How to drive employee engagement and career growth

Wooden arrow pieces pointing to a target.

Education and career development plays an important role in society and is a key pillar for Adobe. Adobe senior solution consultant, Scott Gruer and APJ ERC generalist lead, Kate Roughsedge share their thoughts, experiences and tips on how to drive employee engagement and career growth.

Gaining professional development opportunities

“I accessed the Professional Development Reimbursement Fund to study Japanese. I purchased a self-study option and subscribed to various online courses and apps. This works great because I can fit my study around my work and other activities,” shared Gruer.

This benefit provides Adobe employees up to USD$1,000 per calendar year for short-term learning opportunities that includes things like conferences or workshops, business books and language classes.

Gruer shared that he would sometimes study on the stationary bike at the gym or while commuting to work. And thanks to the fund that he was able to access, Gruer passed the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) N5 level recently. This was the beginning of Gruer’s journey to fluency.

Roughsedge, Adobe’s APJ ERC Generalist Lead, was able to access the education reimbursement fund to begin and complete her Masters in Human Resources. This fund provides up to USD$10,000 per calendar year for the pursuit of academic degrees, advanced specializations and technical certifications. With the benefit provided, Roughsedge was also able to sign up for membership at the Australian HR Institute. This enabled her to access a wide range of HR resources, templates, events and webinars, which are beneficial to her line of work.

In both situations, Gruer and Roughsedge discovered the many benefits of accessing such funds. “While Japanese is not a language I require directly for my current role, my manager has been very supportive because it may unlock future opportunities within Adobe. This has also made me appreciative of how hard it can be for non-native speakers”, Gruer explained.

Being part of the Southeast Asia team, Gruer works with customers from many different countries, many of which use English as a second language. Gruer has worked hard to ensure all communication is clear and deliberate, word choice being ever so important.

“Simple and clear messages reach a wider audience. Who knows, once my Japanese becomes better, I might start studying an in-region language such as Thai”, Gruer remarked.

Roughsedge, on the other hand, has found that leveraging the learning benefits at Adobe has helped her grow her career in HR by gaining globally recognised professional qualifications, remaining abreast of HR trends and strengthening her HR network locally in Australia.

Strong culture of learning

Learning and development is important within Adobe. A range of opportunities are provided to employees through education reimbursements, a learning fund as well as internal opportunities for skills development hosted by an amazing talent development team.

Roughsedge recently took on a stretch opportunity to cover for a colleague. She found the practical experience provided invaluable learning and insight into a new area of HR for her.

A few years ago, Gruer completed a management training program and he too agrees about the fantastic culture of learning within. Gruer explained, “One thing’s clear — Adobe encourages a growth mindset. The most important thing is to be clear about your goals and work with your manager. Together, you can plan how to move forward, whether that involves developing soft skills or technical know-how or even if that’s simply gaining exposure and experience in other parts of the business. Whatever your career interest, Adobe has such a diverse range of products and services that there is truly limitless opportunity for growth”.

Other than these funds, Adobe makes available curated content recommendations and digital learning resources including LinkedIn Learning, GetAbstract, Coursera and Harvard ManageMentor.

There is also a week-long career festival organized annually to raise awareness about internal mobility policies so that employees are equipped to navigate forward and drive their career aspirations. Employees have the opportunity to request a 1:1 career advisory conversation with a talent acquisition team member, engage in virtual sessions to discuss future skills or manage their personal brand, among other things.

In 2021 alone, the Career Fest brought together over 1,100 participants with a 90 percent satisfaction score in APAC and Japan. It was a huge success with over 470 Australian engagements with 117 unique participants.

Learning opportunities create corporate advantage

Both Gruer and Roughsedge have spoken frequently about the availability of learning opportunities and how this leads to increased corporate success, among other things. For one, it helps talent to stay sharp which leads to increased engagement and motivation. As a result, Adobe maintains their competitive advantage, which as Roughsedge noted, makes this a win-win for all.

Gruer found that allowing employees to learn new things is a key part of employee satisfaction. “Increased employee satisfaction leads to higher employee retention for the organization, and not only that, the learning process keeps employees at the top of their game”, Gruer shared.

When employees are engaged, productive and working to make a difference, there are multiple wins for all. Speed, agility, improved decision making and innovation come together to create a powerful force. This has allowed Adobe to continue producing market-leading products that help their customers achieve great things. Thanks to the focus on professional development at Adobe, it is exciting to see the breadth of opportunity and access available here today.