We all know that learning empowers people to do their jobs better. But performance improvement is only one of a number of benefits organizations get when they give their employees effective development solutions. Learning also attracts, engages, and retains the best employee talent; it creates a culture of development and growth; and it aligns the entire workforce around a shared mission.
This last one is the least obvious of the bunch. How does learning work to align culture? Is it a matter of everyone learning the same skills? Not exactly. Learning drives culture in lots of ways, one of which is the capacity to tell a streamlined, engaging organizational story to everyone in the company in a consistent way.
Talent recruiting firm 24 Seven did just that. By piloting an early deployment of Grovo’s Content-as-a-Service offering, Training Manager Vanessa Sandoval and her innovative L&D department were able to align their workforce through learning in four strategic steps:
1. Seeking a fix
With twelve different office locations and many different managers, training was chaotic. “We really wanted our employees to be familiar with the business and who we are as a company,” said Sandoval. “But it was too much. There was no consistency in terms of messaging, or in terms of what the responsibilities and expectations were.” She set out looking for a way to replace the old, ad hoc methods with a blended learning approach—and a unifying company message.
2. Finding a format that works
Sandoval liked the idea of translating 24 Seven’s messaging into microlearning because of the ease and flexibility it gave her learners. “It’s quick. It’s easy. It’s far more painless than sitting in a webinar reviewing the content. People can access it from home, in the cab on the way to meetings, on-demand.” Once the team decided on microlearning, next came figuring out what to say.
3. Condensing the message
“The first conversation we had was, what’s ‘nice to know’ and what’s ‘need to know’? The process forced us to refocus how we’re presenting the material, since we had a limited amount of video.” Those hard questions helped the team clarify the company’s messaging in a positive, streamlined way. “Once we produced the videos, even some of our senior members were like, ‘Oh, that’s a good way of phrasing that.’”
4. Delivering at the right moment
The best time to learn about the mission and history behind 24 Seven is, of course, the moment you know you’re going to be working for 24 Seven. That’s why Sandoval didn’t just send her new microlearning videos out to everyone in the company; she also integrated them into the onboarding process. “These videos have helped in our boot camp by either setting up or recapping the content so that it’s more interactive and less boring, for lack of a better word. It really has changed things.”
Crucially, Sandoval—who had been involved in previous eLearning initiatives—expertly knew that the right way to judge the efficacy of the learning program was to use the most straightforward criteria of all: her employees’ performance. “Ultimately the results are going to be based on how well people are transitioning into their new roles, which will be determined by new business being brought in.”
Best of all, the positive early returns have encouraged 24 Seven to explore other innovative learning strategies. “The initial success with this training material allows me to push our other learning initiatives forward. It’s a great way to leverage everything else we’re trying to do as an internal talent management team.”