facilitates a vibrant learning culture – take a look at our available roles.