Like everyone, as head of a global talent and training organization, I have constraints: time and budget. With little of either we decreased our cost per course by 50 percent and increased usage by 75 percent. How? I know I can rely on three things and I have to do three things to make a quick and impactful change in any organization. Forget magic seven – in business we need faster -it’s the magic of THREE.
What three things can you rely on? Your:
- Learning Management System
- Content, and;
Thanks to SumTotal and Skillsoft we had the first two things and thanks to a great team, we had a boundless amount of creativity.
And, you only have to do three things:
- Find the low hanging fruit
- Think Facelift not overhaul
- Create a Marketing Plan
We did what all good organizations do first before they make a change– we talked to our customers. We reached out to employees from all over the organization and heard back from many about not having enough time to take training. Besides their jobs taking up a lot of time, we found that they had trouble finding what they wanted.
In summary we found that our low hanging fruit was : a) Our employees wanted to be able to find content easier and b) they wanted to be reminded about offerings often so that it stayed front and center in their mind.
We had our challenge: How do we make it easier for employees to remember to take time to develop themselves AND make it easier for them to find what they need to do so?
2. Think Facelift not Overhaul
Like many, we had a small budget. How do we use what we have better or differently to make a big impact?
We first examined our content and got the data. How much was really being used? How often? By whom? Skillsoft helped us with the analysis. We found we could refresh our content to include more of what our customers wanted, what would forward our business strategy and, most importantly, got rid of what we didn’t need. We went to the essentials so our content was not so onerous to wade through and keep track of.
Then we examined our structure. Professional Development content was one long list. It was too much for our customers to sort through. We created a simple way to catalog the programs so that they became easier to find. We vetted the categories with our HR Partners and a business people to ensure courses were quick and easy to find.
Finally, we added an interface to our LMS that looked like and interacted with our intranet. Now our customers could click easily and access the LMS and the content in a friendly and intuitive manner. We worked with SumTotal to get targeted training for our system administrators so that they could create easier ways to post and report on training.
3. Create a Marketing Plan
Once we had solutions for finding content, how were we going to keep it front and center in their mind?
We created a multipronged marketing and communication plan. We knew we couldn’t just use email. How could we motivate people to check out the new LMS interface and to sign up for programs?
The team came up with a My Development campaign. In fitting with that theme, we made the messaging part of their everyday world and personal. Our CEO made talent development one of our top three priorities for the year.
In the campaign we educated via email, video, games and prizes (all under $100), our team got on every conference call and town hall possible. We drew up stakeholder plans and organization charts and systematically met with every person we could and asked how to reach their groups through systems, processes and meetings already in place. We asked for “testimonials” wherever possible and we placed them on our internal intranet.
Finally, we report on learning. We let our leaders know how we are doing, how the training is progressing and we solicit feedback.
While at times it seemed impossible, we always went for the creative solution and went around barriers. The excitement of the project – bringing something new to our employees and utilizing assets we already had – kept us moving forward. It just took the magic of three!