Transcript

Harnessing Learning for Your Front Line, and the Bottom Line

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Jordan 

David Paring, Director of Research with Fosway Group. With over 30 years of researched focused on learning and development solutions in organizations, and Liam O’Meara, Vice President of Europe for Axonify, a microliving platform with over 20 years of experience helping organizations with effective training solutions.

Jordan 

Before we jump in and hand it over to David and Liam, we’ve got some housekeeping notes. Throughout the webinar today there will be two polling questions that’ll appear on the right hand side. They will appear once they go live, so keep an eye out for those, as well as, there’s a chat, so feel free to say hello on the chat. And then Q & A as well that will be holding questions till the end, but throughout the webinar as questions come up feel free to submit them.

Jordan   

Thanks again for taking time out of your day to be with us today. From here I will now hand it over to David and Liam.

David 

Thanks so much Jordan. As you say, we’ve got so much to cover, so I’m not going to dwell on this just this [inaudible 00:00:57] to say that Fosway, we’ve been around for about 20 years and we help organizations make better buying decisions faster. That’s what we’re all about. And what we wanted to really do is go through and just talk around our subject today, which is how you harness learning for front line and the bottom line.

David 

I think what we often see from our research is that front line work is, despite being responsible for most of your bottom line things like growth, revenues, reputation, efficiency, performance, customer success, they are the visible owners who touch your customers. The problem we see is that they’re not always best served by L & D teams and that needs to change.

David

Some of the things that we know are changing, I suppose more broadly in the workforce is the already 50 percent of employees are Baby Boomers and X Gen. 50 percent are Gen Y-ers, the Millennials, that whole Millennial generation. Gen Z are entering the workforce and with that comes a really big change in expectations.

David 

And what we’re seeing is, the thing that really matters to employees from our research- we did this in 2017- was that personal development, career progression, and using the latest technology was [inaudible 00:02:23] marginally be things like flexible working and progress, I suppose, and dynamic around [inaudible 00:02:30] management and dynamic culture and brand reputation.

David 

And from all our research, what we know is that learning is the number one reason why people want to work for you. And only half would leave your organization for better training, which raises the questions what are you doing for your front line workers? What are you doing for them to make them feel engaged, and make them feel energized, and make them more effective?

David   

Now, what we also learn, I think we all see this in our day to day work is that it’s not just people and expectations that are changing. Work is changing too. People work with more diverse teams, they work more virtually, they work with more collaboration tools, they have more access to work to using mobile devices. And often what we do for them, despite all these changes in who they are and what they expect and the nature of work around them is that, to some extent L & D still offers the same old same old. And just as I said earlier on that does need to change and that’s not just because we have to respond to people, but the organizations are fundamentally shifting.

David 

Most of our organizations are changing dramatically as well. Every company that we speak to, whether they work in hospitality or work in food and hygiene, whatever it happens to be, things that you wouldn’t necessarily traditionally think of as being tech companies are increasingly seeing themselves as tech companies. As Peter Sondergaard said, every company is now a tech company, all competing for the same sort of high level skill resource, but adopting new approaches to how they work.

David 

So it seems that nearly all organizations have adopted agile approaches, they talk agile scrum, kahban, scrumban, minimum viable product. Products change faster pace- maybe every few weeks. When back in the day you might have thought they might change every six months.

David 

Because of all these changes, and all this dynamic flow of people and organization and changing culture and changing work, what we’re starting to see is that employees increasingly need to learn faster. Because of those changes I think we’re seeing that sort of being recognized practically by everybody and this was a survey we did in 2017 which asked HR professionals what they’re seeing and this was one of the number one pieces of feedback, which prompts the questions to some extent, how are you changing what you do in HR and L & D to keep up with your business. And more importantly, how are you helping your people keep up to increasing speed, increasing pace of how business works?

David 

Now, I remember having a really interesting conversations with CTIO insurance company a few years ago, and he came up with this great [strap line 00:05:16]: big and slow gets eaten by small and fast, but big and fast eats everything. And it’s that sort of mindset of agility. But the thing is, and I think we intrinsically understand this because we are human beings and we aren’t necessarily the fastest or the biggest, smarter beats both of those things. I think it’s important for us to think about how we are being smart in L & D to drive really strong learning experiences, really strong engagement and support our front line people in delivering the bottom line.

David 

So, what really is happening out there and I think we’re seeing lots of organizations starting to go through is, think about their journey into digital transformation of learning and that means many things to many different people. but one thing we wanted to do is really just get a sense of where you are in that journey.

David 

So, we have a poll for you and on the right hand side or wherever it appears, we’ve got a series of poll questions, so where are you in your journey with the digital transformation of learning in your organization? Have you completed, are in progress, are you planning, have you not started, or is that not applicable to you? What we’d like you to do is very quickly vote on what you are in that journey. I’m going to give you a quick countdown because we have got such little time to cover so much. I’m going to give you ten second countdown, which is 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. It sounds like the Thunderbirds. But what you do is just finish your poll and what we’re gonna do is just submit your results, and I’m gonna try and see if we can get those shared on the screen for us. So, I think [Lindsey 00:07:01] might be able to help us out in sharing the results for us.

