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How do we grow competence of our employees?

Learning and development is essential for growth, and for
some competence development is in the core of their DNA. In
this edition, the Competence Commitee in Visma Lithuania
give a sneak peek at some practices we have. Hopefully, you
can get some inspiration and ideas from it!

The Competence Committee is responsible for developing the competence of
employees, selection of candidates to participate in training, the search, purchase
and organisation of training and conferences.
The Competence Committee is made up of employees from different backgrounds
and positions.

Driving Exellence

Given the supportive environment, self-driven individuals and the right means a lot can be achieved. There’s a thin line between the responsibility Competence Centre and the responsibility of an employee to drive excellence in Visma Lietuva. And that’s because we collaborate closely and everyone can take a stand and become the best version of themselves. Let’s take a closer look at what and how we do it.

Grow Your Own Talent
You reap what you sow so being attentive to the seeds of talent is essential. Throughout the year, when there’s a demand, we open paid internship positions to attract and invite newcomers and help to prepare them for an exciting career journey – and the benefit is mutual. First, they focus on learning and solving tasks guided by mentors, and second, they apply the skills and knowledge gained through practice in an actual project.

More than often we observe a misconception – the more senior the team is the better it will perform. The truth is that seniors and juniors are motivated by slightly different things, which should be balanced. In practice, it is hard to hire a good senior, but it is even harder to hire a promising junior – that is why the junior career path is one of the most streamlined processes here in Visma Lietuva.

Checklists can be used to determine an employee’s seniority and competence level. The checklists for every career path are reviewed and updated yearly, and this is done with the help of our employees.

Clean code is the core of a quality product and code reviews can help to achieve it. One code review a year is mandatory for each employee (doesn’t matter junior or senior). The second one is optional if the competence is proved otherwise – decided by a coach of the employee in question. You might fall into a false sense of security, that your team has at least one reviewer for each pull request, but your team may stew in its own juice, that is why sometimes code reviews should be done by a reviewer outside of the project.

Access To Resources And Competence Events
Having powerful resources at your fingertips to widen and deepen your knowledge is crucial, so we provide a range of means on a demand basis for those who need it.

Once a quarter, we renew our physical library based on employee suggestions. However, specific criteria need to be met: books must have a high rating and be work-related thus adding only quality reads to share.

The fastest way to gather knowledge is through training and courses, best with hands-on practice. Individuals can request a subscription to an online course provider on demand. We have picked some of the most popular quality platforms and have licences ready for use. Next, we regularly organise internal training sessions led by our employees covering the most essential topics. The most popular internal training sessions are Clean Code, Scrum, Security, SOLID, Architecture, and technology-oriented ones like .NET Core, Angular.

Research the high-tech local and international conferences and encourage participation in them, thus keeping up with the state of the art technologies and staying ahead of the game. It is an opportunity to gather best practices and apply them in everyday work.

What makes you feel recognized? Showcases what you know and are capable of? A certificate! Certificates show expertise and are also an aspiration to learn new things while preparing for the exams. Studying together is more fun, so we are launching a new initiative – inviting employees to cooperate when preparing for the same certification and joining a dedicated study group.

Ninjas. We have taken Visma Ninjas to a local level. Our experts are always ready to help and share their knowledge and experience with those who need advice. Having them dedicated to our local division reduces the load of the queries and response times in comparison to Ninjas at the corporate level. We’ve brought together online communities where any employee can ask questions and get a quick response from a Ninja.

Grow Leaders Through Teaching And Sharing

Not everyone is an experienced public speaker but beyond question, everyone has something to say. Providing the right format can enable people to speak up.

Have anything geeky on your mind? Recently participated in a conference? Share it with others! We highly encourage running internal training sessions called Code Monkeys. This not only allows this to excite the curiosity of others, and find like-minded peers but also to practise public speaking and arrange information in an engaging and informative manner.

And then there are Hubs – ongoing events containing a series of talks related to the same topic (Agile, Coach, Test – just to name a few). Each hub has a responsible person to coordinate activities of finding a lecturer, ordering food (as they take place during lunchtime), etc.

The talks mentioned above need some preparation, but there’s also something for those who want to share their wisdom without spending too much time preparing. During Shorts, the speakers share their experience and knowledge, and no preparation is required unless desired. It is, however, limited to personal findings and experience, so a complete presentation of the broader topic should not be anticipated. Shorts have been quite a success probably because they are the most informal and are a good starting point for someone without significant experience in public speaking.

It would be a shame not to share working knowledge with the wider public having competent experts on the ground. That is why we offer both – paid internal and external training. Internal training as the name implies is provided by and to our employees. And then, external training is provided for anyone interested outside of Visma. And yet again, this is how we benefit not only financially but strengthening the qualities of our lecturers and spreading the word about Visma.

The Secret Ingredient

Geeks – that is how we call ourselves and we are proud to be so. When a job becomes your hobby and you’re constantly surrounded by like-minded people in a geeky atmosphere, you naturally grow. Someone always knows something that you don’t and you know something that other people do not know. Encourage exchanging knowledge and understanding that people are the most valuable asset and helping them thrive in what they love to do is the key answer to high competence.

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