Key Takeaways| Virtual Fireside Chat: Building a Learning Culture with Huawei’s Lesley White

4 minutes read
By Sinakho Dlamini, HR Content Specialist, Top Employers Institute
Sinakho Dhlamini
Content Marketing Specialist

Lesley White, the Deputy VP of HR in the Western European Region for Huawei, caught up with David Plink, our CEO, on the of 12th of October 2021 in one of our virtual fireside chats: “Building a Learning Culture”.

One of the ways organisations are retaining and motivating their employees is through learning and development programs that keep employees committed to growth. Lesley White sat down to speak about how Huawei creates and nurtures a culture of continuous learning in the current world of work. During their discussion, Lesley shared knowledge around the initiatives Huawei uses to upskill their employees. She also shared some of the challenges that come with maintaining enthusiasm for learning and development across a global company.

Read ahead to get a snapshot at some of the highlights from Lesley and David’s discussion and fill in the form (on the right-hand side of the page) to get the complete fireside chat to watch whenever you have a moment.

How Huawei  builds a culture of continuous learning

Huawei is a large multinational with nearly 200 000 fixed employees globally, which means that they engage with many different cultures around work and learning. Considering this, they created a unified company culture that underlies their approach to learning and development.

As a global company with its roots in China, they have formed their company philosophy and culture around a “Huawei Chinese culture”. That believes that everyone is responsible for their learning journey. Therefore, their strategic approach to learning is to play the role of a facilitator. In other words, providing relevant platforms, encouragement and some KPIS, but ultimately it comes down to the individual being response for their own learning. It is a distinctly Chinese approach, but Huawei has made it a priority to institute this philosophy across its global operations.

One of the ways they encourage this thirst for knowledge globally is by developing a dedicated Huawei University, where the core value of continuous improvement is driven through learning. It inspires employees  to never stand still, continuously push themselves and learn as much as they can.

How Huawei is implementing a culture of continuous learning

A strategy that works for Huawei, but may not work for every company, is linking every position in their organisation to competency and qualifications check. Every two years employees are required to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills for their job and if they want to be considered for a promotion, they need to have actively upskilled themselves. In this way, Huawei integrates its learning culture into the employee lifecycle. As many of their employees outside of China are not used to this culture, they make sure to communicate why their culture works in this way to all their employees and have found that most of their workforce accept and appreciate the culture as it helps them to learn and develop. 

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How Huawei uses technology to promote learning   

As an IT company with a diverse workforce across the globe, Huawei has used its knowledge in research and development to help create internal systems for learning. A belief that underpins Huawei’s approach to learning is that information should be accessible to all employees, regardless of their location. To equalise the playing field in all their regions, they use technology to drive Huawei University. They have over 20 000 online courses on top of workshops and training activities. To promote a knowledge sharing culture they are careful to upload these offline training experiences onto the online platform.

Their sharing behaviour allows everyone to have equitable access to knowledge. It includes making case studies and problem-solving projects available to the whole company so that, for example, someone from Spain can share information that will help another person in Malaysia. The information on the platform is not exclusive to training documents. It also has a plethora of content about wellbeing, mental health and other things that aren’t directly related to their day-to-day work at Huawei.

How Huawei sees the future of hybrid learning

As the pandemic restrictions begin to wane in many countries, many organisations, including Huawei, are considering how they will construct their learning framework. Will they return to in-person learning, keep everything online or take a blended approach to learning? Watch the entire fireside chat by filling in the form to get even more insight into Huawei’s approach to learning and development.

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Key Takeaways| Virtual Fireside Chat: Building a Learning Culture with Huawei’s Lesley White