Jordan 

It’ll be up in one second.

David 

Okay, no worries.

David 

We asked the same question in one of our surveys at the beginning of the year. We did a survey called the Digital Learning Reality Survey and we had about, lets see, about 800 responses so far. And we asked the same question last year and we had 1300 responses so [GDPR 00:07:27] take a little bit of a hit on our response rate.

David 

But what’s interesting is to some extent you’re representative of the profile of most organizations we speak to. When we look at the research that we have back this year it is very similar to our research last year. About 70 percent of organizations are currently in progress, that’s the purple sector in Digital Transformation of Learning. 25 percent are planning, which is pretty much the same as you guys. And there’s a smaller portion who have completed or don’t think it’s applicable.

David

And what that means is there’s a terrible, I suppose very high level of investment that people are thinking about putting into learning. And actually, on this chart on the right hand side what you get to see is across all aspects of digital learning people are looking to expand their [spend 00:08:18]. If you look at the little red line parts, those [silly 00:08:21] bits that people are looking to contract, so there’s a little bit of contraction potentially around external digital spend, but if you compare the red and the green there’s a remarkable amount of investment the people are making into digital learning content, digital learning platforms, investing in their digital learning team, think about more services, and outsourcing some of those processes.

David 

And I think what’s interesting is what really drives value and how you invest in learning technology. And I think what we’re starting to see- I’m going to skip over that one- is what sort of organizations aren’t necessarily finding that the learning tech they invest in is fit for the modern workforce.

David   

And again, what I’d like you to do, we’re gonna do a quick poll again just to keep you on your toes, is ask you a question. So, do you think that your current learning technology is fit for the modern workforce. And again, we’ve asked this question both across HR and L & D and we had 30 responses last year and we had 800 responses to our survey this year. And it’s really interesting to get a sense of do you think it’s fit for the modern workforce. Where are you in that journey? Again, because we are pressed for time I’m gonna to a countdown 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

David 

Just to get a sense that where we are in the poll and take and ask Lindsey and team and Jordan to share the results with us. And, wow. (laughs) This is slightly more pessimistic than the results we had from our last survey. 100 percent say no from what I can see here. What we’ve seen in our last survey was half thought that their learning platforms weren’t fit for the modern workforce. Only one in three think that they are, and this is more broadly. And a shocking 50 percent of us says that just don’t see that their platforms are fit for the modern workforce, fit for their users, which begs the questions: what should you be doing and how can you build a digital learning ecosystem which is fit for your people? Especially in that front line environment.

David 

What we’ve come to think about in terms of a number of things that we encourage you to put into your strategy around this is, number one, you need to be where your people need you. You need to diversify how you support learning and one of the biggest shifts that we’ve seen over the last 10 years is moving learning closer to the workplace, closer to the workflow, and make learning a bit more collaborative as well. And this is something that we’ve been talking about for the last 10 years in a way. So whilst other people have started talking about it maybe in the last year, this shift workplace learning is something that’s really important and I think that’s one of the key drivers of why people find learning technology not as effective as it is, as it should be, because it’s not working in the right space for them. So we need to be where the eyeballs are, to quote a phrase.

David 

The other thing is to think about what context we’re delivering learning to. One of those things that there is to think about three contexts for us. The first is around personal learning, so this- and I’ll talk a little more about this in a second. Also, operational performance learning and that’s really probably really tightly close to people on the front line. And then this sense of future strategic readiness, strategic talent development. And I’ll talk a little bit about these and just sort of get you a sense of where we see some of the [process 00:11:47] around this.

David 

This first one around personal learning is, for me, things around hobbies, interests, passions, identifying a sense of belonging in your organization, people building personal mastery. And in some ways it’s not necessarily always linked to people’s work, but it’s part of building a healthy learning culture in your organization. So trying to find ways to stimulate people to be active learners as part of their daily routine, as part of their life skills is something we should all aspire to as organizations. Partly to drive that learning thinking and that growth mindset, but also because we know that 50 percent, as I said earlier, of employees would go work for somewhere if they could get better training.

David 

The other side that we talked about in my list was about talent development. This is about trying to build the capability of what your organization from maybe three months to two years. So, how do you take the organization that it is today and make it something that can survive in a very rapidly changing and volatile world? So this is about future readiness, this is about long term survival, this is about creating your organizational skills, it’s about leadership, it’s about talent management, it’s about career development, and creating a value proposition around your brand which says we can help you on your career journey, increase your employability, and drive you as an individual to a better tomorrow. And again, I think what’s interesting is this may sound a little bit pie in the sky, but if you’re in your front line role what is your career path and offering that as a concrete part of your value proposition, part of your learning offer is something that’s really important.

David 

But in terms of business results and creating business measure that’s harder to do, but what we should be thinking a bit about is how we support operational learning, taking away some of the pains that people experience in their day to day life around work, but also helping them get extra gains, making their life easier. So, there’s so much that happens in our operational learning, things like new systems, new starters, new processes, new products, regulatory compliance, things around license to operate that you can’t sell this until you’ve got the correct certification to say that you can do that, things around continuous improvement, there’s things around performance gaps, there’s change initiatives because you’re changing brand, merges, and acquisitions.

