Winner: Innovation in Learning and Development 
Highly Commended: OCN London Inspiring Learning for All

Founded over 25 years ago by a regional broker, Broker Network has grown to become the UK’s largest network of independent insurance brokers.

Broker Network’s Learning at Work Week set out to re-engage staff with learning, following feedback that they wanted more development opportunities. The Learning and Development (L&D) team saw the week as an opportunity to introduce a two-way dialogue on learning and showcase fresh, innovative and inclusive ideas that took on the thoughts of employees, with the aim of L&D propositions being shaped by them going forward.

As staff’s time is focused on supporting Broker Network’s Members, the L&D team wanted to make sure that activities were quick, accessible, interesting and something more than an email, so that colleagues could and would want to participate in them. They decided to use Learning at Work Week as a way to introduce a new way of learning, as well as to test a number of educational methods to see what staff thought.

To raise the profile of the L&D team and learning more generally, a desk drop magazine was produced. Here, staff could find out about the 70/20/10 model, which promotes learning in three different ways - 70% from challenging assignments, 20% from interactions with others and 10% through formal learning. Members of staff from around the business were invited to share their career learning journeys and those that volunteered became advocates for the week as well. Their stories were filmed and made available as ‘ask the expert’ videos, which encouraged others to share their journeys also.

The team used face to face and electronic formats for activities during the course of the week, which included the launch of new Lunch & Learn sessions. These workshops are where staff can come together on a lunchtime to discover and discuss a different topic. The first subject, which was voted for by staff, was resilience and those who were not office based were able to join virtually. Online learning, such as Ted Talks and modules on how to ‘ask questions’ and on ‘being likeable’, were also made available.

At the end of the week, a mocktail mixer brought colleagues together from across the business to discuss their experiences of the week, see a demonstration of the LMS and find out about mobile learning by taking an insurance quiz.

As a result of Learning at Work Week, staff have reported that they feel Broker Network has invested in them and there is a focus on their development, which they value for both their work and personal life. More Lunch & Learns have been requested and delivered with members of staff offering to run their own sessions to share their skills and knowledge on a range of topics.

There is a new awareness of what learning is available and involvement in L&D has continued to grow from 0% by the business before Learning at Work Week to 23% afterwards. It now stands at 43%. Based on feedback from the week, Broker Network has introduced two apprenticeship programmes that will provide the first cohort of 14 people with recognised CMI and CII qualifications.