Company culture emphasizes lifelong learning
That’s a key aspect of the culture at Sarasota-based S-One Holdings Corp., according to Michael Clementi, the company’s director of learning and development. S-One, with around 140 employees and $138 million in sales in 2017, is a leader in the inkjet printing sector, overseeing multiple brands and products.
Employees now have access to over 3,000 courses through the online platform Udemy. The company pays for licenses for employees as a way to encourage constant learning. S-One also hosts in-person classes at its Sarasota office. The classes are available to workers in its Barcelona office, too, through video streaming.
Clementi tells Coffee Talk the classes tackle a wide range of topics. That includes sales, time management, marketing, social media, foreign languages and cooking. “We’re already seeing better sales or blogs out of it,” he says. “We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from employees.”
So far, 115 people are using the program. Since it started in April, S-One employees have completed 162 courses totaling 26,761 minutes of video watched. There’s even a leader board to track the top learners, so they can be rewarded with half-days of work spent with company leaders.
To promote more learning, S-One also introduced a Drop Everything And Learn — or DEAL — hour for employees. It gives employees the chance to take an hour out of their workday to dedicate to learning. DEAL started as a once-a-month program, but because of demand, Clementi says it's increased to every two weeks.
S-One created its continuing education program in part as a way to help employees chart their own path within the company. “We want to create a culture of learning here,” Clementi says. “We always have pictured ourselves as the Google of Sarasota. We want to make things fun for people. We’ve always put our people first, and this is one of those things that makes people happy.”