Modernize Learning to Connect Competencies, Business KPIs, and Coaching
Thank you everyone who's dialed in. And good morning to those of you joining us from North America and good afternoon to anyone joining us from across the Atlantic. We are here to discuss how to modernize learning to connect competencies to business KPIs and coaching. My name is Tim Dickinson from Watershed. And before we begin I have just a few notes. We've
reserved a few minutes at the end for Q and A. So please if anyone has questions during the session feel free to enter them into the questions panel on the right hand side of your screen. Also any questions we actually don't get to today we plan to follow up with written responses as much as possible. And there will also be a recording of today's session. So we are recording this and we'll be providing access to that hopefully in about a week's time. With all of those logistics
covered, I am thrilled to be able to introduce our partner from Applied Industrial Technologies where he's the director of organizational learning, Andy Webb. Take it away, Andy. Tim, thanks so much excited today to talk to you about modernizing your digital learning approach. So the presentation that I'm going to share with you was first created last fall for a special SAP event and it's evolved a little bit. But these are a lot of the things that are on my mind as a practitioner someone who's in learning and training and how we need to adapt. So when you
look at the word modernizing, I'm not sure what you think of, but it may conjure up different ideas about updating right. Your learning experience your engagement perhaps your analytics or even artificial intelligence. So these are the kind of updates that we're talking about, and they're a lot more than a fresh coat of paint in new carpet, right? It goes beyond the movement where everyone just converted their PowerPoint into Articulate and called it rapid eLearning. I think a lot of these things are a lot deeper. So we're going to explore modern learning approaches
and take a deep look at how you design the types of tools that can help and then also measurement. And this stuff is not just theory. The team that I'm on at Applied, we're using a lot of these things, still struggling through some of it trying to figure out the best ways to make them work. But
I am going to share with you two examples where we tie together some of these concepts and we look at a learning experience platform tied to an LRS and see learning analytics in action. So when you kind of step back and you think about this whole concept of modernizing a keyword that keeps coming to my mind is engagement. And I think that's a theme that we're going to see here reflected in our design in our development and measurement of all the things that we're trying to do from a training perspective. So just a quick background on myself Um I work with a company applied industrial technologies and we are a large industrial distribution company. We're about $3.5 billion annually in revenue. We have about 7000 employees for the most part
we're tied to the manufacturing industry. So a lot of it's not real exciting but currently we're doing some things like robotics automation and hydraulics. So let's go back to engagement. You know many times when I teach in a sales or an operations classroom in the first 30 to 40 minutes when I'm thinking about engagement do you know what that sounds like. And apparently my speaker's not on but those were crickets in the background. It's really hard sometimes to initiate engagement in a classroom. But once you do it totally changes
the experience and many times the outcome and I think as we look at our digital world our modern learning efforts should take the same cue about engagement. We need to really look at a lot of different parts and figure out how we engage our audiences how we engage the stakeholders and a lot of different folks involved in the process. So let's start with the most difficult topic how to engage senior leadership on the training investment. I want to look for a little bit at
impact and impact is perhaps the most important result that we get and it sounds very subtle, but I think there's a big change going on inside the learning world. It's a fundamental change that we need to make from basically our learning ROI to are we helping drive business impact? So instead of “Here's how effective our learning is and how much money we've saved the company,” it's now more about did our learning impact the effectiveness of the business, and it should be measured in the KPIs that the business already uses. So at Applied, if I were to calculate let's say 250,000 in learning ROI, if I were to do that and capture a snapshot and show it to senior management, you know, that might get some attention, but it would be just that it would be a snapshot it would be something that we achieved and that might be good. But to really involve and engage senior leadership and leverage things like analytics we need to really cater what we're doing around their process. So I hope you see a little bit of the difference between just coming
up with a one-time ROI versus really trying to build your analytics and build some of the things that you're doing around the ongoing things that are happening in the business. And a lot of that the changes and things that need to occur really happen and start with our design and what we're doing In this case we're going to look a little bit at how to leverage xAPI data. So the way that I kind of sum that up is in a quote learning effectiveness is not a training statistic at the end of the road but engaging learning throughout the workflow to impact ongoing business KPI. So I hope you catch a little bit of that subtle change and are able to sort of implement that.