David 

What we typically think about is just delivering learning around that but there’s so many other layers of activity that we can build in around social performance management, creating much more peer to peer reflection around how things are going and peer to peer motivation, giving people their certification.

David   

Think about this bite-size learning which is more about trying to help learning in the work flow, providing more performance support and performance optimization, which goes back to giving people really strong performance management decisions. I think that what we’ve seen overall is that organizations that thrive do this really well and have started to think much more broadly about how they deliver and something that is much more agile, much more flexible, much more bite-sized. And it’s something around that whole area that’s creating some chunks that are much more consumable when people are wanting to get more support, keep things fresh in their mind in the workplace that isn’t a pipe dream. It’s something that’s very easy potentially to do. And Liam what I thought we’d do at this stage is hand over to you so that you can explain a little bit about how Axonify approaches this in terms of approach to bite-sized learning which really makes a lot of value to individuals.

Liam 

Yes, fantastic. Thank you, David. Hello everyone.

Liam 

What, I can’t promise I have any dinosaurs in my- (laughs) I am hoping that we can perhaps provide a little bit of insight into how I think some of the things that you have talked about there, David, in terms of seeking the operational excellence we can support.

Liam

And I think often the first question we get [inaudible 00:15:54] is where can microlearning actually fit into the landscape that we have within our learning organization? And it’s really quite interesting because I think a lot of people are starting to wake up to the idea of just having one learning intervention is not really going to drive the performance. If marketing is anything to sort of take some [fruit 00:16:20] from, what they often talk about is how often you have to sort of get messages out to people before you actually give it a try for any behavioral change.

Liam   

Of the two, often learning is actually sort of done what we might call the one and done approach. So, one of the very easy areas to actually bring in, sort of, more of the microlearning approach is around reinforcing learning that may have happened to us where, but actually as you start getting into this, what you really can see is that microlearning can be used in a whole range of different areas. So actually some of those business critical needs that you have, microlearning actually becomes the best possible way to achieve [inaudible 00:17:00] learning because if you’re actually trying to drive behavioral change over the long term, by delivering microlearning pieces that people can access where and when they need them you can actually start driving real performance change within our learners.

Liam 

So, with the Axonify platform what we’ve actually built on is this idea of microlearning, but I think you said the term sort of putting learning where the eyeballs are and actually harnessing the whole range of different interventions that can support people where the learning needs to take place. So what we’re actually seeing within our clients is that suddenly rather than learning having to take place say in the classroom or outside of where they would typically be accessing some of the learning or some of the problems that they might be facing, the learnings actually happening in the workflow, as one of the terms that you used, David.

Liam 

So, what we’re seeing is that learning is taking place actually in the field. So if you want to skip on here, David.

Liam 

Okay, so this is the first snapshot of just actually where learning is now taking place. So, we’ve got for instance [BT’s 00:18:12] one of our customers and we work their call center operatives, so rather than what they are having to do in the past, which is actually take people off of the phones, sit them in the classroom, or do a briefing, now in between the calls they’re actually taking learning. So that may be some of the learning that’s relevant to their particular role or it might be something that they’re just almost like a performance support, so perhaps they’re going to take a difficult call and actually this is one of the few hints and tips as how to actually handle that call.

Liam 

John Lewis will work with them around their loss prevention put in some of their headline stores, and so as people are joining for the day on their shift, they’re actually using it as a learning moment. So, just literally understanding some of the key things that they need to be looking out for, so things like suspicious behavior or shrinkage, so these are things that we can actually remind them as they join their shift on the work floor.

Liam 

People, Ethicon are actually using a moment when they’re waiting to meet a doctor or traveling in between different appointments they’re now learning this as a learning moment, so they’re learning on the move. So suddenly, whereas it might mean emails or downtime, they’re actually using it as a chance to actually refresh their skills or actually learn some new skills on the move as well.

Liam

And you can [inaudible 00:19:35] sort of warehouses, and sort of more engineering-type environments. We’ve actually found ways to provide learning for those, so for example Walmart will use it in some of their distribution centers. And what we’ve actually done is we’ve created a learning terminal next to where they charge their handheld devices. So every time they go back to put the handheld device back to charge it, suddenly that becomes a learning moment and because these learning moments are small and package, they can use learning every day and actually can build learning over the long run.

Liam 

If you’ll push the slide on here, David.

David

Yeah.

Liam

I’m hitting the button. (laughs).

David

Come on. There we go.

Liam 

There we go.

Liam 

So, one of the critical pieces of the Axonify platform is actually that the learning experience is totally personalized to the individual. So we can do is we can actually bake in your business priorities and the skills and needs of each individual.

