Having relevant resources in place for your employees is essential for perpetual efficacy, but that doesn’t only mean providing up to date technology and a functional and stimulating workspace. The most important asset and resource for a company is its workforce. This resource needs to be nurtured and maintained, just like a computer. The company takes great pride in its ability to find, develop, retain, maintain, and reward talent, which subsequently keeps the company at the head of their industry. Like many companies, they try to promote from within.
Employees are able to rise to new heights, because they have been actively increasing their knowledge and educational level during their employment. More than 1/ 3 of job openings within the company are filled by current employees and 1/ 5 of management positions are filled through internal promotion as well. This means that work can continue fluidly, without radical changes from an outsider who has to learn about all the inner workings of a large company. The on-the-job experience at Intuit is far more involved than simply completing your job description; there is constant cross-departmental training and collaboration; anyone in the company, regardless of specialty or experience, is free to make suggestions, offer criticism, and participate in the developmental process.
They don’t limit their development of talent to employees that have already been hired, they reach out to prospective workers that may still be in college through a comprehensive Intern Program, as part of which they are put into real-life situations and allowed to work with current employees in the daily development of products and idea sharing. Interns are exposed to senior leaders and get moved around within the company enough to get a firm grasp of what they should expect and what they can look forward to.
More than 70% of the interns that are offered jobs accept them and become full-time employees. They also offer Rotational Development, in which inexperienced or veteran workers can switch departments or even field offices to cultivate new ideas and creativity that they can then share with their normal colleagues. Sometimes, they even find that they have been missing out on their calling and can be laterally promoted to a different area where their skills and passion will be better utilized.
Finally, Intuit has something called Idea Jams, basically a brainstorming session that is considerably bigger than a boardroom. An Idea Jam involves up to 400 people, in four different locations, and hundreds of ideas, which eventually get passed down through company-wide initiatives that begin and end with the people most commonly facing these problems. Average workers deal with customers and think about how to give them an ideal product every day, so it is natural that solutions to these problems would come from those most familiar with them.
These are not necessarily unique concepts in business, but neither are they standard for this specific industry, which is not known for innovation and collaboration. Intuit once again lives up to its name by taking the policies and philosophies that work in other spheres of business and figuring out how they can apply them to the bettering of their own company. They don’t stop at the programs listed above; there is the Fast Path program, which singles out potential leaders in the company and offers them two 4-day seminars with senior management, to directly develop their skills in the managerial areas they might be suited for.
There is the Action Learning Program, which is a step up from Fast Track helping managers, when deemed necessary, to improve their leadership skills and create a more functional and productive workplace. 20% of participants’ working time over a 6-month period is spent in interactive lectures, training sessions, and observations, aimed at honing their abilities, rather than punishing or demoting them for not living up to the demands of their position.
Learn more about the importance of developing the talent in employees, only at the University Canada West, one of the best universities in Canada, offering various business and management related programs.