So we've talked a little bit about some things here. Now what does that actually look like. So this was one of our first efforts and some of you that may have heard things that I've done before seen parts of this, but I wanted to share with you a little bit about how we came about doing this and what this looks like. So we'll actually look at our LRS, and I'll do that by way of showing you a movie first if you notice up top there's three columns here. And as we started this effort, we really looked at how do we define competencies that matter in this specific business instance. So in this case we were trying to train our service center managers on some financial acumen points and really focus on operational metrics because we needed those financial metrics.
I went around and talked with a lot of our vice presidents and we narrowed down to a single KPI for each one of these competencies an approach that we could use. And then we have an analyst on our team and she was able to actually take data going back 24 months and come up with some of these benchmarks that you see that are reasonable for all of our locations to achieve. So as participants went through this digital part of the learning, we were able to look at the benchmarks we were able to look at how is this person doing on their learning scores and then what are their actual performance marks on the same metrics. And that's how we came up with this specific chart here. And I'm going to show you a little video that will walk you through how we went about doing this type of thing. So let me go ahead and queue that up using the
organizational hierarchy. A single dashboard was created and segmented by scope of responsibility. Each leader could view team results to clarify expectations. Benchmarks were created from deep data as realistic field targets and are compared to the learning competencies.
Millions of data points were simplified into five dynamic charts including a comparison of monthly KPIs for the four month trend. Qualitative analytics were used to consider coaching topics and training for individual associates Let's take a look at point of sale pricing. If we click on this scatter gram you'll notice a two x two where we're comparing training scores versus actual performance on the job. If we look below the median, we might find somebody here like Donna. She was close to the median with her training, but has a ways to go on performance. Let's see if we can get a better understanding of how we might be able to help her. We'll go back to the dashboard.
From here, we'll take a look at her competency map first we'll compare. Donna to her peers on learning other than pricing she outperformed the average of her peers. Now let's take a look at her KPIs according to the benchmarks on this graphic. We'll compare the company benchmarks which are in blue to her learning scores in green with actual KPIs of her service center which are in purple As you can see this raises a lot of questions. She's outperforming the benchmarks on many metrics.
Financial acumen is net profit and there's still a little bit of room for improvement there. Obviously, by tackling pricing and perhaps raising the bar on inventory she should be able to increase her net profit inventory. Seems like a logical place to start she already has great comprehension there. And you think she'd be able to raise her performance beyond the benchmark. Pricing looks like it'll be a little bit more of a challenge. Her learning score was below
the benchmark and her metric is even below that by having this kind of insight before a coaching session her manager will have better insight on how to help her and increase overall performance. So if someone isn't performing at benchmark we're using a data driven approach to suggest what areas need focus and prevent long term gaps from developing. Alright. So moving on as we looked at developing this effort again we took our competencies we looked at KPIs that were associated with those and developed a lot of the training around the objectives that we had for this particular effort. So I wanna step back and look at what we can do on
our learning design. You know if you think about modernizing, hopefully, you're not looking at the 70 2010 as someone pointed out recently. This is a 20 year old model and it has its merits and it has some good things that I think we've learned from it. And in some ways I feel like it's become the PowerPoint of learning in many ways it creates kind of a fixed curriculum design approach. And we use some of the same parameters or some of the same measurements that we've used for a long time.
