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Fostering a Culture of Professional Development

By November 9, 2023Culture

Promoting Continuous Improvement Through Professional Development

Wholeheartedly embracing our core purpose of enabling success, we have taken proactive steps to equip our employees with the essential tools to thrive. At Thomas & Company, our commitment to continuous growth is a fundamental aspect of our culture, deeply rooted in our core value, “Always Improving.” This commitment goes beyond the professional realm and extends into our community and personal lives, fostering an environment where we uplift one another to surpass previously defined limits and actualize our full potential. 

This dedication is apparent in our Always Improving value’s tagline, “Being better today than we were yesterday, both personally and professionally,” which guides us on our journey of promoting professional development. 


Recently, we took a significant leap forward in our Learning and Development program (T&C L&D) by adopting Litmos, a powerful learning management platform. Litmos offers our employees access to a diverse range of over 3,000 courses, encompassing soft skills training, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs, manager training, and a plethora of other valuable resources. Moreover, it empowers us to craft and deliver our own custom training content, ensuring that our team receives tailored development opportunities. 

Enter Internal Training Specialist

In our pursuit of excellence, we’ve introduced a new role within our organization, the Internal Training Specialist, and it brings us great pride to mention that this role was filled from within our own ranks. Jessica Ralston, who embarked on her journey as an entry-level UI Claims analyst to Hearings & Decisions Analyst and most recently a UI Claims manager, now leads the charge as our Internal Training Specialist. This is a testament to our commitment to nurturing talent from within our organization. This recent promotion makes it promotion number 24 for the year and 65 over the past two years! 

Monthly Manager Training

Our dedication to fostering professional development is further exemplified by our monthly manager training series. These training sessions equip our people leaders with the tools they need to advance in their careers and, equally importantly, guide their teams towards success. Notably, these training sessions aren’t confined to internal experts; we also collaborate with external talents such as Fred Bissinger, a seasoned attorney in Nashville who actively contributes to Tennessee SHRM events and other speaking engagements. Fred’s expertise lies in coaching, counseling, and providing guidance on complex employee issues and effective leadership. 

Better Book Club

But our commitment to personal and professional growth doesn’t stop here. We proudly introduce the Better Book Club, an innovative self-guided professional development initiative. The concept is elegantly simple—we reward our employees for reading self-help and professional development books. Participants select a book, delve into its contents, and then log into to share their insights through a book report, which includes questions about their favorite quotes and how the book aligns with our core values. 

Quarterly book club meetings serve as a platform for participants to share their newfound knowledge and the impact of their readings but also to implement practical strategies derived from these insights. Unlike traditional book clubs that prescribe a single book for all members, our approach fosters diversity by permitting each participant to select their own book. 

During these engaging conversations, participants often share and implement strategies like virtual office hours or time-blocking schedules to work on specific goals and assignments, all inspired by the lessons gleaned from their chosen books. As these ideas and insights ripple through the organization, they frequently lead to other teams exploring and adopting new practices. 

What’s even more enticing is the rewarding incentive that awaits those who complete these steps: participants become eligible for a Book Club Bonus of up to $100 each quarter for their dedication to reading and sharing knowledge, turning the book club into a practical and impactful resource for personal and professional growth. 

In summary, our commitment to professional growth at Thomas & Company is multifaceted and all-encompassing. We believe in nurturing our team’s development from within, leveraging external expertise, and fostering an environment where personal and professional growth go hand in hand. Our culture of excellence thrives on these initiatives, ultimately benefiting our employees, our organization, and the clients we serve. 

Justin Moses

Author Justin Moses

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