At FMP we like to celebrate continuous learning all year long. FMP is fortunate to have its very own Learning Committee, which is dedicated to creating opportunities for all FMP employees to grow professionally by sharing knowledge and gaining new skills. Keep reading to hear from some Learning Committee members (Kathleen Bellis, Richard Evitts, Natasha Tenreiro, Kevin Murphy, and David Stein) about their L&D-related thoughts and experiences.
What inspired you to join the Learning Committee?
Kathleen: I am passionate about our goals for continuous learning and knowledge-sharing among all FMP employees and have some technical experience that I can bring to the committee.
Richard: Having an I-O background, I love learning and development in general. Once I heard that FMP had a committee, I joined within 2 weeks of being onboarded!
Natasha: I joined the Learning Committee because I was interested in exploring areas outside of my client work to expand my overall skillset and knowledge. I also joined because I wanted to work with employees at FMP that I do not get to engage with on a day-to-day basis. It has been great getting to explore the area of learning and development and provide contributions internally to FMP!
Kevin: Learning is what I do and is my passion. I started as a high school teacher and then transitioned to the world of adult learning when I became an Instructional Designer. I wanted to share my expertise and collaborate with others passionate about learning.
David: All the wonderful people that were already part of it!
Why is it important for today’s workforce to engage in continuous learning and development?
Kathleen: The ability to become a “learning organization” who uses knowledge to quickly adapt to changing client needs and who can leverage new technologies and innovations is what will differentiate FMP from our competitors.
Richard: Things are always changing, and it’s important to be aware of this. Continuous learning and development allows us to adapt when we need.
Natasha: I think the past few years have shown us just how quickly change can occur and how organizations and their employees need to be able to adapt to such change to be successful. Continuous learning and development is so important because it helps to ensure that, when change does come, employees can handle it with ease. As an added bonus, it fun to learn and develop! It keeps things fresh and interesting so employees don’t become disengaged.
Kevin: Continuous learning helps keep us sharp. This includes developing new skills or honing existing skills used in our daily jobs. This can be mandatory training or self-directed learning. Self-directed learning, or learning I choose, also helps keep the job fresh. For me, I sometimes fall into a rut, and learning a new skill helps me out of that rut. It recharges me as I consider how to integrate the new skill into my existing job and improve the process.
David: If the world is continuously changing, it’s best to change with it, whether you’re riding the wave or making the wave.
What are your favorite personal learning and development activities outside of work?
Kathleen: Lately, I am thoroughly enjoying Lucid – bite-sized learning and knowledge reinforcement on a wide variety of topics I can do on my phone! The format is very innovative, and it makes the content easy to remember.
Richard: Does golf count? If it doesn’t, I still pick golf 😊.
Natasha: Outside of work I enjoy trying new hobbies. I find this works best for my learning because I tend to get bored with a hobby after doing it for a while, but switching things up helps keep me interested. I am currently enjoying playing pickleball and am going to try my hand at crocheting soon!
Kevin: I continue to be interested in history and government, so I am constantly reading about different topics. I also have an interest in technology, so I have explored additional web-based trainings (e.g., LinkedIn Learning).
David: Learning home improvement skills gets things done cheaper and sometimes sooner (although often slower) than hiring someone.
Zoe Nerantzis joined FMP as a Consultant in May 2021 and works with the National Science Foundation team by supporting NSF’s learning and development branch. Zoe is from Rockville, Maryland and can generally be found reading fantasy novels, working out in her basement, or rooting for the Washington Football team.