A Strategic Architectural Approach
CLIENT — COX MEDIA
Before you can build a robust learning experience you must envision what that journey looks like. A learning experience is designed around understanding who will be using it, what they need to know and do to be successful, what is the desired outcome, and how does the journey build in a progressive, cohesive way. By focusing on the bigger picture, we can then take that blueprint and design the individual pieces into an outcome driven learning journey.
Cox Media is a fast-moving company that needed to get their new sales hires skilled up to successfully launch into their role. Their current in-person two-week learning event left them throwing a bunch of information at the learners in a short amount of time. It also left a heavy burden on the staff organizing and running the event including scheduling challenges and lack of resources.
Taking a strategic architectural approach, we took a step back and envisioned what a successful program would look like. By asking questions like: What are your challenges? What is not working now and why? What are your desired outcomes? What specific skills do they need to learn? What skills are most important right now?
After envisioning an ideal state, we were able to get creative and explore the journey progression and online modality of each learning piece. Our goal was to ensure the design is relevant, engaging and tailored to the desired outcomes.
As a result, we create a learning journey that expanded across 90 days including three phases - Ignite, Grow, and Accelerate. Through that journey we were able to map out the skills and knowledge needed to ensure each learning activity built in a cohesive progression. To reinforcing the knowledge and skills gained, On the Job Training extended across the whole journey. We also created points of engagement for new hires to connect with mentors and leaders.
The new program also greatly reduced the burden on staff organizing and facilitating the training. It also allowed new cohorts to begin the program in a rotating fashion to better keep up with incoming new hires. The structure we created led to a more robust learning experience that allowed learners time to digest new skills while reinforcing those skills on the job. Taking the time to step back and envision a new future state was well worth the effort!
Getting Creative with Onboarding
THE SITUATION — Arch Insurance
We partnered with Arch to build a new employee onboarding program. At the time there wasn’t any formal onboarding experience for all new hires to go through. We love opportunities to get our creative juices going and create something that doesn’t yet exist. Many onboarding programs can focus heavily on company facts, benefits and procedures but we wanted to spice it up. The outcome we wanted achieve was to make the new hire feel inspired, excited, and confident the decision they made to join Arch. We wanted the experience to be engaging and help them feel connected with the company from day one.
We strategically leveraged different engagement strategies within the e-learning course to make it come alive. We started with an inspiring video the showcased how their work is part of something larger – helping people in times of tragedy. The audio-visual component is great way to elicit positive emotion and make you feel. We also used game strategy to help new hires meet the company’s leadership in a more personal engaging way. Nobody wants to read a boring bio! Instead, the leaders provided two truths and a lie about themselves, and the new hires had to guess which was the lie. This was followed by a short video where the leader welcomed the new hire and gave their advice on how to thrive at Arch. By leveraging video and interactivity through out the course we created a great first impression and welcomed new hires in an engaging way. After the launch other divisions of Arch begin asking if they could leverage the content as well.
THE SITUATION — Microsoft
We helped Microsoft Dynamics build a two-week global onboarding program held in Seattle, WA. The training was a blend of facilitator led and SME led live sessions. We supported the project by building course PowerPoints and Facilitator Guides. We also met with SME’s to provide helpful tips to bring interactivity and engagement to their presentations.
In the middle of their launch the COVID 19 pandemic begun to hit. This created the need to shift our delivery methods and shift quickly!
As part of the shift we, we had to adjust our design focus to a virtual audience and ask ourselves, how do we engage the learners? Part of our redesign included adjusting the session layout so that we could shorten sessions and include various components of interactivity. We included a kickoff session to help prepare participants, so they would know what is expected of them, how to access the sessions and resources, and understand the pre-work and homework they would be completing throughout the training. We also helped SMEs organize their content and workshops so that they could effectively engage participants and share their expertise in the most meaningful way. Being able to act quickly to the changing environment allowed us to successfully continue this training without major disruptions to their hiring and training timeline. The ability to remain agile enabled this onboarding program to stay ahead of change.
Launching an Initiative
THE SITUATION — Arch Insurance
Arch was getting ready to launch a new leadership program called Momentum. They wanted to create excitement around the initiative and entice leaders to engage. An effective launch strategy is always necessary. We partnered with Arch to build the main intro video that would launch the initiative. We decide we wanted it to play like a movie trailer, powerful script, dynamic voice and amazing visuals that aligned to the structure of the Momentum program. We gathered our creative team got to work.
Take a look for yourself!