Meet our people

5 minutes with our Aspire network

Posted by Jon Meyrick, 3 months ago

2 min read

We talk to our Aspire network about what it’s doing to bring learning and development to our colleagues’ fingertips.

What is the Aspire Network?

Aspire is an employee-led network which is there to provide personal and professional development opportunities to colleagues right across the bank.

How did it come about?

Until 2017 we were known as the NatWest Young Bankers Association and provided a platform for colleagues at the start of their career journeys to learn. That year we re-branded to Aspire and adjusted our mission to encourage all colleagues to learn actively throughout their career. Learning has always been part of the bank’s culture and even more so in recent years, with our ambition to become a leading learning organisation.

How does Aspire fit into our learning culture?

We create opportunities for colleagues to connect with each other, build on existing skills and learn new ones as well as enabling networking opportunities that foster both personal and professional relationships which would not have been possible otherwise.

What have been Aspire’s major achievements so far?

Last year we launched a series of bitesize video podcasts which helped our members learn in a digital, on-demand way. This year we’ve started our own blog called A Day in the Life, showcasing jobs available across the bank to help encourage internal mobility. Both have been hugely successful and really well received positive by colleagues.

We’re one of the bank’s longest standing employee led networks, so we’ve been making a difference for a long time. We’re proud to contribute to people’s development, and we’re proud of being able to change our focus to help more people learn, and help push the bank’s goals forwards.

What’s on the cards moving forwards?

We have some exciting activities planned for the rest of this year including our first network-wide celebration of Learning at Work Week in partnership with the NatWest Group Academy, and a new development programme about future skills.

We continue to balance between remote and in-person support. But being in the office recently has been particularly exciting as we’ve seen some of the physical promotions for Learning at Work Week – it’s been great to see everything coming together!

We have over 3500 members engaging with us every month to improve their learning and development. Our aim is for our digital content and learning activities to play a part in delivering the bank’s goal of reaching 320,000 learning hours completed by the end of this year.

How does Aspire make sure our senior leaders know about what’s going on in the network?

As an employee-led network, Aspire acts as a voice for colleagues on learning and development matters. That means we have a regular dialogue with the company’s executive committee, providing updates on what we’re working on and understanding how we can take our support for colleagues even further. Using those relationships is really important as we work to help support our colleagues’ learning and development.

Work somewhere with a healthy culture of learning and development.

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