Capital One Canada is providing employees with a free subscription to virtual learning platform MasterClass, to further their career development and foster their overall well-being.

“Everybody learns and develops in their own way and if you want to see people grow, you should support them in owning their journey,” says Patrick Ens, president of Capital One in Canada. “When associates actively own their development, we’ve seen that it has a positive effect on their mental well-being — it builds a real sense of purpose in their role, as well as trust and confidence in their own abilities.”

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Last year, the organization launched its Invest in Yourself initiative, which gives staff dedicated time once a month to further their learning and development in areas of interest to them. The MasterClass platform — which offers more than 150 classes on a variety of topics — is a natural extension of the learning days initiative, Ens says, noting not only does the platform provide quick and engaging learning in a different way, it also meets employees’ individual educational needs.

Employees’ shared enthusiasm for the platform is even helping to recreate those authentic watercooler moments in the remote working setting. During the first few minutes of virtual meetings or coffee chats, employees often discuss the different programs they’ve tuned into on the platform, says Ens. “We’re also seeing that associates are excited to talk about all the great new skills they’re learning, and that’s fostering better connections between everyone.”

MasterClass is just one of a host of education benefits Capital One offers its workers. Eligible employees can also receive up to $5,000 per calendar year for reimbursement of tuition, book costs and applicable fees for diploma, degree, professional development or professional designation courses.

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The organization also offers employees a special executive MBA development program; a next-generation virtual learning platform with more than 3,000 courses covering a wide range of topics, including development, information technology, design, leadership and stress management; an e-learning management system for associates to ensure they’re kept up to date with governance and policies; and a career development centre for associates, which includes career assessments, online and offline training such as classroom-based sessions and readings, career counselling and a number of comprehensive tools and resources.

Ens says these learning opportunities — along with a focus on employee health and well-being — are helping Capital One to stand out among its competitors. “A big part of why people come to work here . . . is the opportunity to continue to grow and develop. Everyone has an opportunity to expand their role over time and learn new skills. . . . We are part of a competitive industry, so when it comes to attracting and retaining the best people, fostering employee well-being is critical. It’s something we have to get right on the first try.”

Read: How small and mid-sized employers can offer benefits like large employers