Learning at Work Week gives us all an opportunity to step back, reflect and celebrate what we do.
The pace of change experienced over the last couple of years has not only shown us what we’re all capable of, but also how exhausting the constant need to adapt and develop new skills can be.
As we begin to restore our lives to the social and work patterns we pined for throughout the various lockdowns and isolation periods, and comprehend the events across Europe, we can see yet more change and challenges lie ahead.
The Solomons way has always been to tackle challenges head on. So, our plans for post pandemic growth as a business have laid down the gauntlet for us to start to plan for a future of change and challenge, but we also saw this as an opportunity for greater autonomy and self-fulfilment for all our teams – both personally and professionally.
It’s our mission to evolve and embrace a more future focused people approach – designed to build increased team resilience and purpose, and one which utilises sustainable business approaches to achieve the highest levels of service excellence and impact for our clients.
Whilst the term sustainability naturally conjures up images of waste, nature, deforestation, and loss of wildlife in our regions, for us it also encapsulated the human need which has been brought into sharp focus through recent events.
While striving to protect the planet, we must also take real and tangible steps to safeguard and protect the resilience and wellbeing of our people. To make a future fit for all, we must feel better able to control of our own destiny, to work with purpose and with primary focus on our ability to continue to support and protect our families and loved ones.
Working through the challenges of the pandemic brought a constant need to learn, adapt and regroup, at both home and work. And it’s been an intense and exhausting journey, that’s seen the need for rapid skills acquisition and knowledge enhancement, become more survival skills as opposed to simply an academic pursuit or curiosity.
At the same time all of this was going on, there was a background drumbeat of multiple government initiatives, legal developments, and changes, that will herald further technological and engineering challenges which will require us to adapt further.
While many of the recent changes have been implemented in order to harness the country’s energy and innovation, there’s no doubt it has brought into sharp focus the need to capture, protect and leverage the skills and talent available in our all our teams: to find strength and support in each other, and to adopt a future focus which is mindful of our wider responsibilities, interfaces and obligations.
The mantra “build back better” is easy to say, but in reality, it requires grit, determination and imagination to put into practice.
The Board at Solomons truly believe that this unique moment in time gives us a real opportunity to do this. For us, there is a clear need for supporting our people to be resilient, confident, innovators and disrupters: to truly achieve lasting and meaningful change and improvement in our industry.
We know we have the skills, talent, and the will to take things to the next stage.
We want to support real growth in our people. That doesn’t mean more training, more qualifications, more hours, more responsibility. It means the autonomy, freedom, and confidence to act responsibly and consciously, not just in respect of their professional role, but also in the impact their role may have on the wider project teams, supply chains and communities around them.
As part of our evolution, we’re investing in skills for the future, to help our people be the very best they can be, not just as professionals but as citizens and influencers in the areas and projects on which they work. We want them to increase their connection to the communities in which they work. And we want them to understand the true impact of the projects they are working on and how they may become catalysts for better places and impacts in their communities.
That’s where our skills for the future focus will be. We may be a small company, but we have big hearts and minds and collectively we have the power to ignite change.
In 2021 we launched our Future Skills Academy. This is designed to harness the knowledge, skills and fresh perspectives of our people to support the development of our team. It’s all about helping each other, and pushing each other, to be the best we can be and always have an eye fixed on the bigger picture. It’s not simply telling someone less experienced about how to do things. It’s about collaborating, exploring new ideas, gaining new experiences – and growing together.
The Academy focuses on four key areas:
• Technical skills
• Digital skills
• Resilience skills
• Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) Accountability Club – our specially developed learning and support network for those pursuing RICS Chartership
Developing in these areas will ensure we build a team that’s not just fit for the future but is constantly one step ahead of the game. It will underpin everything we do; from our career conversion training programmes and apprenticeships to the various routes open to those seeking and senior positions in our company and profession. By learning together, we become stronger.
Without question there will be challenging times ahead, but for us these are extremely exciting times.
Kerry Doig, Strategic Director, Solomons Europe