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Our people bring a wide range of skills and backgrounds to the team. Continued learning and development helps each of us to grow personally and professionally, while progressing COMPASS’s work. Here we speak to Archie, the newest member of our learning and development team, about what we are doing this year to support each team member at COMPASS.

What is your role at COMPASS and what interested you in joining our L&D team? 

I am an industrial placement student in the preclinical team, with research roles in receptor pharmacology and drug discovery. I’ve always been interested in progress and growth, whether this is in research or personal aspirations, so I was drawn to the L&D team. I love the fact that a small group of people have the opportunity to initiate and influence so many areas of opportunity, from training to mentoring to learning-orientated events.

What do you think are the components of a successful L&D strategy?

A successful L&D strategy has to be built on the values of the company. Our strategy is driven by our values of being compassionate, bold, rigorous and inclusive.

Our two-way mentoring system, matching pairs across the company and across levels, is a compassionate approach in which individuals get to know and learn from each other. Our scope is bold; we recently approved an annual learning allowance for every member of the team, to be used to enhance knowledge, skills and careers. We aspire to ensure we are rigorous in maintaining our awareness of the scientific community, particularly shown when organising company-wide talks from industry professionals, which give our team a detailed knowledge of current relevant research. The L&D strategy is also designed to be inclusive, with regular company surveys informing the subject of the talks and ‘lunch and learn’ sessions we organise, and a meeting structure to facilitate contributions from all members.

How can start-ups foster a strong culture of learning and development from the beginning?

Firstly, appoint an L&D team. Better still, ask them to appoint themselves – you need people who are passionate about this and willing to give time to it. If possible, get people from different functions and levels. Secondly, seek regular feedback from the rest of the company on which initiatives work and which don’t. Finally, align L&D programmes with personal goals and objectives as well as company ones.

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We recently approved an annual learning allowance for every member of the team, to be used to enhance knowledge, skills and careers

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