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How curiosity and a learning-oriented culture drive success

mars 14, 2024 / Mike Thomson

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Unisys emphasizes the importance of enhancing associate skills and adapting to new technologies like generative AI for both personal growth and company success.
  • The company strategically focuses on upskilling current associates while also incorporating additional talent to maintain a skilled and innovative workforce.
  • Unisys views training as a joint responsibility between the company and its associates, essential for effective personal and professional development.
  • The company fosters a culture that values curiosity and experimentation, crucial for driving innovation and remaining competitive in the technology industry.

Part two of a three-part associate development series. Read part one.

In the swiftly evolving technology landscape, companies must excel in workforce efficiency while fostering a culture of innovation and growth. Leaders must balance nurturing a workforce that is proficient in its current responsibilities while pushing forward to drive innovation.

The essence of the strategy at Unisys centers on a fundamental trio: associate development, encouraging curiosity and experimentation, and the role of continuous training. These elements strengthen success and resilience in a sector where change is constant. This blog post explores these themes, illustrates their significance for our associates and the company, and potentially serves as inspiration for other leaders navigating similar paths.

Empowering associates through skill development

At the heart of Unisys' associate development strategy is a steadfast belief in the power of aligning personal development with organizational progress. We view self-improvement and skill enhancement as the most practical and effective means to develop our associates, serve our clients and contribute to the company's success.

Take, for instance, generative AI (gen AI). This technology is rapidly reshaping the industry landscape, and the demand for skills in this area is skyrocketing. However, the gap between the demand for these skills and their availability is conspicuous. Our solution to a scenario like this is to augment what our associates already know.

For example, in 2023, we opened AI training, including courses on gen AI, to all associates. This year, we're expanding our offerings with more advanced training levels and introducing four new categories tailored to specific roles within the company. What's exciting is that these opportunities are available to everyone, regardless of their current position. Our goal is to empower our associates to prepare for the roles they aspire to, not just the ones they currently hold. This approach helps our associates stay relevant and competitive while helping Unisys remain at the forefront of technological innovation. It also illustrates our broader commitment to keeping our team's skills sharp and relevant.

The strategy of internal training, right-skilling and up-skilling

Our skill development strategy is two-pronged: internal training and embracing new talent. Internal training focuses on filling skill gaps and prioritizing the growth and advancement of our current team over external recruitment. We’ve implemented a program to make open roles more visible to our associates. This strategy not only builds a sense of loyalty and commitment among our staff but also leverages the rich experience and understanding they already possess about Unisys' operations and values.

We also believe in the fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that new talent brings to our company. Therefore, we actively seek promising individuals, particularly recent graduates, who can infuse new energy into our teams, providing an opportunity for our existing team members to advance. This approach creates a dynamic and progressive workforce where everyone, irrespective of their tenure, has opportunities to learn and grow.

Training as a collaborative effort

At Unisys, we view training as a collaborative venture. It's a two-way street where the company provides opportunities and resources for growth and, in turn, expects a commitment to learning and development from our associates.

We offer a variety of training programs, workshops, and learning modules through Unisys University, an online learning platform, designed to enhance both technical and soft skills. But the efficacy of these programs hinges on the active participation and engagement of our associates. Their willingness to embrace new learning opportunities, to challenge themselves, and to step out of their comfort zones is crucial. It's this proactive attitude towards personal and professional development that we seek and encourage.

Curiosity and experimentation: The core of innovation

We have witnessed an important shift from encouraging a culture of curiosity at Unisys to actively embracing a culture of experimentation. This evolution marks a significant stride in our journey towards innovation. Curiosity is the starting point; it drives our associates to challenge the status quo and envision what could be. However, it is experimentation that translates this curiosity into tangible outcomes, propelling both personal career growth and the delivery of innovative solutions to our clients.

For our associates, a willing embrace of experimentation means continuous learning, growth and the opportunity to be part of groundbreaking projects. Our culture of curiosity and experimentation extends to our client interactions. By experimenting with new ideas and approaches, our associates are better equipped to offer creative solutions that align closely with our clients' unique challenges and aspirations, enhancing our commitment to customer intimacy.

The virtuous cycle of learning and curiosity

In this journey of continuous innovation, we have observed a virtuous cycle: education and exposure invariably lead to broadened perspectives, which in turn fuel further curiosity and learning. As our associates expand their knowledge base and skill sets, they uncover new areas of interest and potential, which encourages further exploration and learning.

This cycle is self-reinforcing and self-perpetuating, driving both personal and organizational growth. As our team members grow more curious and knowledgeable, their ability to contribute to Unisys' success amplifies. They're able to offer more insightful, empathetic, and customized service, strengthening our client relationships through a genuine commitment to their success.

Shaping the future together

In our journey to enhance associate development and nurture a culture of curiosity and experimentation, we remain steadfast in our commitment to client intimacy. Our associates, equipped with advanced skills and an innovative mindset, are at the forefront of delivering exceptional service and building enduring, trust-based relationships with our clients. This is the essence of our approach at Unisys – growing together with our associates and clients, driving forward in technology and service.

To our associates, my call to action is this: embrace the opportunities for learning and growth that surround you. Be curious, be bold in your experimentation, and be relentless in your pursuit of innovation. To those considering joining our team, know that at Unisys, your growth and development are at the forefront of what we do. Together, we can continue to push the boundaries of technology and service, creating not just a successful company but a thriving community of innovative minds.

Curiosity, creativity, and a constant desire to improve. Our associates shape tomorrow by going beyond expertise to bring solutions to life. Curious about joining our team? Visit our careers page.

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