The Role of e-Learning in Building and Managing Organizational Talent: A Case Study

Posted on : September 18th, 2014
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case-studyFor any organization, its ‘people’ are its greatest asset. Modern companies truly believe that an organizations’ strength lies in empowering its people with innovation and care. In the tryst to create a positive working environment, many talent management strategies are put in place to make sure that the employees find opportunities to grow and flourish in the organization structure.

One such strategy is the implementation of Employee Satisfaction Surveys (EOS) to understand the needs of the workforce as well as identify and address pertinent needs. Just as market data is critical for business development, understanding how people feel, think and perform is important for all managers as well as the higher-up stakeholders.  Therefore, it is imperative that the managers at the middle and higher levels, who conduct the surveys and are responsible for implementing suitable action plans, should be aligned to the importance of EOS and the means of utilizing them the best.

We created an interactive web-based training for a large computer hardware company, aimed at training middle and high-level managers. The online learning course successfully encapsulated the relevance of EOS and empowered the managers to utilize EOS for the benefit of the organization as a whole. The web-based approach created an avenue for standardized self-driven training that suited the busy working lives of the learner group. It also delegated the responsibility of learning to the learners, encouraging them to engage with the content more and utilize the learning in practical applications in everyday work-life. Here are some of the strategies we implemented to create an impactful training program for effective talent management:

  • Owing to the vastness of the information to be shared, the course was broken down into two distinct modules. The first module dealt with understanding the concept of EOS and its relevance in the organization. It also detailed the process of conducting EOS in the organization and highlighted the role of the managers in making it a success. The second module concentrated on the practical aspects of EOS and charted out the way for managers to create workable action plans out of the results. The two-pronged approach made it possible for the course to be utilized again and again – the first section for newly recruited mangers and the second a refresher for managers to re-enforce training from time to time.
  • An animated mascot was created to build a connection with the learners by engaging them in an informal manner and lightening the mood. The mascot became the virtual mentor who introduced each section, giving the learner a clear idea of what to expect out of the course. This helped the learners chart their way across the course in an effective manner.
  • The entire training program was set on the scenario of a training being conducted on EOS, as an ILT session, by a Training Manager.  The manager introduces EOS as a concept and its implementation across the organization. He is also there to answer the common questions that the people in the training scenario have, thus answering the common questions that learners might come up with.  In the absence of a real-life instructor, it is the virtual trainer who makes the instant connect with the learner and establishes himself firmly as ‘one of their own’.
  • The content of the course was kept light and informal. Scenarios from various aspects of life were utilized to demonstrate organizational importance and various benefits of EOS. For instance, communication plays an important role in utilizing the benefit of EOS. The relevance of this aspect was explained with an example from the Sports genre. A coach is instrumental in leading a sportsperson to success and a good coach should highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of the sportsperson. Similarly, a good manager should highlight both positive and negative findings of the EOS in order to create a suitable action plan to address the gaps in employee satisfaction.
  • Practical scenarios were demonstrated and played out with a series of dialogues to help the learner gain practical insights.
    The dialogues were conversational, closely mimicking real-life situations faced by managers. These included meetings with HR and top-level decision makers as well as team meetings to discuss the EOS outcome – ensuring that the managers were equipped to share and utilize the learning at every level.
  • Learner understanding was also checked from time to time through a series of interactive evaluation tests. The tests were varied – from ‘True and False’ to multiple choice questions and interactive ‘drag and drop’ exercises. Answers were suitably explained – irrespective of whether the learner had chosen the right answer or not. This helped in further cementing the knowledge gathered by the learner. Scenario-based questions were also put across to the learner, encouraging him to imagine real-life situations and think about applying the knowledge gathered through the course. The questions did not ask ‘what is…’ but instead asked ‘what if…’, thus kindling the imagination of the learner and putting forth the practical realities of work.

The results of the training were achieved within months of the training delivery. Employee satisfaction is often perceived to be useful only to certain functions within the organization – most often Human Resources. But contrary to this popular belief, it is a powerful tool that collates employee opinion and should be utilized at various levels to benefit the organization as a whole.

  • The EOS training was successful in aligning managers to the importance and practical utilization of the survey – to create an atmosphere of positivity and growth. The biggest success of the training was that the managers were able to create better and actionable plans – formulated directly in accordance to the findings of the EOS data.
  • Continued formulation of action plans and their implementation across the organization was clearly the greatest ROI derived from the training initiative. Long-term implementation of the plans ensured that there were perceptible changes in the working conditions and overall environment. The positivity among the employees was on a never-before high and it all culminated in better performance of the organization as a whole.
  • With growing confidence in the utilization of the EOS, participation in the survey also saw a marked increase. The cycle of greater participation and better actionable plans continued to mark the full utilization of the survey as a tool – to understand the needs of the people and make suitable changes to address them.

Thus the technology-aided approach was able to create better understanding of Talent Management and a greater increase in its perceived worth among the managers of the organization.  Talent Management strategies are instrumental in building the People of an Organization and helping them to achieve their true worth. e-Learning is a powerful way of creating an organization-wide acceptance of these strategies – across different learner-profiles within the organizational structure. For more of our experiences in creating e-learning solutions for different learning needs, write to [email protected] or fill the form below and it will be a pleasure for us to share.

Arunima Majumdar

Arunima is the Marketing Head at G-Cube. She loves exploring and blogging about innovations in training & learning for the new-age corporate sector.

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