And by that I mean LMS scoring and completion mentality. And I think what we need to be able to do is we need to think a little bit wider about who our audience is and how we actually go through and develop content for these folks. What we should be looking at is really more of what I think of as frameworks and building ways for our folks to learn and perhaps develop some of their own content organically. I also think that we need new measures. We can't be stuck in the
same measures that we've used previously What I'd like to do is walk you through how we should go about thinking about things. At least this is how I'm thinking about things moving forward looking at the perspective of the learner the people that are in our audience the learning organization that's the learning development team that may be inside of your company and also the business or the business leaders that are your sponsors or behind a lot of the initiatives. And then I also want to talk about some of the new measures that we need to look at that our team is trying to define and work through. So one of them is engagement How do you look at how well engaged
people are on a particular learning effort. There's things like badging or we've done some different type of training around coaching and how can you measure coaching as well as competency sort of like we shared just a moment ago. Many of you may know Josh Bersin who's an HR specialist, who does a lot in the learning sector. And these are a couple of measures that I think we need to
think about as we look at our learners inside of our organizations, those that are using the and consuming some of the training that we're providing, and how to think a bit different than just the 70 2010 model first. 68% of these folks prefer to learn at work. Now what's exciting about that to me is that 32% of these folks are not preferring to learn at work meaning they're either on the go they're you know in a either a mobile situation or at home and doing things in their own time. And so as we think about that that has design ramifications around how we need to think about mobile, a learner, and things that we should be doing to impact our design. 58% prefer to learn at their own pace. And this is where things like microlearning and social learning come into play.
49% of them prefer to learn at the point of need. And this would be really important for things that would have a search engine. They need to be able to instantly find pieces of content that will help them as we think about modernizing. These are some concepts that I think you know float to the front for the learner. Now also for the learner this is a look at JAM which is the interface that we use. I wanna point out a couple of things that we're in development on. First it has notifications, so our
users can decide which groups they want to join, what content they want to see, and what they wanna get alerted at. Second, I have here something that we're working on where we'll be able to use user specific stats. So as we look at connecting some of the things that are in Watershed, we want to be able to show those and alert the user to things that they are impacting or things that are happening that are from the business that we're working on trying to change through learning and training. Third, is recommended content. Right now, we're using a rather simple approach. Down
the road, that could be AI and triggered by things that might be appropriate for that specific user. And then at the bottom, content exploration in our situation they have the opportunity to join things and look at groups that might appeal to them or that they're working with on an ongoing basis. We're also using it to you know we sell a lot of different products and we're trying to let some of our sellers understand some of the different parts of the business by using different groups inside of our JAM interface. Next, I wanna look at the learning organization this is your organizational learning team inside your company that's doing a lot of the development. And I think that we need to think about new ways of designing training content that really brings about that modernization as Josh uses that in the flow of work you know being able to provide ways for them to access the learning as they need it. Again, we've talked about coaching and some of these other concepts recently we've started doing a podcast application and that's a great opportunity to get a little bit deeper and provide things for people that are traveling, particularly in cars, to different sales calls or in longer business trips where they may be able to download information before they hop on a plane. And simulations is another area where we've done some
work and are trying to figure out ways to measure that. I want to look now at three different types of tools or functions that you may want to think about leveraging as a learning organization. The first thing we did as a learning organization was really look at building our data and trying to put together a system of record that shared not only our learning data from our LMS which is still an important part but also some of our business stats And so for looking at different groups of people or different efforts we have that inside of an LRS. We've kind of covered parts of the social learning. But this is a sense where people have the ability to collaborate. And you know there's some great stories of people that have written in and asked for help and other people jump in and are able to provide something about a part or some tips on what they need to understand about that in order to connect with a customer. Then the last part is an LXP. So you may have heard of Degreed or LinkedIn Learning, and we haven't yet developed our LXP but putting up a learning experience platform. And really I think one of the key elements of what is important in an LXP
is that sort of Netflix approach to showing you the different types of training that are available and giving you different options and choices on being able to bring that up and connect on it. So these are some of the things that the learning organization should be considering. And I think the challenge in all of this is how do you put it under one roof right. How can you
have a single point of learning where all this functionality is connected together and is easy so that the user doesn't have to go out and log into three or four different websites whenever they want to learn something. So that's something that we're doing through JAM and being able to and all things that we do provide a simple way to connect with a single access point. I want to look at from the executive level. I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Nate her and Nate's from SAP He's their global VP of learning strategy. And I asked him you know you've probably talked with a lot of people in learning I'd like to know from what you see what are the biggest gaps in learning strategy that are common among a lot of folks out there. And the first item that he said without really skipping a beat was analytics. You know learning organizations really need to concentrate on their analytics and being able to show business impact. So I'll show you something in a minute but we're starting by using some of
the different types of statistics that we have coming off of our business intelligence things that come out in monthly reports that people are used to. In this case, I've brought up some things that show the different types of products that are being sold by different sellers. And if we were to do some coaching around that we might look at how does that impact their sales on one of those particular items. These vertical lines are coaching points that we've been able to connect with the sellers on. Again, this is kind of the concept for what we're doing moving forward. The other thing that Nate told me that is a big issue is mobile and there's a lot that we can say about mobile. But in our case we're using JAM really as our mobile point of entry and trying
to communicate a lot of different training and opportunity for engagement in that environment. One thing though that I think is important, particularly if you're leading a learning team, is to develop a strategy. And so what I've done is looked at the different parts of training that I need to develop for senior leaders and the biggest one is probably talent development. So in our organization I report through operational excellence but obviously our HR group and many of our different business leaders are interested in developing their teams.
