How Online Learning Saved One Company 40% in Training Costs
When it comes to learning in the modern workplace, traditional classroom training no longer makes sense. It’s disruptive — and expensive — to take employees away from their day-to-day jobs. Just ask Pamela Xaba, the Head of Human Capital at Netstar.
In her current role, Pamela is responsible for driving Netstar and its 1,200 employees forward in their digital transformation. But when she joined the company in 2019, she found an outdated approach to training that relied entirely on classroom learning. Pamela transformed Netstar’s learning program to make it more flexible and accessible for employees and more cost-efficient for the company.
Netstar’s traditional approach to learning
Netstar is a pioneer in vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery since 1994. Based in South Africa, Netstar’s global footprint includes several African countries and Australia. It has a strong international reputation for leading innovation and offering best-in-class customer service.
When Pamela joined Netstar, it relied 100% on in-person classroom training. These courses covered a broad range of topics, from senior leadership development and sales training to Excel and PowerPoint. Around 500 employees participated in these occupational skills-focused workshops. “You can only imagine what that did to our budget and the disruption to day-to-day operations,” says Pamela.
Cost wasn’t the only concern — learning and development (L&D) regularly came up as a pain point in employee engagement surveys. Not everyone had the time or ability to access in-person training sessions.
Considerations for an updated L&D strategy
Pamela’s goal was to build a learning culture where employees had more access and motivation to learn. And then 2020 happened. “COVID accelerated our transition to online. We needed to move quickly because we didn’t want to put a halt on a learning culture that we were starting to build within the organization,” she says.
In her quest to find a new learning partner, Pamela’s primary considerations were:
- Minimal disruption to the day-to-day operations of the company
- Courses that catered to the learning needs of all employees — not just a select few
- Flexibility so employees could learn at their own pace and on a variety of platforms
- The ability to create custom courses to highlight internal subject matter expertise
With Udemy Business checking all these boxes as Netstar’s new learning partner, Pamela could then get to work strengthening Netstar’s learning culture.
Building a learning culture at Netstar
After launching Udemy Business in early 2020, Pamela quickly observed positive changes in the learning culture at Netstar. Here are three ways the L&D team grew the company’s learning culture.
Communication lays the groundwork for a successful launch
“Whenever you introduce something new, you will see a certain level of resistance solely because of the fear of the unknown,” says Pamela. The Netstar L&D team overcame this by highlighting the value of online learning. “The biggest selling point for employees was around flexibility and easy access to training initiatives.” And when the L&D team told employees that the company’s goal was to grow as a great place to work and develop their people, it was an even easier sell.
Learning paths provide guidance without being overly prescriptive
Pamela created targeted learning paths for different departments so that employees could get a sense of social learning together with their teammates. Employees had a specific timeframe to complete these learning paths, but when and where they engaged with Udemy content was up to them.
Ratings and reviews help employees discover relevant content
Pamela recognizes that employees trust their peers. She believes that Udemy’s review and rating system motivates her learners to take specific courses. “As more people learn, they can also rate the content on the platform and give feedback. Then other employees will see the more positive comments and feedback that sits on the platform.”
Netstar’s learning outcomes by the numbers
The employee reception to the classroom-less L&D strategy was surprising to Pamela. “Initially, I underestimated the eagerness of our employees to learn,” she says. “With classroom training, it felt as if it was forced and that I had to bribe the employees with lunches, teas, and biscuits just to make sure that they attended the training. But since switching to Udemy, the learning stats have been amazing.” Some of those learning outcomes include:
- 40% savings in the L&D budget
- 7,450 learning hours recorded
- 820 active users owning their learning
- Improved employee engagement scores
Dive deeper into Netstar’s learning journey
The new approach to corporate learning at Netstar is a win for everyone from the L&D team to the learners to the executives. In fact, Pamela and her team are now tracking employee retention as an outcome of a successful learning program.
“Employees see that we care for their well-being and want to enhance their skills, so they would think twice about joining a new organization because they wonder if their development would be taken care of.” In the future, Pamela hopes to get leaders more involved in promoting learning paths and the overall learning strategy.
To dive deeper into Netstar’s journey from traditional (and expensive) L&D offerings to cost-efficient and more engaging programs, watch the on-demand webinar of Pamela’s Netstar story.