Liberty IT are experts in crafting positive employee experiences, having ranked on our Best Workplace™ Lists seven years in a row.
One area in which their employees have told us they excel is consistently providing opportunities for personal and professional growth at work through learning and development programs.
Part of Liberty Mutual Insurance, Liberty IT helps Liberty Mutual look after policy holders by producing award winning digital software – they are the key drivers behind the company’s global digital enablement journey.
Based in Northern Ireland and employing over 500 staff in Belfast, Liberty IT has achieved some impressive survey results - particularly around learning and development:
The challenge: growth at work as a business imperative
A robust learning and development strategy is vital for both attracting and retaining employees - especially in a competitive industry such as tech. Growth at work is a priority for employees, with nearly two thirds (60%) of workers more likely to select a role containing a professional development plan over an identical job that offered a higher salary.1 Providing sufficient learning opportunities is also the number one way organisations can improve their employee retention.2
On top of this, the ever-changing nature of technology means that upskilling employees is vital for staying ahead of the game too. As Emma Mullan - Senior Director of Talent at Liberty IT - explains, listening to employee feedback to drive development was a key reason the company began working with Great Place To Work:
"As a technology company, we're always seeking continuous improvement. We're also committed to listening to our teams and want to hold ourselves to the highest standards. Therefore, we looked to Great Place To Work to give us an external benchmark of what good looks like when it comes to employee experience.
We want to listen and respond to our employees, to ensure we're developing them and meeting their needs, helping us to retain the best talent."
The solution: using survey data to empower employees' growth
"We've leant heavily into the data from Great Place To Work," says Emma, "layering it with additional listening channels (such as internal pulse surveys) to create a holistic view of employee voice and experience in our new Listening Strategy."
The insights from Liberty IT's employee surveys have driven actions around learning and development.
Self-nominated promotions process
To support their junior employees in their career progression, the company has a self-nominated promotion process. Employees can submit a portfolio of evidence and get sponsored by their leaders and senior colleagues to testify for their readiness for promotion, enabling them to take control of their own professional development. The data gleaned from surveying with Great Place To Work has allowed Liberty IT to continuously improve and refine this process, to create opportunities for internal mobility for all employees.
Supporting women in tech
Recognising the importance of helping employees across demographics develop - and aided by their survey data, which gives insight into the distinct experiences of different groups - the company has placed a special focus on empowering their female employees.
"In response to the need to increase female representation at senior levels in our organisation, we launched and continue to run our ‘The Power in Me’ course," explains Emma. ‘The Power in Me’ aims to empower and offer support to overcome any perceived barriers to career success. The course is open to all, with 73 employees having now completed it.
As well as this, Liberty IT run quarterly Women in Tech mingles, where both female employees and male allies can discuss topics they vote on in advance - such as insights into senior technical careers.
Learning and development portal
The company has also invested in a comprehensive learning and development portal to allow their employees to learn and hone a range of expertise. They can access self-service, virtual and in-person learning across business, tech and personal skills.
Enjoying the benefits of employee training and development
Programs like these which create opportunities for growth at work help employees to feel fulfilled, to have a sense of purpose and to know what their next career move is. The positive effects on employee experience cannot be underestimated - as these comments from Liberty IT employees attest to:
Continuing the journey
"Liberty IT has received many Great Place To Work awards over the last seven years, which we're very proud of," says Emma. ""However, it's the employee feedback and data from surveys that allow us to keep enhancing our culture and employee experience."
Great workplaces know that providing exceptional employee experiences is a journey, not a destination. For Liberty IT, encouraging growth at work through robust learning and development programs continues to be a priority, as Emma explains:
"We continue to enhance our learning and development experience, listening to employees and looking to the market. We see high levels of employee satisfaction with learning and development in Great Place To Work results, however this data - along with other feedback channels - has highlighted a need to focus on tech leadership to support promotion and progression - giving employees support, time and space to move into new roles.
As we continue to enhance our learning offer, we'll keep utilising feedback and survey data to ensure we're always meeting employee needs. An organisation-wide skills survey earlier this year has fed into a new learning architecture which we'll be embedding in the coming months, along with new training and resources on neurodiversity to help ensure we remain learner-centric in all we provide."