And so under that particular business need if you think of this as sort of a marketing strategy the associate development these are different tactics that support that strategy that we're focusing on and then using some of the different technologies that are out there that are available to us to ultimately come up with some measurements that we'll be able to do. So I've left a lot of this blank because I can't share my entire strategy. But I think coming up with something on paper like this is a good idea when you're trying to think about how you're going to modernize your approach and how you'll leverage these types of technologies. And then most importantly what is the measurement that you want those business leaders or business groups to be able to see.
Additionally, I've put together a technology road map and I think this is an important thing over a period of multiple years to show what you're working on and how you'll actually start to use some of these things so that there's an expectation within the organization of what things are coming. Now what I'd like to do is show you another effort where we've combined our LXP and LRS and this is a coaching training opportunity that we had. Our efforts are really around sales coaching. And in this case, before we started looking at the sales components we wanted to make sure that our managers really understood what coaching is. So we built a hybrid blended course on our JAM platform where we went through and defined what coaching was and came up with a coaching model. And then we used a series of webinars with an instructor to work on real
projects things that they were trying to do from a sales perspective and tried to use that. And then we're starting to measure results So I'm going to show you a little bit of what that would look like and give you a little bit of a view of what we're trying to do. As I mentioned we've gotten a lot of this done but there is some analytics and things that I wanna share with you that is really more of a concept at this point. We can answer questions on this a bit later. But I've put together some of the different things that our analyst has put together to tell a story of what this could look like. As we move forward for sales managers we're dynamically visualizing product and sales
KPIs into discrete portions of the sales process they manage. We're trying to identify performance issues to help managers make better decisions about seller training and coaching opportunities underneath the hood. We've piped in SAP sales data from business objects on the business issue at hand increasing active customer activity. For this example we're going to select Mark He's an account manager who has performed well. First we'll look at the customers sold to report a histogram appears showing the number of active customers across all account managers within the month. If we click on mark, we see that he has 60 active customers, 2 inactive customers, he has reactivated, and 3 new customers. Next we'll look at the industries in which Mark is selling.
