Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen circumstance our special guest, Chad McIntosh (VP of LP & Risk Management, Bloomingdale’s) was unable to be present this past week for our webinar: Bloomingdale’s Innovative Approach to eLearning is a Game Changer.
Despite this, the show went on and our very own Christine Tutssel (VP of Strategic Initiatives) was able to guide us through the story. She went into detail about some of the challenges Bloomingdale’s was facing with a traditional approach to training. This approach included tactics like: posters, handouts, small group rallies and compulsory OSHA training.
Some of the challenges Bloomingdale’s was facing with this traditional approach included: difficulty identifying exactly who was ‘getting it’, lack of engagement in training, poor compliance, escalating claims and an overall negative image of training.
After outlining the challenges, Christine took us through the new approach that Bloomingdale’s turned to and the kind of impact this approach is having on their company. Here are some of our biggest takeaways after hearing Bloomingdale’s story:
1. Competition drives participation.
In order to tackle issues of low engagement with training, Bloomingdale’s turned to the power of gamification. Leveraging elements like leaderboards and rewards, Bloomingdale’s started to see some healthy competition emerge in a variety of stores leading to dramatically increased participation levels. Christine shared that in some stores, Bloomingdale’s was seeing participation levels as high as 97%. On the webinar, the audience asked many questions about whether gamification can alienate certain audiences; however, at Bloomingdale’s there are four different generations of employees and 85.6% of them stated that gamification actually increased their participation in learning.
2. With data, there is no longer a need to assume.
In some cases there might be certain topic areas where you assume employees have a high level of understanding. In Bloomingdale’s case, two of these areas were their awards program (or tip line) and their emergency shutdown procedures. After tracking individual knowledge levels, they realized that many employees actually had knowledge gaps in these areas and then Bloomingdale’s was able to take measures to close these knowledge gaps. When you have access to an individual employee’s level of understanding of any given topic, you longer have to guess at what they know and don’t know … the data will tell the story.
3. When you’re trying to make BIG changes … start small.
When Bloomingdale’s decided that a new approach to learning was needed, they decided to select a single business unit to start with and made sure to choose one where a business impact could be demonstrated. If you’re thinking of making a change to your learning environment, you don’t have to perform a complete revolution … instead try small evolutions.
If you’ve had a chance to watch the webinar, we’d love to hear your takeaways or even get your thoughts on our key takeaways. Feel free to share them in the comments below.
In our next webinar, we’re going to be diving deeper into the science of learning with our research partner Dr. Alice Kim. Alice and our CEO Carol Leaman are going to explore how the latest in brain science is impacting the way organizations deliver corporate learning. Get more details today.
Written by Shum Attygalle