As a mutual business, caring for people and ensuring reciprocal benefit is at the heart of everything we do. NFU Mutual has always placed huge emphasis on helping people shape their own career paths. Here, Matthew Byrne, our Head of Actuarial, discusses learning and development opportunities and the importance of being a lifelong learner in a people-focused business.

As a business, how does NFU Mutual approach learning and development?
We’ve always had a strong focus on learning and development. To ensure we’re all pointing in the same direction strategically and giving people plenty of opportunities for personal and professional growth. We have a dedicated Learning and Development Team who support people in accessing training, support, and guidance at any time.

Supporting people to thrive at work and reach their career potential is something that we take seriously as a business. I’m always encouraging my own team to keep reading, exploring, and finding out more. As a second line risk assurance team, it’s so important to stay abreast of what’s going on in the industry, the latest trends, and developments in technology, to help us stay competitive and ensure we’re doing the best by our members. Everyone is also given the opportunity to shape their own personal development plan, which is empowering for the individual as it gives people the autonomy to shape their future careers.

How do you measure the impact of learning and development, what does good look like?
I believe that good learning and development needs to be transparent and measurable. Everything is clearly mapped out in our ‘Managing Achievement’ frameworks, so people can see exactly where they are and where they need to be. Our team has a skills matrix, which has been invaluable in helping us determine knowledge and skills gaps, so that we can train and recruit according to what we need. We’re helping to ensure that everyone is completely clear on what they need to do and how to get there. Which has better outcomes for everyone, from colleagues to members.

How does NFU Mutual encourage people to progress?
Learning and development is very much part of our organisational culture. Right from the start, people have the opportunity to take charge of their career path and create their own plan. In my team, there’s a vast range of work to get involved in, from General Insurance to Life, as well as broader topics such as Climate Risk, so I encourage people to pick an area they’re interested in and develop their skills and experience in that area. For those people who join us as graduates and are studying Actuarial exams, we have a fantastic package of financial and practical support. From study buddies to time off and funding for qualifications.

We also offer a series of leadership development programmes to support individuals to develop their career further, with mentoring and coaching available to everyone. Whether you’re on your first day or you’ve been with us twenty years, we support people at every stage of their career to learn, develop and progress.

What do you see as the main benefits of this investment in learning and development?
Everything we do is for the benefit of people. And I see people enjoying work and shaping careers that mean something to them individually. This gives me great personal satisfaction and the knock-on effects are positive for our people, the wider business and our members.

Interested in a career with an organisation with learning and development at its very heart? Take a look at our current vacancies.