30 Sep 2011

Open University partners with Waitrose to support employee development

The Open University has joined forces with Waitrose to help employees achieve their career aspirations. PartnerLearn, a new tool designed to provide personal and team development, was launched by the Waitrose Learning & Development Team in partnership with The Open University and Ashridge Business School.

Employees can access the site from work or outside the workplace, fitting professional development around their lifestyles. The tool provides content from four of The Open University’s professional development courses on personal and team development. This is in addition to more than 100 20-minute bite-sized modules covering a wide range of topics from Maximising your Potential to Leading your Team and Achieving Excellence. The combination of CPD (Continued Professional Development) and short course material ensures a breadth of knowledge that can be implemented immediately into the workplace once studied.

There is also an Enabling Performance Programme to provide managers with the tools they need to develop themselves and their staff. It offers a range of techniques to enhance effectiveness including coaching, feedback, rapport-building, listening and questioning.

Simon Rae, Lecturer in Professional Development at The Open University said: “We are very pleased to be involved with Waitrose in making learning and development opportunities available to their staff, using the synergies of our two organisations to mutual benefit. Both organisations have much in common in terms of wanting to provide first rate possibilities for personal growth and advancement. The Open University material is very much about combining workplace experience with academic thinking so that it can be readily put into practice to the advantage of all those involved. By delivering individual learning solutions at scale and quality through the PartnerLearn site, employees can timetable their study to suit their own particular needs. Investing in employee development is as important now as it was before the financial crisis started in 2008.”

Jo Kelly, Head of Talent at Waitrose concluded: “We’re a rapidly growing company, so it was important that we came up with a new tool to embed learning and development across a bigger and more complex business. We are confident that PartnerLearn will help us continue our commitment to helping our employees develop themselves and achieve their career aspirations.”

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