We are excited to be sharing our new mini blog series, Peer Insights, a coffee break destination for HR, L&OD, People Managers and Workplace Psychologists to share their experiences and predictions for the future of the industry.

This week, we chatted to Joanna Vinacour, Learning and Development Business Partner at Wunderman Thompson, as well as an independent Career Coach.

Peer Insights

You’re at the coffee machine making your mid-morning beverage. What’s your drink of choice?

A chai latte, they are creamy, frothy and sweet!

A new employee walks over and introduces themselves. How would you build rapport with this person?

I love to chat with anyone, I’m really nosy, perhaps that’s why I chose to work with people! I would find out where they worked before, whether we have any common connections or shared interests, and explain a bit about what I do in my role, offering to meet with them once they have settled in.

They ask you what a typical day looks like in the role of a Learning and Development Business Partner and Career Coach?

Working with managers across the business to implement strategic learning interventions, designing a graduate development programme and now, for the best part, designing and delivering soft skills training sessions.  I really love to actively help others develop and can often see turning points in these sessions.

I also enjoy talking with my clients to help them work through posssible career choices, coaching on how to create development plans, write a CV, and also practise mock interviews.

What a coincidence! They have a friend who’d like to pursue a similar career and ask for a single piece of advice. What do you say?

Speak to as many people in your network as possible.  If working for a company, ask if you can spend time in the HR department to work on a learning and development project.  Think about attending some webinars hosted by other professionals in the industry. Join a networking event, attend CIPD branch events and if you think this is the right path, then start looking at professional qualifications in either L&D or coaching.

They want to know what excites you the most about the future of L&D? How has the development of technology impacted your role? 

With the rise of home working which has led to a more blended learning approach using both e-learning modules and face-to-face training.  E-learning platforms really allow you to learn wherever and whenever fits in with your professional working lives.  Using break out rooms within Teams or Zoom really allows for smaller group discussions, I really love this tool at the moment!

What’s the biggest challenge you feel your profession is facing in 2021?

Uncertainty with business performance and whether L&D will be given investments both in terms of cost but also allowing people time to attend sessions and embed the learning.

This colleague returns to their desk and you’re left with a cooling Pina Colada (!) Reflecting on the conversation, what kind of person do you prefer working with in the office?

Someone with a sense a humour but also willing to challenge me in a way that will get me to think differently.

If you want to find out more about Joanna, you can find her on LinkedIn or via her website



Have you heard about our Profile:Match2 tool?

Profile:Match2 provides a wide range of report options, and one of these, the P:M2 Personal Development Report, provides a comprehensive overview of an individual’s personality using either specifically selected competencies or the robust framework of 10 generic competencies. This report allows managers / coaches to review an employee’s strengths and limitations – facilitating L&D conversations, goal setting, and increasing self-awareness.