Liam   

So, for example, here we’ve got two different retail operatives. One whose new to the company but has some previous experience, and one whose already been with the company for a relatively short period of time, one year, but they’re changing roles. And as you can see from the graph, what we’ve actually got is plotted across this, their live knowledge within the organization. Because they’re doing learning every day, we know exactly where they are in terms of their knowledge. But then we’ve got different priorities in terms of the skills that they might need for their particular function. So what the AI does within the platform is it will serve the right content to the right person to ensure that they’re driving the learning they need to maximize the business impact.

Liam 

So for example, Alice on the right here, the algorithm will push a lot of content initially around products training because that is top priority for that business to drive the best impact. And then over time what it will do is it will bring the- I don’t think the build on this slide is working- but it will bring the content up to 100 percent for each person and then maintain that content for the long run. So rather than having the sort of knowledge degradation that you typically find with one and done content is we’ll actually, not only get you up to the required level, it will actually maintain that learning for the long run.

Liam 

So then, obviously they’re doing a whole range of different interventions, so it could be anything from some of the pushed content that people provided. It could be gaming. There’s also the opportunity because practicing this learning regularly to blur the line between what is learning and what is communication. So suddenly we’ve now got a way to actually get people to communicate directly with their workforce, which is often one of the challenges we find particular [inaudible 00:22:37] workforce.

Liam

So, these learning experiences on average we’ve looked at around about four million learning interventions that happen and what we’re seeing is that typically a learning intervention will just be six minutes, but it’s six minutes a day and that builds the knowledge over the long run. So typically, what we’re finding is people are actually undertaking far more learning than they ever would be if you were using a much more traditional intervention.

Liam 

So that’s some of the concept in terms of how microlearning works and what we’re doing is we’re driving to actually how it drives business impacts and the experience, what it might look like later.

David 

I’m hitting the next button and I’m still- there we go. Right there. So sorry about that, a bit of a delay. I was panicking thinking the slide wasn’t going to move on, but we’re here.

David 

I think what’s interesting is that we see some really interesting things that Axonify doing around improving the quality of the learning experience. Making it much more continuous learning rather than being one event learning and then leading people to forget things. Creating much higher touch. Especially those people that are typically harder to reach in that front line environment.

David     

One of the interesting things for us, and this is a strategically important thing for L & D to consider, is to articulate the value add of what you’re doing. Because, if you’ve got a business case that you’re trying to push through, or you’re trying to convince people to invest in better technology or better approaches to what you’re doing around learning or taking that extra six minutes a day from to business to say we should be doing more learning to help people be more effective, give them more support. You need a business catered to support that.

David     

And I think one of the things that we [stem 00:24:21] people, to some extent, fall into a trap around using their learning technology is to think of it as a way of delivering cost-saving rather than driving productivity and performance.

David     

And we’ve always thought about these layers of people who have traditionally brought in things like learning management systems to increase operational efficiency around how they admin things, but increasingly what we’re seeing smarter organizations is moving up the value chain. Think about how they become learning to be a strategic game-changer or, more importantly and probably even more within grasp, how they can drive higher productivity and higher performance. And what that means is trying to draw a much clearer line of sight between what learning happens and its impact on productivity.

David     

And it’s important I think overall to sort of go through that mindset of if we’re going to deliver something, and even if we do the right things, start work in the right way- which is much more tune to how our learners want to learn- what we also need to do is measure the impact of what we do, so we can articulate the value add we’re giving to the business, and also in that same breath demand more time if we think we can add more value, rather than always thinking about how we’re going to save time. Now sadly form the research we’ve done this year, only 14 percent measure effectively the impact of their digitally learning on their business. And in some ways that’s quite a chronic number and something that makes it feel as though it’s hard or difficult to align the investment in learning to business results.

David     

What we see in typically L & D’s behavior, and this is brace of old school mentality, is much more about how people participate in learning rather than the outcomes. If you looked down here, less than a third demonstrate an impact on tactical objectives, so that’s one of the secret sauce if you might see.

David   

Let’s see, down here further on just over 20 percent measure individual team performance impact and it seems as though, to some extent, the things that we talked about right at the beginning, the value add that you can get from supporting your front line people- the people who deliver your growth and your success and your customer advocacy seems to be very hard away. It seems far away. It seems hard to do. But it’s not as hard to do, I think, as you necessarily think. And some of the interesting things we’re seeing more progressive organizations, Axonify’s one of those, is start to create a clearer line of sight between the bottom line and the learning the front line people and back office people start to do.

David     

Liam, I know there’s some great things that you can show us in this part.

Liam   

Yeah, fantastic. Thanks, David.

Liam

I think just to [inaudible 00:27:17] the point, we see that sort of measuring and demonstrating learning impact is absolutely vital. Particularly, as we’re sort of [inaudible 00:27:27] platform, obviously it’s very easy for people to transition and change tact if they want to, so what we really need to do is actually show how people are making a real difference within their organizations.

Liam 

There’s probably three different layers and I just want to touch upon each of those and just show you a little bit about how we do that.

Liam 

I think the first on is probably the one that we’re most comfortable with typically within learning, which is around that learning data that we can provide. But because we’re now issuance of daily learning and we’ve got so many different data points, actually what hopefully you’ll see is the range of interventions we can actually put off the back of that also significantly increase. So something we can make your managers proper coaches.

