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#WorkInPublishing – how we’re developing our learning culture

20 Nov 2023 by Cait Cullen

Helen Perry, Head of Talent and Employee Experience at IOP Publishing

Those who work in academic publishing know what an exciting and rewarding career it can offer. It’s such a vibrant and progressive industry – which is why at IOP Publishing we’re passionate about encouraging everyone to consider publishing when thinking about the future.

As a varied sector, we value a diverse set of skills. This ranges from interpersonal skills such as creative thinking, communication and collaboration, through to job-specific knowledge such as data science, analytical and copy-editing skills. As a forward-thinking organisation, we also think about the skills that will be needed in the future. Publishing is evolving at pace, with technology – including automation and AI – moving faster than ever and new ways of working emerging. If we’re to evolve, develop and thrive as an organisation, our colleagues need to be able to do the same.

That’s why we’re developing and delivering an exciting early careers strategy for 2024 and beyond, with a huge focus on apprenticeships, and opportunities and outreach, especially targeting those who may not yet be considering academic publishing as a career option. This will enhance our drive for innovation and inclusion.

We’re dedicated to creating a culture of continuous learning and growth. Rather than feeling like an add-on, we want it to be integrated into the working life of our organisation, and because everyone learns differently, there’s no one-size fits all approach to learning.

Personalisation of learning

As a global organisation, we value the ability to deliver a range of learning solutions, which combine in person and digital learning activities. We’re excited to be launching our new learning strategy and a new global learning experience platform in early 2024, so that our colleagues can take ownership for their learning and career growth  

Learning in the flow of work

Just-in-time, bite-sized learning solutions can easily be slotted in or around day-to-day work. All our colleagues across the globe have access to LinkedIn Learning. It has a library of over 20,000 expert-led courses to help colleagues acquire new skills and enhance knowledge.  It covers technical, business, and creative skills relevant for the world of work. With access to this platform, colleagues can learn at their own pace, to their own schedule. 

Professional development

We encourage colleagues to learn and build knowledge in lots of different ways, reading updates in trade news outlets, attending industry events and conferences, listening to podcasts, attending awareness sessions, or joining webinars or online forums. Not only does it help to get the inside track on best practice and industry developments, but it also helps to build relationships across our amazing industry. 

Adapting to hybrid working

At IOPP, we can work from wherever we are most productive, be that at home or in the office. As a result, we’ve had to evolve our learning and development methods to support both virtual and in-person activities. That covers both how we deliver training as well as thinking about what content will support our new way of working.

Equipping colleagues with the skills and knowledge they need to manage new smart building technology, hybrid conference systems, new processes, and online security has been a core part of the offering from our Technology team.  We deliver different approaches for colleagues, with short online videos, drop-in sessions and comprehensive guidelines. We’ve rolled-out a comprehensive Microsoft 365 learning portal which has been developed and hosted by our technology partner Computer World. It includes training sessions for all M365 applications, podcasts, and structured learning paths to help colleagues get to grips with everything M365.

At IOPP we are on a learning journey. We’re always looking ahead so that we’re moving with the times – what’s right for us now, won’t necessarily be right in a few years.  Ensuring we have the right culture and environment in place to enable our colleagues and our business to learn and grow skills for now and for the future will always be a priority for us.

Helen Perry, Head of Talent and Employee Experience at IOP Publishing

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