The Value of Workplace Learning: Why Startek Invests in Continuous Education

The world of work is constantly evolving. While this change is not new, rapid advances in technology are accelerating the pace of change and shifting the skillsets we need to succeed in the workplace. McKinsey estimates that, to adapt to technological transformation, up to 375 million people may need to learn new job skills by 2030.

As a customer experience (CX) provider operating in 13 countries across the globe, whether traditional contact center services or non-traditional digital solutions, it is the talent of the people within our organization that make it possible for us to build the world-class CX we are known for.

At the forefront of the application of emerging technologies, Startek® breaks new ground daily by devising integrated CX solutions that blend digital technologies and live agents to deliver customer-centric experiences. To succeed against this rapidly changing backdrop, our business must create an environment of continuous improvement. And that makes creating learning opportunities at all levels a priority.

Learning Propels Your Business Forwards

Investing in ongoing learning is part of the Startek DNA. Like many, our organization invests in learning platforms, facilitates projects to expand associate understanding and equip associates with new skills and devises knowledge-sharing sessions. We believe learning is the cornerstone of progress and, as such, learning is embedded from our employee value proposition onward.

“You can hire talent, and at Startek we hire the best talent.” said Startek vice president, HR, Priyanka Mohanty “But, if you don’t invest in training the talent you hire, developing their skills and maintaining their expertise at the highest level, then you will constantly be hiring but you will never get ahead. At Startek we recognize that the best solution for both our people and our business is to hire the best and then create opportunities for our talent to continue to develop their skills.”

Many organizations say learning is a priority, but the 2021 LinkedIn Learning Report highlighted a common problem. As many as half of all respondents stated that they simply didn’t have the time to learn. When workplace learning is considered important but not urgent it slips to the bottom of the organization’s to-do list. But employers who don’t consider learning to be urgent when compared to other business needs may be missing out, research shows that investing in educational opportunities for your employees drives engagement and loyalty. A recent Salesforce study revealed that two-thirds of employees would be more likely to stay with their employer if they increased investment in learning and development and 74% say it would make them more productive.

Effective Workplace Learning Fits Around Business Needs

To be effective in a fast-paced work environment, learning must be designed to fit in around the natural demands of the workplace. And that requires learning to be approached differently from the years we all remember spent in the classroom. While classroom-based learning has its place, at work bite-sized, self-serve learning offers the flexibility team members need to fit learning around their other priorities.

Recognizing the benefits of enabling team members to learn at the pace and in the format that best suits their individual needs, in 2021 Startek took learning to a new level by giving associates access to thousands of courses via an online educational platform. Through Coursera, Startek offers learning opportunities delivered by more than 200 leading universities and organizations to team members across the globe.

Curated Content Kick-Starts the Learning Journey

Startek supports associates to access relevant content by curating a core program of 152 courses and guiding team members towards the recommended materials for their role within the organization. These courses ladder up into the Startek core competencies, helping to ensure that employees have a common framework and appropriate level of understanding to support them in their day-to-day work.

And Startek team members are not restricted to the recommended course content. In addition, they have access to thousands of other learning materials, from videos and lectures to guided projects and assessments, across a wide range of topic areas both business and non-business related.

“The purpose of enabling team members to learn through Coursera is to encourage our people to be curious, to expand their perspectives and give them new ways to look at and solve problems.” Said Mohanty “We encourage team members to take certain courses aimed towards meeting specific competencies aligned to business goals, but we also encourage our people to explore the areas that are of interest to them personally. For example, we have employees who have studied photography and wellness and we encourage this broad learning because we recognize that exposure to new ideas is always valuable.”

Through the self-directed online learning program, Startek: 

  • Enables team members to be more effective in the roles they have today
  • Creates opportunities for associates to develop the skills they need to take on greater responsibility in the future
  • Builds a strong talent pool of future leaders
  • Drives employee engagement and loyalty

Making Learning a Business Priority

Encouraged to complete a minimum of 60 hours of learning each year, Startek associates have enthusiastically embraced the self-guided learning program. 79% of employees who have access to the platform are enrolled in at least one course, and on average each team member has completed 10 lessons since the program was introduced six months ago.

By tracking employee engagement with the platform, Startek ensures that self-directed learning is seen as both important and urgent, driving conversation around learning as a business goal ensures it does not fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

Tracking the courses completed also helps the business to understand the areas where the organization itself sees a need to develop, enabling the course leaders to continue to curate content and develop the recommended courses in line with business-wide and local team needs.

Ultimately, Startek invests in ongoing learning and development because we believe it is the right thing to do for the shared success of our people and our business. We measure that success in terms of our employee engagement score and our ability to fill vacancies with internal candidates. 

In 2021, a full 45% of total new hires at the supervisory level were filled by internal candidates via our Internal Job Postings (IJP) process, demonstrating our success at enhancing the skillsets of the people we recruit so that they can grow alongside our business. Our most recent employee engagement survey revealed 80% engagement worldwide.

“On International Day of Education, I am reminded of the value of learning and our responsibility as a global employer to create meaningful learning opportunities for our people.” said Mohanty “I am proud of the work we have done to deliver quality ongoing learning opportunities for all.”