Liam 

The next piece of the jigsaw is actually the behavior piece. Obviously there’s one thing knowing something, it’s another thing actually translating that into life environment, so within the Axonify platform we have ways and means to actually a manager can score their behavior in the workplace or inspect some work that they’ve been doing. Feed that back into the [AI 00:28:39] within the platform and actually then adapt the learning behavior the person or the learning experience that the person has based on the behaviors that they’re showing in the workplace. So suddenly now we’re starting to link knowledge to workplace performance.

Liam     

The final piece of the jigsaw is actually then is any of this learning really making a difference in terms of this key [KPI’s 00:29:03] that we’re looking to move to buy on. So over typically a six month period what we can do is we can analyze the learning and the behaviors that are happening in the workplace and then see what impact that is having actually on some key metrics. And then again, it will start making recommendations and adjustments to each individual’s learning paths to maximize the impact.

Liam 

So, because we have such an in depth range of data points, the key thing here is that suddenly now you get some live data about what’s happening within your organization. So for instance, this is a snapshot of what some of the front line managers might use, so it might be a store manager in a particular retail environment. And so what we can actually do is we can now start serving up information and it will start giving you hints and tips as to what you need to do.

Liam 

So, for example, there may be some people that actually need some help with coaching or there may be some people that actually score really highly in terms of their knowledge, but their confidence is really low.

Liam 

So the Axonify platform will serve all this information up in a really sort of easy and digestible way, so that the frontline manager can now use real live learning data to get back out to the workforce and actually train them. And David, you sort of said that learning is so important for people, that now becomes a vital piece of what the manager [inaudible 00:30:31] all about.

David 

Yeah, and I think it’s really interesting to see that bridge between confidence and competence in coaching is something that you don’t necessarily see. And I think it’s one of those things that form a technology point of view, when we use technology to support richer human to human interactions, it becomes even more powerful than we specially thought about, it’s just being a vehicle for content.

Liam 

Yeah, fantastic.

Liam 

So then the next piece of the jigsaw is really- when we start stepping back to actually work out well what impact is learning really having.

Liam 

So, what we can see here is that we can actually set some metrics in terms of looking for. So it might be sort of [inaudible 00:31:08] and what it will start doing is understanding more based on the learning and the knowledge levels of my staff, am I going to be able to hit my metric? So this might be, the time frame we’re looking at here is for April, so will I hit my April metrics that I need to? And it will tell me based on a current score here that we’re going to get to about 80 percent. Well, clearly as a manager I want my team to be at 100 percent or more, so now what the algorithm is doing, so the machine learning is doing, is that it’s actually going to serve up some ideas about what you can do to actually plug that gap.

Liam 

So based on the knowledge it’s picked up over time, it will start saying, well do you know what doing some product knowledge training here will actually lift your score so actually encourage your people to get out there and do some of the product knowledge training.

Liam 

So, rather than being reactionary to the learning that happens, what we’re now doing is we’re predicting the performance moving forward and actually enabling ourselves to move the dial in terms of those metrics.

Liam 

And then we can step back a little further again and actually look at this from an organizational point of view. So, the machine learning is actually looking up all the current factors that are having an impact in terms of the particular KPI we are looking at. And we can then start analyzing both, is learning really making an impact or not, so there’s often many different metrics- sorry, many different demographics and things that go into impacting a particular KPI, but knowledge is often one of those ones that can be either overlooked or not really making a big difference.

Liam   

So as a learning team, what we can start doing is understanding, well is our learning really making a difference this KPI? If it’s not, maybe we’ll [inaudible 00:33:04] back that learning and actually really focus on those areas where learning is making a difference and then look at different ways actually change the KPI. So enabling learning teams to actually maximize their learning spans.

Jordan 

Actually, we do have a question that we think is relevant is right here to know, where is the data coming from- within the LMS or from beyond?

Liam 

So the actual data points, so we’re gathering the data from the Axonify platform and the interactions that are happening, but then what we’re also doing is we’re pulling in very many metrics from within business as well, so this is where I don’t- if you’ll step back a slide there, David.

David 

Yeah, sure.

Liam   

It’s not coming out all that well on my end, but maybe it’s coming out elsewhere. You can see that there’s a range of different things that actually the machine is picking up. Things such as various different behaviors, participation, knowledge, but there’s also a whole range of honorary factors. So the machine learns actually picked up that there are things that are happening within the business or could be external factors, such as particularly in retail things like weather that plays a big factor in terms of [foot fall 00:34:20], so there are other factors that will be impacting your metrics, but it doesn’t know exactly what those are. So the more data we can feed in the better. But typically, that’s where we work with our customers to understand what data points do exist and draw those into the machine learning, so we can then tally up learning and the data to drive forward that sort of predictive analytic.

Jordan 

Thank you.

Jordan

I know there’s, people joined still after the intro so just want to remind people that most questions will be kind of held till the end, so if you don’t get an answer immediately we are gonna take the questions at the end. Thanks.

