Do something now

By Marc Zao-Sanders

2 minute read

There are two things we could do together, right away. One would be free, one we would charge for. Both will help to build a deeper understanding of your workforce + learning paraphernalia to initiate a significant, well-founded evolution at your company in 2019.

A study

If you’re less sure, conduct a free study. We have some questions we can share which try to get to the behaviour and motivations of the workforce.

  • Why do people learn? What are the most common and most effective triggers? What do they think about the ROI of learning?
  • When do they learn? When would they prefer to learn?
  • How do they learn on their own? Do they spend their own money learning outside of work?
  • What do they really know about and think of your company’s learning provision?

We can share the survey, benchmark your firm against aggregated results, and talk about it with you. We may also be able to run an in-depth focus group or a diary study to drill into learning needs, opportunities and habits with your staff, as we have for many clients.

A proof-of-concept

Our concept is recommendations. Recommendations, recommendations. We think recommendations (‘rex’) are the most important thing, in a world full of content and choice, and so severely lacking in time.

And we’ve gone some way to proving this to ourselves and our clients (25 clients, 100% retention, 90% recommendations marked useful). But our clients-in-waiting often want to build some evidence or proof that rex are indeed king.

So for the majority of clients we now offer a 3-6 month proof-of-magpie. Do experiments. Be agile. Dip your toes into the flow of work with APIs.

Though this is a fast, agile approach, there are a few stages to this.

  • First we’d try to understand the business problem. There are many problems (here are nine), and usually firms have more than one.
  • Define success. This might be a simple engagement metric like monthly active users or proportion of users that come back within seven days. Or a more complex metric. Or a more nuanced metric like the quality of the recommendations made or what content cost savings you might be able to make in the medium term as you feel more able to run with less content.
  • Make it work. Now we understand the problem and what success looks like, what content, skills, and chat script will best help us with our goal? What existing systems (LMS, LXP, HR system) will it need to work with? We usually get to an alpha release after 20 working days and a beta after 45. Our ISO27001 certification should make all this a little easier.
  • Make it stick. This involves: defining what a successful launch with magpie should look like; understanding the value proposition for your employees; identifying internal champions; understanding how you can best leverage existing communication channels; launching your program and getting and maintaining your employees’ attention; driving ongoing engagement and educating your people on the value of constant and lifelong learning. Having walked this road with with many clients now and having built a team with plenty of b2c marketing firepower. We’ve also handcrafted multiple templates which we make available to you to send comms to your workforce and their managers. 

Of course there are many other factors other than technology which determine whether a new learning philosophy/method/technology will work: culture, attitudes and values; senior leadership buy-in at the top; line manager buy-in all the way through; ability to send out comms; addressing a specific problem that the workforce (not just the company) faces and feels, We can’t solve all of these but we advise whenever we can.

The cost of a proof of concept usually comes in below procurement thresholds that require a more worked-out business case.

We’d love to do something with you now. Be in touch with me if you fancy it (


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