The room where RealDecoy holds most of its staff meetings is different from the boardrooms at most other companies. Instead of a single smooth, long wood surface, the e-business solutions and business intelligence firm has several smaller desks its staff pushes together to form one table.
© Mark Holleron
RealDecoy president Richard Isaac.
Company managers prefer this setup because it allows them to break the desks off for learning sessions. To RealDecoy’s president Richard Isaac, it’s a signal of the company’s commitment to helping employees develop new skills on the job.
Mr. Isaac believes this philosophy not only plays a big role in helping the firm stay on top of its competition; it also keeps employees engaged on the job.
“Employee satisfaction is greatly improved through learning,” says Mr. Isaac. “It helps the development of the employee, which tends to be one of the biggest factors in employee satisfaction.”
It used to be that companies worried about employees gaining new skills because it meant they were better equipped to find work elsewhere, says Mr. Isaac.
RealDecoy approaches it from a different angle.
As an example, Mr. Isaac says that new employees have the opportunity to start learning about a given technology not long after their first day.
But there’s a catch.
They eventually need to be able to give a presentation explaining the technology to the rest of the company. The employee can use whatever means they see fit to learn about the topic and then get feedback from their colleagues after they talk about the issue in front of them.
Each worker receives an allocation of money from the company to further their education, says Mr. Isaac. Employees can use this on anything from buying new books to taking day-long seminars.
It’s just one of the ways the company tries to keep its employees engaged.
“It’s boring otherwise,” says Mr. Isaac. “People lose interest.”
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