HomeLearning & DevelopmentInterview with Tom Bailey, Learning Experience Manager at AXA

Interview with Tom Bailey, Learning Experience Manager at AXA

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Tom Bailey is the Learning Experience Manager at AXA UK, who currently have around 9,000 employees in the UK. He talked to us about the importance of Learning Development, and how AXA are encouraging their staff to learn and develop within the company.

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How do you help others embrace learning?  

Learning is becoming more and more important in the workplace, especially because of the speed of change, and those of us who aren’t continuously learning and developing may get left behind in our careers. A recent report by Dell claimed that 85 per cent of the jobs that will be available in 2030 have not even been invented yet. So, it’s that message trying to make sure that people know that learning is so important for their own development. One thing that we’re trying to shift is where historically people may have been put in a classroom and told what to learn. Today we’re more focused on creating a culture of learning where people drive their own development. So that’s the real key message we’re trying to push forward.

What is the actual structure of learning at AXA? 

Before we brought in the Cornerstone LMS in 2016, 80% of our learning solutions were delivered in a classroom. Two years on we’ve now implemented the new LMS and we’ve now got 10,000 digital resources that people can access and learn.

Do you think AXA are doing something different in L&D? 

The one thing we’re doing is talking about this self-directed culture of learning, again putting the emphasis on your own development. And owning your own career development. That’s something that is new for AXA, learning culture is very topical at the minute, so that’s something that we’re really trying to drive forward. This is something we are also now doing on a global scale where we recently ran our first ever global L&D campaign called the AXA Learning Games.

How important is it for everyone to learn?  

It’s important for everyone to learn as a whole, it’s also important for us as an L&D team to recognise that people are in different stages of their career. A key example is where we have hungry new graduates and apprentices, who have just come out of education who really just want to learn everything. For us, it’s important to recognise that everyone wants to learn, everyone needs to learn and develop, so it’s just about offering different options for different groups of people.

What are the key areas you would like to see changing within AXA and L&D?  

I think there’s got to be a big focus for us around the topics of digital and data, again because of the speed of change. There are a huge number of start-up FinTech businesses which are disrupting the industry. As AXA is a large global organisation, we may not necessarily be as agile as these small start-up businesses. We really need to focus on digital technologies and data, to really make sure that we keep up with the speed of change.

What’s a big focus for you now? 

There’s a big focus for management and leadership, I recently saw a report that stated people are more likely to engage with learning and development if it’s from their line manager. If we can help the managers at AXA become coaches and have the growth mindset to become motivators, that will make the biggest impact on a business.  

What does the future look like for L&D? 

Around innovation, we are looking at potentially bringing in automated content curation and recommendations. InLearning & Development at AXA, we’re looking at how learning can be more personalised to the individual employee. At the minute all of our 10,000 digital learning courses are for everyone. If this could be automated, personalised and an enhanced learning experience for our employees, this is what we will be working towards.


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