Blended Learning in 3 Dimensions at Voyager
Our tagline at Voyager Innovations is to “Be Mission Ready” and we’ve partnered with Udemy for Business to prepare our workforce for whatever comes next. Voyager Innovations is a 700+ employee financial technology company based in Manila, Philippines. The fintech industry space is constantly being disrupted. If there is a change in the business model or technology becomes obsolete, we have to ensure we’re ready. To be prepared for constant change, we’re building a culture of learning at Voyager and encouraging a growth mindset among our employees.
Voyager is a tech and innovation company that develops digital payment technologies, mobile wallets, and remittance services. We recently made a strategic business shift to be 100% fintech, previously we also offered e-commerce solutions and mobile applications as well.
To build a culture of learning at Voyager, we invested in online learning with Udemy for Business. However, our employees come from varied backgrounds and not everyone is comfortable learning in an online environment.
We found that employees here at Voyager fit into two broad groups. The first group is from the technology side of our business (e.g. engineers, product developers and designers) and is comfortable with online learning opportunities. The second group includes employees from the traditional side of our business (e.g. shared services, business operations) who are sometimes wary of online learning.
One of our challenges was coming up with a solution that would work for both groups of employees. We wanted to satisfy employees who had asked to learn virtually as well as those who still preferred to work with an instructor in person. Employees also felt if managers saw them learning online on the job, it implied they weren’t busy enough. Essentially, our employees didn’t feel supported to learn and they wanted a dedicated space and time to learn. We wanted to break stereotypes around online learning and prove that it could be just as effective as classroom learning. Working closely with our Customer Success Manager, Caroline Galindo, at Udemy for Business, we brainstormed how to integrate Udemy for Business into our learning programs in a fun and engaging way, while addressing our employees’ diverse needs. Find out how Udemy for Business can enhance your blended learning programs.
Space Camp HQ: Blended learning in 3 dimensions
To support all our employees with their learning endeavors, our People Group Learning and Organizational Development team launched Space Camp HQ at Voyager in May, a blended learning experience in three dimensions–Virtual, Physical, and Experiential Learning. As part of the program, we created the Space Camp Learning Room to provide a quiet space for our “cadets” or employees to learn without distractions.
We organized a dedicated “Learning Day” once a month around specific themes. For example, our first Learning Day in May was focused on design thinking. June’s theme is project management and July is focused on financial technologies. Other monthly themes we hope to include are data science, customer experience, grit & leadership, and personal development. Our learning rooms were transformed for our monthly Learning Day with Virtual, Physical, and Experiential learning activities stationed throughout.
We’re also a small L&D team, so we had to be creative about how we leveraged our learning resources. That’s why we decided to lean heavily on online learning and peer-to-peer learning. Here are some of the components of our blended learning experience at Voyager.
1. Virtual: Live learning sessions on Udemy
At our Learning Day, we offered what we call “assisted online learning” through live learning sessions on Udemy, where a group of learners took a course together in the same classroom. The chosen topic was aligned with the monthly theme of design thinking in May and was introduced by a subject matter expert from the company who gave an overview of the course first. Each session was facilitated by the internal subject matter expert and learners responded to quizzes and hands-on assignments in the Udemy course together. The instructor also encouraged discussion and role-playing sessions about the topic. The advantage of this approach is that employees still felt like they were part of a physical class with a cohort, but the core content was delivered online. We were able to leverage high-quality content by subject matter experts on Udemy for Business, saving our L&D team time and resources. This approach also helped to favorably introduce Udemy for Business to our employees base that is wary of online learning.
For the employees comfortable with learning virtually, we encouraged them to learn at their own pace on Udemy for Business. During our monthly Learning Day in May, we offered tablets and comfortable beanbags in our dedicated learning space for employees to learn on their own.
2. Physical: Pocket learning sessions
During our Learning Day, our pocket learning sessions were short, live peer-to-peer interactive lectures stationed throughout the room. We invited high-performers and company award winners from our organization to present on a topic for 20-30 minutes. For example, at our launch event in May, we leveraged peers to share their in-depth knowledge of design thinking as part of our May theme. However, the topic doesn’t have to be related to their job, we also encourage employees to share topics that interest them such as data science, leadership, or blockchain.
3. Experiential: Squad learning
At Voyager, we have a number of squads or employee community groups organized around a wide range of personal interests like pets, book club, photography, dance, parenting, sports, or hiking. For the experiential activity at our first “Learning Day” event in May, we partnered with Voyager’s book lovers’ squad So Lit! to launch the Book Exchange program where employees brought books to exchange with each other. The program also offered Voyager employees a social learning experience as they shared insights from the books with other readers.
The experiential session occurred inside the learning room, and we transformed the learning room according to the book exchange theme. While the virtual and physical sessions should be aligned with our monthly theme, this third experiential session may cover more fun personal hobby topics. For example, in upcoming sessions, we might offer a course on how to groom your dog or how to build a fence in your backyard for your pet. These sessions might be led by peers or by external instructors.
Space camp awards
Finally, we tracked learning participation on a leaderboard and offered quarterly “Space Camp Awards” to our power learners. Our Space Camp awards included fun branded swags like bomber jackets, tumblers, and caps.
Curated pre- and post-learning at Voyager
As part of our blended Learning Day, we also offered pre- and post- learning tracks. For our May theme of Design Thinking, our pre-work included a Udemy course suggested by the subject matter expert and a short video as a teaser on the topic to get people excited to learn more and attend our Space Camp HQ Learning Day. After the live day, our L&D team curated and emailed post-learning opportunities. For example, employees who signed up were given the link to the Udemy course and provided an overview during the pocket learning session. As a follow-up, the participants also received a curated pathway – with the Design Thinking presentation deck, link to the Udemy course and short video, as well as a feedback form. We also curated other kinds of modes of learning such as articles, podcasts, books, and other Udemy courses they might find interesting.
Curated leadership pathways
Our blended learning experiences also go beyond our monthly Learning Days and are embedded in the day-to-day jobs of our managers in real-time. Every week, we use a tool called OfficeVibe that polls employees on how their managers are doing in terms of 10 metrics such as their relationship with the manager, happiness, satisfaction, personal growth, relationship with peers, recognition, and alignment. If our people managers receive low scores on any of these metrics, we send them a tailored learning pathway using Degreed with suggested Udemy for Business online courses, articles, books, videos, and podcasts to help upskill in the area of need. For example, if a manager receives low scores on relationships, our People Group Learning and Organizational Development team usually tell them they need to address this right away and suggests a curated learning pathway on how to improve their emotional intelligence. Other learning pathways might include team engagement and feedback hacks, setting goals, and coaching as well.
Here at Voyager, we’re excited about the results we’ve seen so far with our blended learning experiences and plan to continue to seek ways to help our employees be mission ready. Find out how Udemy for Business can help prepare your employees for what’s next.
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