Liam 

Thanks, Jordan.

Liam

I get it, just really wanted to highlight what does this mean in reality for people, so just a range of different customers that we pulled upon just to give you an example as to what that really is making a difference for.

Liam 

So BT’s quite a good example where, as I mentioned earlier, we’re working in a call center operation. And there were a whole range of difference in behavioral metrics that we actually sort of were tracking, such as cool handling time, cool escalations, repeat calls. All of the plays were tied to the metric of customer satisfaction and actually made a five percent improvement in their customer satisfaction by actually working on those specific factors that drove up to those overall customer satisfaction scores.

Liam 

In Bell what we did was, they were actually training people in premium add on sales, but they weren’t actually doing it. So very quickly what we were able to do by actually driving the learning and then linking it to the performance, as soon as we started pushing the premium up sale sales, suddenly there was a massive increase in terms of the number of sales that were being had.

Liam 

At Ethicon and Bloomingdales we made some significant improvements in terms of things like safety instance and shrinkage within those organizations as well. So these really are- I think David mentioned- the front line operatives are making a huge difference in the bottom line. And it’s by linking the learning and the bottom line performance, we can really create some massive impact for our customers.

David 

And I think what’s really interesting, Liam, is that bridging almost becoming intelligence driven learning and development, and I think what’s fascinating to me is that it works at two levels. One level creates much more personalized learning experience for those people on the front line, but it also creates a much richer conversation of the strategic influence for L & D to talk to the business leaders about the level of investment, the [inaudible 00:37:01] of learning and organizations, and challenging the business to think about how it maybe invests more wisely in trying to get more learning [inaudible 00:37:10] higher performance. And I think it’s a [crosstalk 00:37:15].

David 

[00:37:15]It’s a transformational thing and I think it’s one of the things we see systematically as a failing both from, I suppose, most of the providers and most L & D organizations, is there isn’t enough focus on trying to create this clear line of sight. To some extent, even in the [armless 00:37:33] space, people are still going on more about the experience than they are talking about the impact. And I think it’s something that is a virtuous circle as you get into that space of thinking more and more and more about how we use data to support every part of the decision cycle, whether it’s for the individual or the business.

David

So I think it’s a big game changer to me, and I think it’s something that enables us to power faster, more flexible, and more valuable learning to people. I think it’s one of those things that is really, really a big game changer. And I think if I was- I used to work in those sorts of environments back in the day and if this solution was available to me then, I would be promoting that intimately to be honest, because I always needed to be able to prove value and that was the thing that was most elusive.

David 

But I think that there’s things that we’re seeing in terms of practical ways to create learning journeys that help people with their performance. There’s obviously lots of things that you’ve shown us already.

David 

I think we tend to think about trying to power continuous learning cycle as thinking about how we use data to drive people to reflect on where are they today, get them to think about what they need to do differently, provide some sense of [inaudible 00:38:43] about how they can learn, provide a range of different things that people can learn in terms of resource, but then rather than being traditional and stepping away, being a proactive own [DT 00:38:52] and thinking about how can we support learning when people are applying their learning in the front line and sustaining their learning, and then reflecting again.

David 

And this sense of powering continuous learning cycles using data, using intelligence, using personalization is something that we’ve been talking about for quite a time and I’d like to just reiterate it here we think it’s massively important about how you drive those continuous coaching decisions. The other things we’re seeing, I think, much more an interesting shift around how organizations aspire to create rich learning experiences. So we’re seeing people looking to invest in much more blended learning- that combination of content and coaching- think about how they integrate video, how they integrate user-generated content, how they think about microlearning and supporting that, think about performance support. Think about how analytics is central to building that experience, making it social collaborative. Think about user experience.

David 

And I think what it’s easy to do it, from our research you can get a sense of some of the top growth areas around to learning, but these aren’t individual topics, these are things that if you package together starts to give you a much richer sense of learning experience.

David 

And I think what’s interesting to us- again you said it earlier on, Liam- is this sense of people moving things into the workspace, thinking about how they’re creating a focus on the learner, which isn’t about taking the learner down to the bottom right hand corner to the L & D team, but taking the learner into the workplace. Taking the learning team into the workplace. Making the team be much more proactive around how they learn in the workplace and taking experts, be that your manager or other experts, into the workplace to support learning. And I think there’s always been a reticence to do that. And I think the sense of being much more agile and things that agile learning means I’m not sending people just to study on their own, but to study proactively, is something that is a significant change.

David               

And I think it’s something that we’re starting to see with solutions like Axonify and start to really drive that sense of we need to focus on learner. Sometimes it’s appropriate to take them outside of their workspace, but increasingly focusing on that space.

David   

Oh it’s stuck. There we go.

David   

So, in terms of that sort of modern learning experience, Liam, is there something you can show us, which takes us through what that personalized, video rich, engagement focused, learning looks like in reality?

Liam 

Well yeah, absolutely want to give you a bit of a snapshot as to what the learner experience might look like as well before we open up to questions.

David 

Cool.