We can sort by industry and then look at results in descending order. For the fiscal year mark has sold about $127,000 to service industry customers. This represents 19% of his overall sales Mark's portfolio is fairly diversified for the industries in his territory. But there
are several possibilities in construction and transportation that should be considered. Last, we'll compare the number of local accounts to which Mark has sold this year. His count is down 12 from 55 to 43 which confirms that increasing his local sales could really help by checking these three reports. A manager can quickly gain insights to decide how to coach a seller. Let's look at JAM our learning experience platform sellers and managers can explore media and documents that illustrate best practices. We'll select the CM 100 which defines active customers. This wiki page clearly defines expectations along with tips from peers leaders and related training. Coaching tasks related to active accounts can be assigned from within the tool. Once I've had
a coaching session I'll log the activity. As a sales manager, it would be helpful to understand the amount of coaching in relation to movement on the metrics for active accounts. We can understand the amount of coaching occurring and view the results against the backdrop of a monthly active accounts trend line over time. We may see a correlation between the amount of coaching and the impact on sales. For now We're trying to assure leaders that coaching is occurring and
there's a level of accountability with tasks and related training. Watershed and JAM are helping us to deploy and visualize coaching and learning activities alongside performance metrics. So what I'd like to do is kind of follow up on the video there. We're not trying to make
a direct correlation yet that the coaching has a direct impact on sales. I think that's gonna take us some time to do. But what I'm trying to do is put in front of the business. Here is how you're trending on these particular topics. We provided training for these topics and as a result of things that are going on inside the business. And hopefully at some point coaching down the road we'll see an improvement on these things. But by using analytics and putting them in front of the
audience our hope is to be able to improve those metrics for these business leaders moving forward. I wanna share one more thing with you before we open it up for some questions. And this is a learning strategy model of something that I was thinking about just in terms of how we're working toward developing this. Again a lot of this is a work in progress and I think nobody's really completed this model I think it's something that you work through and hopefully it has some value in in bringing it. So again I've mentioned our base layer is really data right learning and
business data. And the way to read this is to look over on the left hand side and it starts with real basic information like user names and credentials. Then you might move into completion and scoring and perhaps learning reporting. Eventually, you might be able to capture a learning experience and do some things around impact on the business. Then hopefully you can add in some of your KPIs things that the business uses and be able to import those things into either an LRS or leverage that xAPI data. And then ultimately at some point have complete automation of some of these concepts.
So this is something that you know we've talked about and we're building toward we're not there yet but this is a base to what we're doing. And on top of that base you have learning management. So most of you are probably familiar with these concepts. We're deploying different types of courses and content where there's assignments transcripts the ability to look at competencies.
The next layer looks at learning experience. And here you're using a lot of the different types of learning that you might be providing and hopefully capturing some of the ways that you can record how people are progressing through those experiences. And the top is really the business impact and this is what you share with obviously sales leaders inside of the business.
And you're looking at things like business impact talent development skills development. So from an executive standpoint, they only see above this line they're not aware of all the things that you're doing below. But I think what's important is that on that base layer as you develop a lot of the different things in your in progression of a lot of the content that you continue to build out and strive toward building a bigger base. Because I think the bigger your base is the larger of a chance you have to show that business impact kind of moving forward. So that concludes what I wanted to share with you. So what I'll do now
is I'll open it up to a couple of questions and we can kind of go through the questions here moving forward and hopefully I can be of help and that this might have provided some inspiration for some of the things that you're doing in your learning organizations. Thank you so much, Andy, this has been really helpful and we all appreciate it very much. And if anyone does have questions feel free to continue entering them into the questions panel and we've got a few good ones that we can start ourselves off with here. So just to begin Andy, a question that we received when you were showing the JAM homepage and some of the recommendations on, there was a specific question about recommendations number 3 and 4 within the JAM homepage. And whether or not those were manually identified or if they were automatically identified I guess it's you don't wanna go super specific on those exact recommendations maybe just in general. Could you elaborate on where some of those recommendations are coming from? Yeah right there. Perfect.
