The organization in question is a global Information Technology (IT), consulting, and outsourcing company with around 170,000 employees in over 175 cities across 6 continents.
With posted revenues of $7.7 Billion for the financial year ended March 2016, it enhances a customer’s business by leveraging on industry-wide experience, deep technology expertise, comprehensive portfolio of services and vertically aligned business model.
A globally recognized name for its innovative approach towards delivering business values and commitment to sustainability, this company also champions optimized utilization of natural resources, capital and talent.
We find and face trends year after year. It’s an annual process. Technological advancements are often the talk and walk of the business world, especially words hovering round big data, gamification, mobile, micro or social learning. And as with most organizations, people often expect innovative learning professionals to integrate these throughout learning strategies.
This company walked that walk and talked that talk. Needless to say, these additions worked. After a point, they stagnated. In time, they stopped delivering results.
Yes. Oh, did you not expect that? Well, why would we write a case study then? The idea is a lot clearer when we understand that the real trend in learning and development – any business function for that matter – is how the central challenges and pain points hardly change on an annual basis.
In many ways, and they realized this, organizations still faced the same central issues they battled against five years ago, perhaps longer.
Let us fortify this for you. Now, a running study in 2014, which talked about issues in the L&D ecosystem, uncovered four potent challenges to learning processes:
To be more precise, these challenges made the top 4 in the years prior and all the way up until 2017. Well, not the perfect top 4, but closely in and around. It brings into perspective what the real trends are to watch for the year – new technologies and products or the recurring problems and pain points that organizations struggle to solve?
In the face of adversity, they rolled out the big guns as any industry giant would. They were at war, and against an invisible foe. Other organizations were no different – same old problems, same old challenges.
The real effort though was in trying to reach a plateau of limitless growth, to become the frontrunners in a revolution where others would follow.
But then again, considering the vast and varied advancements of the digital age, organizations simply had more information to pass onto their employees than ever before.
Yes, product and service offerings are subject to change aggressively. Perhaps the compliance standard now possesses a new wrinkle critical to employees on the job. But, regardless of the what, it’s clear that content overload is a major problem.
"If we’re all in a ship together, and the ship has some holes in it, and we’re sort of bailing water out of it, and we have a great design for a bucket, then even if we’re bailing out way better than everyone else, we should probably still share the bucket design."
- Elon Musk, Founder & CEO at
SpaceX, Tesla Inc; Chairman at
During this chase, the company did not hesitate to venture into a bout of thoroughness, unearthing other challenges to their desire for a strong L&D engine. These included:
1. Employee Struggle To Internalize Knowledge & Skills For Better Performance
It’s difficult to connect annually on everything covered from training to job experience. Employees are often asked to store volumes of information and recall it based on need. The real question: Is Your Training Helping Them Do That? L&D does know that it has too much content, but the employees? Well, they’re simply unable to retain it.
2. Stakeholders & Their Indifferences to New Training Approaches
There are times when stakeholders are completely disconnected from what’s happening downstairs. At the end of the day, knowing that your training is broken is hardly enough to fix it. When managers or stakeholders become immovable barriers, training tends to stay the same.
3. Learners Fail to Embrace Existing Training
Maybe you’re digital, but that doesn’t mean your employees don’t find your eLearning course boring. Often, employees fail to grasp or understand the value in training. That is, the RoI (Return on Investment) for their time remains largely unclear.
They ensured that the stakeholders never walked into a moment of disconnect. This did eliminate one of four challenges, but ensuring knowledge transfer, controlling the flow of content to learners, and maximizing learner engagement are all tall orders.
That’s pretty much the big game, and if there was an easy answer, organizations would have figured it out by now. While it is great to imagine how one or more of trendy approaches could solve these problems, it might help to consider what existing tools and resources could be used in a different way.
But learnings are hardly worth anything without good returns; that is – measure success. They needed something to boost their solutions, and just perhaps augment pre-existing segments in their processes without overhauling the same.
There’s not much to say when one of the finest in the world walks in with great technology and a plan in motion. In an era where products thrive and die in the blink of an eye, they hardly required reassurance on whether they could solve the problem themselves. They just needed it done a lot faster.
1. Fresh Engineers or Recently Campus Recruited: Skill Gap Analysis
With training processes set in stone, the company needed to understand just how much and in what proportions could fresh minds consume content for the spectacular returns. Candidates with around 1-2 years of experience fell under the same category.
Mettl’s immersive and real-time simulators tested candidates and/or employees in dynamic environment, allowing for a comparison between prior and post training skills. The technology ensured that they could understand how their test takers responded to challenges in real time. Additionally, a strong gap analysis made for modifying training requirements per employee.
2. Hackathons: Higher Engagement
There was often the problem of how employees almost never responded to training, primarily because the returns remained vague. However, for people with the right set of skills, even those self-taught in more modern technologies such as AngularJS, ReactJS, Android and more, Mettl dug into its arsenal of technologies.
A digital platform that could host a hackathon served a couple of purposes. It ensured that the spirit of competition kept people engaged. This fostered a sense of improvement engineered into the subconscious, and also helped people understand their state of skills. They could later use these findings to help structure better learning
As we kept droning on and on about how it is essential for training or learning programs to measure success, an impact to the case study is how we reassure you and us of the good work. We spotted these in the form of higher engagement, and stronger learning programs raring to get better moving forward. However, the true impact waltzed its way into the organization in the form of Learning Weeks.
The Mettl platform left its mark to launch regularly on a weekly basis, encouraging candidates to polish on varying skills be it behavioural or technical. Yes, learning isn’t all technology. One could assess for behavioural competencies in terms of strengths and weaknesses as well. This is the stuff of leaders.
Perhaps you managed to relate to this story. Perhaps not. But the matter of the fact is that we hope to have to piqued your interest enough to have you write back to us. No, just kidding. It’s our Elon Musk way of doing things – sharing the bucket and all.
However, for even a second, if you managed to think, “This is something I could use.” Well, that’s business, and that’s business we want to help with.