What are some of the biggest challenges learning and development professionals are currently facing? How are you continuing to support various learning initiatives, from new hire onboarding to ongoing training and engagement for existing employees? In June, we gathered global L&D leaders to participate in our Udemy Connect virtual conversation series. Catch some of the highlights and key takeaways from these events here.

Supporting the whole employee through continuous learning: Speaker spotlight

Ian Stevens, Capability Development Lead, Publicis Sapient gave a presentation on how his team is thinking about moving from classroom to community in an online setting. He shared the specific example of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) training, which relies on internal subject matter experts.

When shifting this in-person training to a virtual setting, Ian and the rest of his team decided that their priority should be to build a community of practice. They wanted to use time in the classroom to focus on activities and knowledge transfer and encouraged employees to use Microsoft Teams to create the feeling of community where employees could engage in general conversations and share resources and best practices. 

For example, Microsoft Build was traditionally an in-person conference, but it took place online this year instead. The Publicis Sapient L&D team wanted to make sure employees were aware of this resource, so they amplified the message through learning channels on Teams. This drove engagement with people commenting, liking, and sharing their learnings with others.

Ian says that it has taken a few weeks to build an active community, but now there’s a lively group of over 500 employees who regularly open posts, comment, and visit various channels. 

The L&D team also spent time familiarizing themselves with Teams’ functionality and now use it as a centralized hub to store employee registration requests and information about certifications. Switching to Teams actually allows the L&D team to be faster and more effective at responding to requests and ensures that everyone now knows where to find relevant information.

Supporting the whole employee through continuous learning: Audience tips & tricks

After Ian shared how Publicis Sapient is approaching continuous learning, Udemy Connect attendees had the opportunity to break into smaller groups and share their own experiences and best practices. Here are a few tips and tricks from these breakout sessions.

How are you fostering a culture of continuous learning in your organization?

What tactics, tools, and technology are you using to embed learning in the flow of work?

Supporting the whole employee through continuous learning: Key takeaways

Creating virtual learning experiences that drive engagement: Speaker spotlight

In this presentation, Annemie Cowley, HR Digital Transformation Specialist at Tiger Brands shared how her company approached new hire onboarding during South Africa’s lockdown period. 

Annemie described a complex onboarding process at Tiger Brands that included a range of employees such as essential workers who were still based onsite and others who were working remotely temporarily during the lockdown. 

Speed was a critical factor, and Annemie and her team used existing internal tools like SharePoint to quickly design and implement their online onboarding program. Annemie’s team closely collaborated with the IT team to ensure new hires could access the onboarding materials using their personal email addresses if they don’t have a company email address yet.

They recorded subject matter experts’ Skype presentations, used an internal eLearning authoring tool, and included TV advertisements as breaks in online modules so that new hires could learn more about the various Tiger Brands products. 

Annemie says, “We worked in a small multi-functional team, prototyped, and implemented quickly. In just two weeks, the online onboarding platform took flight. And it was great!” The slide below provides a quick overview of their two-week implementation process.

Annemie shared several tips for increasing engagement with online onboarding experiences:

Creating virtual learning experiences that drive engagement: Audience tips & tricks 

Participants broke out into smaller groups to discuss how they’re driving engagement with learning at their organizations. Here are a few of their suggestions.

How can you set people up for success prior to training?

How can you adapt your facilitation style to fit the needs of remote learners?

Creating virtual learning experiences that drive engagement: Key takeaways

Increasing productivity & engagement through workforce well-being: Speaker spotlight

Katie Johnson, Organizational Development Manager at RetailMeNot shared that the mission of the People team at RetailMeNot is to provide a world-class employee experience throughout the entire employee lifecycle so employees can make a positive impact on the business and develop every single day. A recent engagement survey at RetailMeNot found that feeling “cared for” by a manager was a top driver of manager effectiveness at the company.

Katie also introduced the participants to the concept of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) — voluntary, employee-led groups that serve as resources for members and organizations by fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with organizational values, goals, business practices, and objectives. 

At RetailMeNot, ERGs give a voice to the employee base and provide career development for team members, giving people the opportunity to step into leadership roles, practice public speaking, learn to organize events, and more. The slide below outlines the process for establishing an ERG at RetailMeNot.

Increasing productivity & engagement through workforce well-being: Audience tips & tricks

Participants discussed their organizations’ approach to ERGs and other well-being resources. Here are some highlights from these breakout sessions.

Does your organization currently leverage ERGs?

What steps can you take to better integrate well-being initiatives into your organizational development strategy?

Increasing productivity & engagement through workforce well-being: Key takeaways

Udemy Connect is all about bringing L&D leaders and practitioners together to promote collaboration and sharing best practices. We’ll continue to share more updates and highlights from these gatherings in the future. 

Looking for more ideas to help you take an employee-first approach to learning at your organization? Check out the resources we’ve curated on our Learning Resources for Leaders page.

Empower your team. Lead the industry.

Get a subscription to a library of online courses and digital learning tools for your organization with Udemy for Business.

Request a demo