Elevate Your Workplace: Why we invest in training for everyone

Caz and Andy work together with the studio in the background

In the first of this four-part series documenting our journey to building an inspiring company culture, we focus on training.

One of the Brightec Company Values is around Making Things Better via continuous improvement. (Click here to read how we created useful company values.)

As we expect the team to keep learning and stay ahead of their game, it’s only right that we make it easy for them to do so.

So, how do we invest in training for all of our team?

Mentoring and career progression

Everyone on our team, including our Directors, is paired with another team member with whom they meet weekly for 1:1 Mentoring. These short sessions are centred around professional growth; a space to talk about and create goals as well as steps and guidance to help them to smash it.

We have a clear career framework for engineers, detailing what’s required both technically and professionally from ‘Junior’ to ‘Head of’ so everyone knows exactly what their next steps are and what is (and isn’t!) expected. You can read more about how we developed that career framework here.

In the first year of mentoring, two junior staff members were promoted to mid-weight roles, and we’re now looking to do something similar across the entire team, as it’s been so successful! Senior Engineer Alistair comments, ‘I feel I've got someone helping me progress professionally now. Someone who can help me set goals/targets every month for getting better at my job.

Trainee Software Developer, Mo, said ‘During my time as a Trainee Engineer at Brightec, I've experienced a supportive and growth-focused environment that served both my technical skills and mental well-being. Brightec stands out by offering a personalized training approach that takes into account my current skill set and areas I'm keen to enhance and develop. This dedication to tailored growth strategies highlights their commitment to not just bring junior talent, but also to aligning each individual's career path with their strengths and ambitions.

Time dedicated to non-project work

A great work-life balance matters. We believe one way to help the transition between work and ‘life’ is to ensure there is time for non-billable work at work. We cap every team member’s hours at a maximum of 85% billable hours so that each team member has a margin in their week for their own growth and team time.

Non-project time is tracked every week and seen by mentors and directors. We never ask staff to do overtime and plan all of our sprints to max 85% of team capacity, so we can always deliver in a healthy way, on time and on budget. Click here for more about how Brightec’s culture feeds off a love of learning.

The most obvious non-billable event of the week is our team breakfast. At 10 a.m. every Monday, we gather in the kitchen, munching on bacon (or veggie sausage) sandwiches as we chat about our weekends.

After breakfast, we ease into the working week by looking at our Kudos board; a chance to acknowledge each other and the great work that happened in the previous week. Click here to read more about why we emphasise encouragement at work.

Research & Development days

We’ve always given our team an annual training budget to use for courses, events, and equipment that will help them progress in their work. In addition to this, we dedicate two days a month to research and development. Some months, this is prescribed training for the team, and other months, it is up to the individual to decide how they use this time. Click here to find out more about R&D at Brightec.

In March 2023, the team took a deeper dive into Agile processes. We invited an external coach to lead training and group discussions on how (or if we want) to implement this across our workstreams further. We never want to do something for the sake of it, but love to get the team’s opinions on what is helpful for improving how we work.

Later that year we focused our training on CyberSecurity. Another expert joined us, helping us expand our understanding and upskill in this super important area.

Each year, we take a day away from the studio and project work to focus on Clifton Strengths. We love inviting Strengths House to host sessions to deepen our understanding of each individual's strengths and how these contribute to the success of our business. It’s always bonding, enabling each team member to see, hear, and understand the value they personally contribute to our team's success.

Senior Developer Steve said, ‘As a team, we place a huge value on personal development, which keeps our processes evolving and our development methods up to date. This allows each of us to bring the best of our creativity to the table both in coding and in growing our business. Every voice is heard, and as a team, we support each other's growth.

Click here to discover more about how we motivate and inspire our team.

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