I don’t know about you, but I always cringe hearing about training and development-type initiatives..."
Which often end up with you parking your already packed workload to attend mandatory sessions where you learn parrot-fashion about something which sounds great in theory, but you know that you will never use, and a folder full of paperwork which gets put in the bottom draw, only to carefully pick-out the staples before dumping in the blue-top bins when it comes to the annual spring clear-out of the desk drawers.
As a new starter, I was expecting the opening ceremony to be a lot like a thin-crust mozzarella pizza (all cheese and no base) however, it was surprisingly very positive and gave off the feeling that a lot of thought and preparation had gone into this week. I stopped thinking the worst and decided to at least give it a go.
I then quickly realised that someone has finally got this approach the right way round. Rather than focus on some corporate form-filling exercise which they could print out a fancy chart and stick in the main foyer as having now ‘ticked that box’, it looked as though the Boots Finance Team has put together a pretty decent package with ‘You, Me, Us’, being at the heart of it all. It offered me a great range of exciting seminars/sessions which was geared towards helping Finance colleagues become part of a leading function here at Boots UK, and ultimately, showed that it was a valuable investment into the future of the business – YOU!
One thing that was noteworthy was the fact that there were more people than available seats, which showed that people were slightly curious – if not really cared about their own learning and development – and the packed venue showed the grand scale of the Finance community here at Boots UK. This left the strong impression that we are certainly not insignificant, and what we do individually and collectively could most definitely shape the future of this business.
Speakers shared themes of getting involved, being the best you can be, making small improvements every day and challenging yourself to do something daunting. These were all useful tips and pieces of advice which helped set the week up very well as a unique opportunity that everyone should make the most of. I certainly felt that I wanted to take part, if not only to disprove my reservations on learning and development (L&D) activities accumulated over past roles in other businesses, but also as a chance to learn things about myself and how I could fulfil my potential. Sounds tacky, I know!
My own individual train of thought is that L&D is up to us as individuals – to put in whatever we desire to get out, and therefore, we would be the ones responsible for our own career path. Hence, I will be looking to actively participate in all the sessions that I think are relevant to me, and am confident that all of you reading this will do too.