How we’ve built a learning and development culture at Seed

Maisie Franklin

Maisie Franklin

August 26, 2021

5 mins read

A blog written by Nick in 2016 explored the importance of learning and development and how it should be a prominent pillar in company culture. Something that Nick had been integrating into a huge part of Seed’s future from the beginning.

Fast forward to 2021, and learning and development are at the core of everything we do. Working within such a fast-paced, ever-evolving digital environment it is now more important than ever to be on top of the latest digital trends and pivoting strategies when we need to. So, how do we do this at Seed? Introducing learning and development…

Why are learning and development so important to us? 

Encouraging a learning and development culture has not only been proven to direct success, but it is now something that employees expect. A 2016 report from Deloitte uncovered that learning and development opportunities within businesses are the most attractive benefit for Millennials.

So developing a learning and development culture at Seed means that not only can we attract like-minded digital enthusiasts who are interested in learning more, we can develop our agency’s skillset.

How do we encourage learning and development? 

From 2012 to 2021 learning and development has always been encouraged and greatly received by everyone at Seed. In order for learning and development to become the core of the agency, it is important to formalise it within everyday work.

Too often, everyday “work” can take priority, and employees may feel guilty taking time out to work for learning. It is important that as an agency all Seedlings know that learning and experimenting individually, in teams or as an agency are both safe and expected, and even… encouraged!

We have many tactics and tools that we use in order to promote personal development some of these are listed below.

Learn by teaching

At Seed, we provide SEO, PPC, Paid Social, Design and Project Management services and due to this, as an agency we have a plethora of skills. What may be one Seedlings weaker area, is the next Seedlings strongest – so of course, it makes sense to learn and share knowledge together.

It is said that when learning and developing you should spend 80% of your time improving your strengths and 20% of your time improving your weaker areas, and what better way to do this than through teaching?

A study by Applied Cognitive Psychology set out to examine the theory that teaching improves learning. The study found that when students taught more it led to deeper and longer-lasting acquisition of the information they knew previously.

Teaching has become a great way at Seed to share service knowledge whilst also brushing up and improving on our strengths.

Each week we have interactive strategy sessions with a topic focus that is led by a specialist in that area. Questions arise that make the session leader think – whilst also encouraging others to input into the conversation.

There is nothing better than when you are questioned on a topic that you thought you knew the ins and outs of only to learn collectively there is a whole other side to it!

Learning as we go 

With a range of different clients in multiple different sectors all with different roadblocks, it is important to stay agile with our work. On the job training is quickly becoming an increasingly popular learning and development tactic – and one that everyone loves at Seed. This provides the flexibility to capitalise quickly and effectively with new digital developments and trends.

As an agency, on the job learning allows development processes to be part of the everyday working experience – using the devices, documents, tools and materials we are already using on a day-to-day basis. The aim of this is to solve issues as they arise and make as much progress as possible, as quickly as we can. This ensures that we can be as reactive as possible with our clients.

Have a technical SEO question? Tom Kav is your guy from SEO.

Need to know about a tracking issue with SA360? Go and grab Luke from paid search.

Unsure about the dimensions of a display ad? Emma is on hand to help from Design.

We strongly believe that anything is possible, we just need to dedicate the time to find the answers! There is nothing more we love than working together with clients to problem solve and clear roadblocks.

Dedicated allocated time for learning

Each week we have a dedicated 7-hours per Seedling dedicated to learning. Whether that is an allotted time on a Friday in a collaborative strategy brainstorm, or individually throughout the week, each choice is welcomed.

In addition to this, each Seedling has an allocated learning budget in which they can use in any way they would like. Whether this is a course, a practical digital workshop or a new platform we can all find how we like to learn, and what we like to learn.

To conclude…

There is a reason that in Google’s “top 10 things we know to be true” one of the points is that there is always more knowledge to gain and things to learn.

As an agency, we truly believe that learning and developing continuously plays a key part in building great relationships with our clients, achieving and maintaining results and improving our job satisfaction every day.

What does the future of learning and development look like at Seed? We will let you know in a part 3 blog in another 5 years!

If you would like to work with a growing, innovative-first agency, please get in touch with us today. 

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