Youwe Academy

Inspiring Continuous Learning
Youwe Academy
At Youwe, we take learning seriously. As a company operating in a fast-paced digital environment, constantly changing with new products and services being launched on a regular basis, continuous learning is paramount for the evolution of the company. 

As part of the Great Place to Work survey, 90% of our employees are in consensus regarding being offered training and/or development to further themselves professionally. What is more, one of our employees has shared, “Not only do people get fair chances in their development, regardless of their role, but they have a lot of influence on what they want to develop - you have the possibility to design your own career path here.” Another employee has elaborated, “Youwe doesn’t just say we are encouraged to develop professionally, but actually helps us to do it: for example by making the time for us to focus on learning, by covering the certification costs for us and by checking in regularly with us on our goals progress.”

The learning initiatives of Youwe have been compiled under Youwe Academy, the umbrella term for a comprehensive learning program in the company. Jikky Lam, Learning and Development Specialist at Youwe, explains the threefold goal of Youwe Academy, “Our main goal with Youwe Academy is to enable our employees to become better in their day-to-day jobs. Next to that, we want to nurture career advancement opportunities and enable our employees to grow in the areas of their interest and in their desired direction. Finally, what we aspire to achieve with the Academy is to enhance the well-being of our employees - it's important that people within Youwe feel good; we know our people work hard, and a healthy work-life balance is necessary.”

The content has been carefully developed throughout the years, with the aim of having learning paths available for all the roles at Youwe. Jikky starts her explanation of these by making a connection with a larger picture, “Needless to say that all the learning paths are connected with one of our three core values. Usually, core values can be quite abstract concepts, but what we aim to do is make them concrete and more tangible for our employees by connecting a specific behavior related to our core value with a certain learning path you can follow to become stronger in this particular area. For example, one of our core values is being capable and confident in view of meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations. In order to exhibit this behavior you need to have high self-awareness, both in terms of your strengths and expertise, but also regarding your weaknesses and areas of improvement. Thus, we are creating learning paths to enhance continuous learning about the new developments in certain technical fields of expertise, so our employees have the knowledge to be capable and confident in the given field, not only for today, but also for tomorrow. Our next core value of being upfront and genuine can, for example, be translated into a learning path related to effectiveness in communication. Finally, the core value of being inclusive and curious will, for example, have to do with raising intercultural awareness.”

The learning journey at Youwe starts as soon as you join the company. For all the new joiners, there are generic learning paths, geared towards seamless onboarding. An example of one of the generic learning paths would be the Insights Discovery, a personal effectiveness session, where new employee would be invited to understand their personal profile, their communication style, and how to make the most of the relationships that affect them in the workplace. This is wrapped up and put into practice in the team session, where they can get to know more about the team and how to operate better together.

The generic learning paths are followed by multiple role-specific learning paths at a later point where the employee can choose what fits their focus and ambition for a certain year. These would include, for example, an onboarding path for our new developers, which tackles our ways of working, setting up projects, deployment, etc.

More specifically, the role-specific learning paths can also include various certifications, depending on the development goal defined by the employee. The certification costs are covered by Youwe and the employee pursuing a certification is also entitled to time off to dedicate to their studies. In addition, the employee will also have a learning budget to commit to their specific learning goal.

Niels Kikkert, Senior Developer at Youwe, shares: “I participated in the Circle Lead Program last year. The goal of the program was to develop coaching and personal effectiveness skills, in order to have a better awareness of the role of a Circle Lead in the company and to guide the team members more effectively and satisfactorily.

I learned a lot from this program: how to be more clear about my expectations and how to go into a conversation with a clear goal. I had a bit of a dense relationship with one of my colleagues and it was really difficult for me to understand why. The techniques I learned during the program really helped me manage that relationship better.”

Erfan Ghezelbash, Developer at Youwe, attended a similar program recently called Explore, focused on communication and building professional work relationships, and developing the soft skills of senior experts. “We even had a professional actor to help us with facilitating the training and act as our ‘mirror’. I learned a lot by listening in about expressing myself and communicating with colleagues outside of my team. In February, I became a Circle Lead of my team and I am really enjoying it, as I love helping and supporting people,” Erfan concludes.

 

With such a commitment to learning and development, Youwe is a perfect workplace for professionals who like to challenge themselves with continuous improvement. Join us! Let’s learn together!