As a leading multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer and professional products, this company has had a longstanding commitment to leadership development. Recently, senior management transitioned from focusing development efforts on a targeted set of leaders to a broader, scalable strategy for all of its 1,400 people managers.
Instead of disparate, in-person training across business units and regions, executives envisioned a program that would provide consistent global alignment on managerial expectations and development. This goal was part of a broader commitment to instill a culture of agility and continuous improvement to operate the business with greater efficiency
Defining the Learning Missions
In addition to these development- and market-oriented goals, the company’s Learning & Development team needed to respond to employee requests for flexibility and accessibility in the learning experience. Learners wanted courses to fit into their schedules, to be engaging, and offer digestible content.
Even more, specific design criteria for the leadership program included:
- Content relevant to the company’s business needs
- On-demand, flexible and accessible on multiple devices
- Personalized, interactive and social learner experience with peer-to peer learning and opportunities for application
To reach these program goals, the L&D team collaborated with a 12-member Learning Council, a company-wide group of managers, learning professionals and HR staff. The council identified four cornerstones that define the manager’s role in the employee journey— Attract, Support, Develop, Engage — which became the four modules at the heart of the program. As a result of this exploratory research, the company launched the first phase of its Global Learn & Lead program in August 2018.
“NovoEd’s flexible learner experience platform is a key driver of the program as it provides the classroom experience in a virtual environment.”
– Director, Global Talent Development
Flexible Yearlong Online Program
This flexible, cyclical, 12-month online course covers the four cornerstone modules and develops skills such as:
- Recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding
- Building teams, coaching, and feedback
- Setting group goals
- Decision making
- Agile leadership
- Delegation of work
Critical to the success of the leadership program were the course facilitators working in partnership with the employees’ managers, who tracked the course engagement of their direct reports. To ensure consistent engagement and participation, the company created a Facilitation Guide and employed various types of “nudges” from automated messages and targeted emails.
Reinventing Leadership Development
In order to meet program design principles, the L&D team established NovoEd as its Learner Experience Technology Platform, drawing on functionality that fosters the social and collaborative learning integral to the program. The NovoEd platform enables participants to consume content; submit assignments; participate in team discussions and projects; get feedback from peers, mentors, and facilitators; interact with established leaders; and apply what they learn to their jobs.
“Discussions, a team environment, practice and assignments, and online manager support are all resources that have made the experience engaging for our global learners.”
– Director, Global Talent Development
They evaluated the program using manager and participant surveys:
- Employees considered the program to be a valuable part of their development.
- Employee feedback on the program was positive.
Participant responses were similarly promising:
- 92% of respondents indicated the content will make them better managers.
- 93% gained valuable new insights.
- 90% will be able to apply what they have learned in their everyday work.
The company continues to measure impact through the social collaboration and team activity elements of the Learn & Lead program. The company conducts weekly progress reports that include team posts shared, team submission data and team meeting activity
What Comes Next
Currently, 150 global people managers participate in this dynamic training program, a key part of its strategy to engage employees as business owners. The company expects to add managers on a quarterly basis and, by fiscal year 2021, the goal is for all 1,400 people managers to have completed the course
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