As new technology penetrates every industry at an unstoppable rate, companies often find it difficult to train their employees at the same pace.
Business leaders are under enormous pressure to empower their workforce with the necessary technological skills to deal with changes in the market and shifting customer demands. This urgency is forcing companies to explore new, innovative ways to mitigate the problem.
At Perficient Latin America, we have created an employee training and development program that addresses this challenge head-on. Each and every employee in the program gains a robust foundation of career-boosting skills, such as problem solving, decision making, and knowledge in the latest technologies, maximizing their potential to deliver world-class software solutions.
Here we share some insights into the innovative training and development techniques that have worked for our 720+ employees, along with some of the results.
Lunch & Learns
Lunch & Learns give busy employees the opportunity to expand their knowledge without losing valuable time during or after work hours. During the lunch hour, employees can listen to in-house experts share their insights and participate in discussion sessions afterwards. Even better, the food is on the house, so our teams can save time and money while gaining new skills to improve their work—everybody wins.
Most recently, our Lunch & Learn sessions have covered topics like:
- Performance and data science
- mutation testing
- Big data
- Emotional intelligence and leadership, and more.
We have found that the key to a successful guilds program is to gather the most knowledgeable and skilled professionals and empower them to positively impact the company through guilds. These unique groups, with no limits to who can participate, meet regularly and have 4 clear objectives:
- Design and execute training on the specific discipline
- Assess and ensure consistency in the approach with clients
- Research and development
- Define screening criteria
Our guilds are currently focused on:
- Performance engineering
- Product management
- Agile mindset
- To be added Q4 2019: Data engineering, frontend, and security
A company-wide programming challenge promotes teams working with new technologies and methodologies in order to sharpen their creativity, learn new technologies, and hone problem-solving skills. Topics are chosen based on the technologies Perficient Latin America is currently exploring or relevant to new projects, giving employees a comprehensive, hands-on introduction to advanced technologies that may be applicable to current or future projects.
Workshops, Courses and Digital Library
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Conducted in both Spanish and English, Perficient Latin America provides ongoing training workshops taught by an employee or guest expert. The courses have covered topics like: functional programming, advanced Scala, ReactJS, working in teams and communication skills.
Perficient Latin America also subscribes to repositories of online courses from different universities and educational institutions, which allow all our employees to improve their skills proactively. Access to these courses aims to increase team capacity, provide validated resources for development, and allow individuals to drive their own professional development.
We have also amassed a large digital library providing access to over 100 books that cover a wide variety of subjects, including microservices, Java, business management, personal development, DevOps, and much more. If something is not already in the library, employees can request specific books for us to purchase, if they are relevant to their projects and professional development needs.
Developed by Perficient Latin America in April 2018, Lighthouse is a skills management platform that allows employees to drive their career trajectory, and operations to match individuals to projects that suit their specific skillsets, accurately allocating resources and setting teams up for success and helping employees focus on their areas of strength and growth.
Though Lighthouse, employees can access technical training materials, plan role changes, request an assessment of skills, and more, giving them the power to control their own development. By being transparent about the processes and tools available to them, we are seeing people contribute to the materials available and provide insights and improvements to make the system work for them.
Coaching and Mentoring
Everyone at Perficient Latin America has the ability and opportunity to serve as a coach or mentor, both formally and informally and depending on areas of expertise or interactions with other teams or projects. These activities are not limited to internal, PSL-only teams, but rather compounded by working collaboratively with Colombian and international clients. Because we don’t believe in management in the traditional sense, each team is set up to operate autonomously.
Ultimately, this allows those best suited and most experienced to drive decision making and implement the best solutions by listening to everyone, regardless of their position. Of course, we have coaches and mentors available at the leadership level responsible for overseeing and encouraging teams to lead responsibly. Mentors and coaches can be easily identified through the training portal.
What Results Have We Seen?
Between them, our employees have completed almost 90,000 hours of training, as well as taking part in more than 70 team-specific tech talks and almost 40 company-wide tech talks.
Thanks to all these innovative approaches to training and development, our attrition rate is one of the lowest in the industry at 10.68%. In today’s competitive nearshore outsourcing trade, this is something to be extremely proud of.
Preparing for the Next Wave of Technology
In order for us to continue delivering top-notch products and services, we’re taking a proactive approach to training employees in the most cutting-edge, relevant, and engaging topics in the nearshore outsourcing market.
Our future training sessions will go deeper on technologies like machine learning, automation, and cloud architecture, while also exploring how software development practices like DevOps and agile are maturing. We have programs in place to expand our knowledge in microservices, data lakes, security, performance engineering, and UX/UI, building upon an already strong foundation of expertise in these areas.
Ready to take advantage of a more robust training and development plan? Check out our open positions!