So right now inside of JAM it has an automated way to build that recommended content. I'm not sure if that's true AI. I think it's really just a matter of hits. And so what happens is basically the content in that particular group that gets hit the most is automatically added to the top of the recommended content page. Perfect. That's helpful. And then
we've got a couple of more good questions. One is around some of the competencies that you described in the first video that you showed and I think just there was some interest in whether those were defined by you and your team or by the business or just kind of what that process looked like of coming to a common agreement on these competencies and how you were measuring them. OK. Yeah good question. I could talk for quite a while about how this process evolved. It occurred actually over several months. Initially, when we went through an SAP deployment we wanted to make sure that our business leaders really understood finance and financial acumen So some of these were observations at the time. I worked for the VP of operational excellence and the person in charge at that time saw a lot of these things. So we identified a number of them
but then we went and met with vice presidents on each one of these topics. So for example you know we looked at the person in in charge of finance for pricing you know an inventory. We went through and spoke with that individual as well and we asked them what is your top KPI. It said you know I told a story one time before about we were looking at doing some things around the analytics. And what I did is I went online and took some pictures or screen captures of these things and I put some of these stats basically in Photoshop to show them here's what your story can look like. And then we talk with those individuals and we sort of work through the process of ironing out which KPIs are really elevated to the top and I tried to push them to one and in most cases we were able to get it down to a single one you know for each particular metric and then just to finish the story. The objective or the training that we needed to build around it and the assessment
questions that we needed to come up with in most cases they gave us the name of a specialist inside of their department that we worked on to develop that content. So that was how that process worked. Thanks Andy. That I think that helps clarify that. We we've got another really good question around actually getting some of the data from SAP into Watershed. So could you describe the process of actually getting the SAP data integrated into Watershed. And with some of the other tools that you are using. Yeah I have an old diagram that will help it's not completely accurate at the moment but I think it'll help illustrate the point. So you know we have our LMS which is success factors. You know we have raw data coming in from SAP and our business objects area is really the point at which our monthly reports are given to the business. This is really the key part where
we're tying into the metrics. Eventually we wanted to have all of that automated. You know we had been doing some of that for a while, but in the stuff that I showed you, our analyst actually puts it in our in smaller groups and has figured out how to put some of that information into Watershed. So there are a few hops here if you will it's not all completely automated. But that's really the goal is to get it to a point where it's completely automated. But for now as we've done some of the efforts that we have it's going from business objects and then from our things are transformed into what Watershed can import and used moving forward I should point out that at each stage of the process that we're doing we're really trying to clean up the data and we're not just dumping everything in Watershed and hoping to sort it out later. So we very much have discrete sets of data. We're
not using all of business objects we're only using the portions that we're focused on for that particular training initiative. And then you know those KPIs that are most important you know for let's say a pilot group that we're looking at those would be you know used and filtered inside of our and then that particular data would go into Watershed and use for reports. Thanks, Andy. That helps kind of along the lines of some of the discrete data points that you've pulled and some of the tools that you and your analysts have used. If you had to just you know
list a few of the important skills both for you and members of your team that have really helped to integrate some of these different platforms. What do you think would those skills look like? That's another good question So I think yeah outside you need a standard if you will development team you know with instructional designers and those kinds of things that's pretty much a given. But I think there's three skill sets that are needed to sort of pull this together. And one is somebody that understands the business and what some of the business objectives and goals are and can talk with business leaders and get into meetings where you can develop the kinds of questions and things that get to those KPI. And that's kind of the role that I have in overseeing some of the efforts But I think another really important role is getting those data feeds hooked up and understanding how data works and being able to manage the flow of things. That's a really tough part In some cases we might get help from IT. In other cases we might be working you know with an outside vendor or you know having somebody on team that can really manage the data and that flow. And then the third skill set that's really important is data analyst work So as you look at
this particular chart. You know our data analyst was the one who did all the benchmarking? And you know this is an interesting graphic because one time I asked her how many data points do you think this represents. And the answer was 81,000. That's really because we're looking at 24 months of data on all these different data points different locations you need somebody who can really understand and tell those stories and find the things that aren't obvious right away because it gets a lot deeper than just completion status and having somebody with a data background I think really helps that. And you know a lot of times you're tempted to go with something that seems
obvious. You know I really appreciate her input and ability to tell me. Well that's not truly correlation yet. You know there's more things that we have to prove and we need to look at it over a longer period of time. So I think it's really important to have that kind of reference point. And somebody in the group who understands data from a pure data science standpoint you know as part of the team. So those are the three skill sets that I think are important. Perfect that is really helpful. Thanks, Andy. And with that that actually brings us to the end of our time that we had scheduled for this particular session. So thank you everyone so
much for your participation and for asking great questions. And if you do have any questions that we didn't get to please feel free to continue throwing them into the questions panel before you log off because we are going to follow up as best we can with any that we didn't get to today and answer them in written form and provide some of those with the recording. So as a reminder there will be a recording of this webinar available as well. So thank you so much
Andy. We really appreciate your time and sharing all of this information with us and these stories and these insights. And so with that everyone have a great weekend. Thank you so much.