Liam 

I think obviously we talked about that sort of personalized experience, so probably the key point to focus is the daily experience. The first thing you’re going to get is a notch on perhaps your phone if you’re doing it via your phone, so you’ve got some more learning for today. So you’ll log on and potentially if you’re being pushed some content- I talk about certifications, exams, and things like that- so it might be stuff that you have to do because that’s what the business needs you to do, or alternatively for instance we’ve got a guided learning experience here where it’s actually about onboarding someone to be a new cashier. And this is where the person can actually choose what their experience for the day is going to be. So, putting choice back into the hands of the learner, but also using AI to actually drive the right things to the person at the right time as well.

Liam 

Now, we talked about video. Video is a big piece of the Axonify platform and can be a really useful way to get a message out very quickly to people. So it could be a broadcast form a CEO about some particular performance, or a key message. A lot of our clients said say to use it for particular promotions. So again, it’s a way for a central learning team to actually communicate directly with these [deskless 00:42:54] workers. And that’s why that’s a blur between learning and communications really starts coming in. But of course you can use it for actually observing behaviors, commenting, and all that as well within the questions.

Liam 

Now, one of the big things we do is from the experience as well. So, we talk about what points make, which is prizes, so we’ll talk a little bit about that in a moment.

Liam 

But one of the experiences- and again this is optional, depending on the learner- is that you can actually rather than going straight into your content, you can complete your game. And that’s designed for some engagement, but also to put people into the right mind space to actually complete learning. Because if you think about this, if the learning is now happening in the flow on the work environment, they might need just a moment to sort of collect their thoughts before undertaking some new learning.

Liam   

So, ColorFill is the most popular game. It’s something that you can challenge your friends to et cetera, et cetera, but as you go through the game you unlock questions. An example of a question is a typical sort of multi-choice type question, but also importantly there’s a confidence rating. So it’s these data points that are always being used every single day that are being fed back into the machine learning in the background, which is then adapting your learning experience.

Liam

So then once they’ve completed their learning, typically you get brought to this screen where you can then start analyzing what you do next. So for some people, they may be busy and they just want to log off and get back to the work place. That’s fine, but for others they might want to go and do some further learning. They might want to challenge some friends to a particular competition. So there’s all sorts of things that can happen.

Liam

Actually, what we’re finding is the success of this and the short nature of the learning is that voluntary learning is significant. So people get some voluntary learning of 70-80 percent uptake. And I think it talks to the point that you made earlier, David, about people really wanting to learn and there’s a thirst for knowledge as well.

Liam 

Well one of the key engagement mechanisms we have are points. And, if you can click through, David.

David 

Yep.

Liam 

Here we go.

Liam 

And of course, points make prizes. This is a game-ification mechanic we use and again it’s optional, so you could use your points that you’ve earned from completing learning to just do a very basic simple spin and win through to eBay style auction sites, where you can bid for particular prizes. Now, the prizes don’t have to be particularly big. It could be anything, perhaps a coffee vouch or parking in a particular parking bay at work or something. But what it does, is it drives some very interesting behaviors and we’ve even seen sort of the [inaudible 00:45:57] of Axonify setting alarms in the middle of the night just to make sure they can outbid each other on a particular prize. So, again it’s a mechanic so that as you complete the learning, you get more points, the points you can use to create more prizes, and again it creates this whole engagement into the learning that you’re trying to put forward.

Liam 

And then the final piece- David you talked about, sort of, the social learning and learning with the community. Again, one of the options is that [inaudible 00:46:29] want to go and find out some more information, so we’ve got something called discovery zone where you can look for existing content that may already exist or you might upload some content that you think might be useful for the community as well. So again, as well as that sort of top-down learning, we can do the bottom-up learning and actually create a community and get people to sort of almost have more performance supports that they can leverage as well.

David

Thanks, Liam.

David

It’s fascinating to me. We’ve been talking for a while as an analyst around the evolution of learning systems and strategies. And so going back made me see something maybe 20 years ago, people were growing their learning solutions out of structured, organizational, programmatic-type programs and we’ve seen that sort of evolution through a shift to eLearning delivery to, think about 70-20-10, talent development, social learning. I think what we’re looking at, we have the sort of thing that it’s on fire to. It gives a shift into what we’ve been talking about the last two or three years, which is focused much more on learning analytics, learning engagement, game-ification, and thinking about how you create a meaningful and regular and continuous relationship with learning for the individuals who work for your organization, which is much more individualized, personalized, much more [iterative 00:47:52], so it’s always there, much more ambient, much more bite-sized, and much more nudging.

David 

And that’s what we’re seeing, I think, with the sorts of things that you’ve shown us, Liam, is that sort of shift into this new era, which we expect to grow over the next five years, really. Sort of the thing, if you look to 2020 and the lot beyond we think that the solutions that are going to be most successful for organizations are the ones that prove value, that drive user engagement, and help people personally transform, because they’re genuinely engaging, interesting, and value-adding intelligence, in terms of what they’re being offered and how. And I think whilst we create these nice little infographics, which talk about the journey it’s nice to see that there are real tools which really start to enable organizations to deliver this in that sense of having engagement-driven, personalized, bite-sized learning isn’t just a fiction or a fantasy, it’s something that is real that can drive front line staff, to drive better bottom line value, but also provide those front line people with a much higher level of support and coaching than they would have done in the past.

