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How does a learning company launch a learning initiative?

March 9, 2018

We all think we’re good at our jobs... But how do we quantify and share our knowledge in a way that provides useful and actionable insight?

We’ve been working a lot with clients to successfully launch globalfilter (now named magpie) in their organisations. One practical way we've been able to deliver meaningful advice is through our own experience rolling the platform out in-house. Below are 6 actionable tips that we have learnt, the challenges we’ve encountered and how we are maintaining engagement and usage. I'll be sharing our learnings (for better or for worse) fortnightly via LinkedIn and would love to hear your thoughts/ queries/ questions.

The challenge that anyone in L&D or HR encounters: "We have a talented workforce. How can we aid their professional development, supercharge their learning and make them more confident in their roles?"

Our solution: Implement a learning initiative that people use even though learning isn't their top priority.

With globalfilter, we have a fantastic learning tool that provides individuals personalised learning assets. Despite this few staff members used it (again, sound familiar L&Ders?). No matter the excuse we wanted to change that.

As a company that specialises in learning, it is a key element of our company culture. I appreciate that this might not be the case where you currently work but the pointers below apply to any company regardless of your learning culture.

Stop being boring - Insert a little fun [here]

dog heads human body

When launching a new learning initiative MAKE SURE IT STANDS OUT.

For our launch, we titled the campaign ‘DO GF’, based on the tech term Dogfooding. Internally, we call globalfilter ‘gf’ and with the first four letters of dogfooding being d, o, g and f we couldn’t resist utilising the connection. ‘DO GF’ was born.

We created our own custom logo and a launch email full of dog-related puns… Pedagogy Chum anyone? We know it got a few laughs and probably even more eye rolls. (Read our launch email here).

Harness existing communication channels:

dogf slack

Everyone at Filtered lives on Slack. We have a channel where staff share interesting articles they've come across and provide a short note on why they're recommending that particular article. We harnessed this channel and repurposed this to be 'DO GF' related and its become a kennel of 'DO GF' conversation.

Incentivise Engagement

We’re encouraging staff to share content that they are recommended in the platform and outlining why its relevant for other staff within the channel. The most insightful post each month earns a £20 Amazon Voucher.

Schedule

Each Friday we email all staff to highlight the most viewed content on the platform, product improvements based on feedback and a friendly reminder to schedule in their learning. Our first email saw a 10x increase in learning assets viewed, compared to the previous day!

We've also got an automated notification in our Slack channel as a reminder to timebox learning each week. (It is the no.1 productivity hack after all).

We're trying to make learning via globalfilter a habit to all our employees. According to a study by Phillippa Lally at UCL, it takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit, so I guess we'll come back to you on that in 66 days. 3rd May to be exact - mark your calendars.

Internal Champions

We have a group of directors that love learning and have helped preach the good word of 'DO GF'. They actively share content that they've viewed and comment on other posts within our Slack channel. There have been a number of great discussions so far and we're only 10 days in.

An email from a director can be effective at drumming up short-term support but having champions that are leading by example takes support to another level.

What we have discovered so far:

  • Use a variety of communication channels to make sure you engage staff on the platform they use the most.
  • Our average user has accessed 3 assets per week
  • We’ve had feedback from 10+ staff across roles and departments on features they would like. One has been fast-tracked and is going into production as we speak.
  • Employees sharing articles has been the largest driver of asset views. This Ted talk about ‘The Power of Introverts’ has been our most viewed asset overall.
We've also got a few extra tricks up our sleeves, which I'll outline over the next couple of months.

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