Winner: OCN London Inspiring Learning for All - Large Organisation

Pepper UK are specialists in Lending, Advisory and Asset Servicing across the residential and commercial property sectors.

Pepper UK’s Learning at Work Week inspired learning for all with fun and interesting activities and experiences where colleagues could share ideas, network and teach each other. It aimed to connect colleagues to the L&D team and build motivation, driving the future uptake of learning opportunities at Pepper to benefit both individuals and the business.

Pepper is a diverse organisation. It has apprentices, long tenured staff and colleagues recruited for specific experience in the sector. By taking into consideration different interests and potential barriers to learning such as time and learning differences, a programme was devised to engage colleagues from all areas of the business.

The training room was made available for networking, leadership talks, lunch and learns and breakfast events. Leaders spoke about their individual journeys within the business, inspiring employees to envisage their future at the organisation. People could develop skills in barbering, judo, taekwondo and first aid, as well as listen to speakers on aspects of business including Finance and Risk.

To promote the week effectively, Pepper realised they needed to be creative as emails could easily get lost amongst business communications. The timing of communications was also crucial. Pepper UK wanted to create a sense of anticipation and permit enough time for employees and managers to make time for themselves and their teams to attend. The week was highlighted in meetings, through LinkedIn and even in Vending Machine videos.

By inviting colleagues to ‘take over’ the training room, the HR team generated conversations around learning and demonstrated that it's not just about passing finance tests but also about expanding horizons and networking across the Pepper family. The week did not set out to ‘fix’ employee knowledge or solve specific problems but to bring people together in different ways to make connections, learn new skills and celebrate talents and learning. Pepper UK will build on this success in 2019 by partnering with schools and colleges to connect with their potential future workforce.