David

So, I think we’ve probably got a few minutes left for questions. I’ll quickly move this on a slide and I guess if there’s any questions, we can try and pick those up. So, I know that we’re going to try to make the presentation back available, there’s a host of research that we can also share if you want to download it from the website. But in the meantime, I guess, any questions? I’m trying to find the question panel. Here we go.

Speaker 4 

Hi, David and Liam, thank you for a great discussion on harvesting learning for your front line and bottom line, so as David mentioned we’re going to open up for questions, so if anyone has any please place it in the Q&A window.

Speaker 4 

But we’re going to start with: are you seeing more budget shifts in learning to support the agile learning journey?

David 

Yeah, I think we’re seeing a lot of people want to invest in learning technology. It goes back to that chart that shows people are focusing a lot on content, but that doesn’t necessarily make it agile. We’re seeing people want to invest a lot more in platforms.

David       

I think what we’re seeing overall is that this shift in focus around those platforms, people are still trying to do lots of programmatic learning. That’s not necessarily going away, but what they’re trying to do is extend the brief, and that invariably means pushing things into the workspace and thinking about the sorts of tools, like Axonify, that you can use amongst others, to think about how you can reach out. Now we haven’t got exact numbers, but typically that’s what we see. And I think if you look at some of the other analysts, they’re talking about this space. They’re talking about, to some extent, some learning experience layer. I’m not sure if that necessarily tells the whole picture, because there’s more than an experience going on here. There’s a whole methodology and a whole mindset which is much broader than that. [inaudible 00:50:43] I think people have gone through their own platforms and found that they were fit for purpose for doing what they used to be able to do, but they’re starting to questions whether they’re fit for purpose in doing this new breed of much more relationship, data-drive, intelligence-driven learning.

Liam 

Yeah, and I think just to sort of build on from that, David. I think almost expectations of learners have changed. You talked about the nature of the workforce and how that’s changed and a lot of this sort of technology that’s being built was almost to serve the central need, in terms of some administration and actually that we can create consistency. But actually, learners are so used to personalization. [inaudible 00:51:31] the websites. And my experience on a website would be different to David’s experience on the very same website because it will understand, it will have all this information and data about what we like and what we’ve done in the past and change in our experience. So, I think this need for personalization and agility, but then also understanding what the impact is driving behaviors and I think a lot of people are asking the question, they don’t know what the answer is and hopefully we can play some role in helping people understand where we might be able to fit, really.

Speaker 4   

Wonderful, we have another question. This is for Liam. Can you elaborate on the challenge your friends and is there a multiplayer scoreboard?

Liam 

Yes, of course.

Liam   

So, one of the great game mechanics we’ve built is the fact that you can challenge your friends to a particular quest. So, take ColorFill as the one example, you can actually say write you, I might challenge David to a game on ColorFill. And by doing that, what we’re also creating is this community feel. So no longer is learning just something that I’m doing, but actually it’s what my friend is doing. So I could challenge my friend to that, and then we can actually challenge for points. So the points that I said if you built in your rewards mechanisms behind that, certainly we can then share points, so it might be that I might be challenging a certain number of points and it becomes quite high stakes in terms of that game.

Liam 

So, it’s just another way of creating engagement. We also have this feature where it’s actually tell a friend, so you can actually get people to sign up. Say, I might say right David hasn’t been on the platform recently, so I’m going to say David is my friend, and if I can get him to log on to the platform a certain number of times within a certain timeframe, then I get more points.

Liam

So again, it’s trying to really create a community of learning, which could be very difficult particularly with the deskless workforce where people might be all over the country potentially in quite small silos. So, this is another way that we actually create more of an engagement to the learning.

Liam 

So the other part is about leaderboards, is it?

Speaker 4     

Yes, about the multiplayer scoreboard.

Liam 

Yeah, so one of the big engagement mechanisms is still a leaderboard. So, people become surprisingly competitive when their name is on the scoreboard and they were, perhaps, top and then they drop. So again, the way that you get yourself back up the scoreboard is by driving through the learning, getting more points, and getting yourself up the scoreboard. So, it’s a simple mechanic. It’s a well-used gaming mechanic. And, again, we have that within the platform so the learner, once they complete their learning, can see where they are on the various different scoreboards. You can compete against individuals. You can compete as part of a team. There’s all sorts of different ways that you can actually drive that sort of competitive nature within people as well.

Jordan 

Excellent, thank you.

Jordan 

One other question was on what is coming next. I think that was covered just in the last slide, showing what the investments are going for 2020. We are up against the top of the hour, so I’d like to thank everybody again for joining us today. We will follow up with an email with the recording. If there are any other questions, feel free to send them through directly.

Jordan   

Thanks again.

David 

Thanks, so much.

Liam   

Thanks, all.

David

Thanks.