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SIAE Awards 2009
Darko Šarac from Ljubljana

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2009

Awards to institutions, enterprises and local communities for outstanding professional or promotional achievements as well as for achievements related to the enrichment of one's own knowledge or the knowledge of others 

LEK d.d., Ljubljana

a learning company
Proposed by: Vojmir Urlep, President of the Management Board


‘At the educational gatherings, which we named "Are you coming?", we go beyond what is normally offered within the sphere of education. We deal with topics that touch on life. We therefore say - learning for work and life.' (Jasna Kos, Head of Education)

Lek, d.d., which is based in Ljubljana and has branch offices throughout Slovenia, has achieved recognition not only as a learning company, since we know that it is only possible for a company to remain on the pharmaceutical market if it invests in knowledge and development. Above all, it is the commitment of the company to bring all its employees into learning programmes regardless of the planned staff development or the individual's career path that has convinced the proposer himself and the commission. It is also important that the various departments within the company are involved in promoting a culture of lifelong learning, particularly the department of internal communications and education.

The education system at Lek covers several areas. Education in the area of health and safety at work, which all employees are obliged to attend, is fundamental. Then there are courses that encourage the development of skills, such as leadership, communication and negotiation. The third group is made up of programmes for mastering and building upon functional knowledge (languages, computer studies). Outside the company, employees are also involved in formal education and part-time workplace training. In essence, the culture of learning is part of the very fabric of the company.

‘At Lek we are proud to be one of ten companies in Slovenia that systematically invest in education and knowledge,' says education head Mrs Jasna Kos. ‘We place great emphasis on teamwork, spend time developing our managers and talents, and encourage the expansion and transfer of knowledge between colleagues.'

Among the projects that constitute net added value is the ‘Are you coming?' project, which is all about the exchange of knowledge and gives an entirely new dimension to the ‘learning company' system. This is a special promotional campaign and range of informal education courses for employees not involved in the company's annual education plan, and well as for those that are and that can, with the help of the course content, further extend their knowledge. The topics they deal with cover work as well as personal areas of life so that they really are of relevance to all. We have dealt, for example, with the topics of coordinating personal and professional life, the heroic path through change and one more reason to smile, and organised a business rhetoric ‘cabaret'.

Špela Jurak, Lek's internal communications head, presented the project thus: ‘The "Are you coming?" project goes beyond all the channels and tools that we have used in internal communications up to now. Employees from different units come together informally, exchange knowledge and experience and pass on examples of good practice. This is not a compulsory part of education, so we have to use new motivational methods to attract people and to make them realise themselves that this is a positive thing for them. We can conclude, from the response, that we have hit upon an interesting and innovative way of transferring knowledge from colleague to colleague.'

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