Personnel Today Awards 2016: TfL scoops Technology prize for online learning

Broadbean TechnologyTransport for London has won the 2016 Personnel Today Award for Excellence through Technology, sponsored by Broadbean, for implementing an online learning programme which engaged employees and saved money.  We profile its winning entry and those of our runners-up.


WINNER

Transport for London

About the organisation
Transport for London (TfL) manages London’s growing transport network, including London Underground (LU). Employing more than 5,000 station staff, LU comprises 270 tube stations and 11 train lines.

Award for Excellence through Technology – the judges

Gareth Jones, The Chemistry Group
Andrew Spence, Glassbead Consulting
Faye Holland, Cofinitive

The challenge
Every day the number of journeys made on TfL’s network is increasing, so the organisation embarked on a once-in-a-generation programme of change to provide world-class customer service. Considered the largest business transformation project in Europe, the three-year programme aimed to transform the service, reduce operating costs and engage staff.

What the organisation did

  • Partnered with e-learning specialists, Kallidus, and learning experts, Interact Together, to design and deliver a flexible digital learning programme, using immersive e-learning and gamification to inspire lasting behavioural change.
  • Moved all learning online to increase the opportunity for technology adoption with staff who would be able to use their handheld devices to access the new learning content.
  • Ran workshops in collaboration with Interact to enable stakeholders to provide input and help shape content for digital learning.
  • Reduced complexity of handling cash and ticketing products, used e-learning to introduce staff to new automated procedures. Involved employees in the design process, using scenarios to facilitate learning of the full range of complex ticketing produces and processes.
  • Created bite-sized, user-friendly content, focusing on practical application: learning by discovery, scenario-based quizzes and real-life video.
  • Addressed accessibility challenges, as the majority of LU’s workforce works underground with intermittent internet connection, by giving all employees iPads. Developed content optimised for use anywhere, on any device, so all learning progress could be saved and synchronised on reconnection.
  • Included virtual ticket machine simulations in the e-learning course, enabling employees to practice problem-solving before taking a final assessment. This approach had minimal impact on daily operations, with staff able to complete it remotely in 90 minutes instead of two weeks’ classroom training.
  • Created a dynamic, Monopoly-style “Golden Ticket” game to motivate staff and further embed knowledge.

Benefits and achievements

  • Positive uptake of e-learning enabled 48% of employees to achieve the advanced ticketing qualification (TMS) in four months.
  • This was a critical enabler for successful implementation of the station operating model, allowing TfL to offer a full service to customers from April 2016.
  • By delivering this course digitally, 30,000 days of staff release were saved, equating to productivity savings of approximately £4.4 million.
  • Satisfaction survey shows that staff’s ability to assist customers at passenger-operated ticket machines has improved by one-third (from 36% to 65%).
  • Fit for the Future will contribute savings of £50 million per annum to TfL’s strategic cost-saving objectives up to 2019.
  • With a total spend of £8.4 million forecast for the project, the programme has been entirely self-funded, enabling TfL to invest in other vital improvements across the Tube network.

Judges’ comments
“Real feeling of ‘partnership’ between client and customer in the submissions. Initial e-learning requirement then extended to broader learning strategy. Timely and efficient use of technology to transform operations and adoption by employees.”

 

RUNNERS-UP

Barclays Bank

About the organisation
Barclays is a British banking and financial services company based in London. It has around 22 million retail customers, almost one million business banking clients and operations in more than 50 countries.

The challenge
Barclays’ goal was to transform its approach to recruiting the best talent. Over a two-year period, it set about: building a robust and globally scalable approach; advancing the accuracy of selection through scientific assessment and multimedia technologies; creating a p

Transport for London collect their award foe Excellence in HR through Technology

ositive hiring journey for candidates; and measuring progress around time-to-hire, cost per hire and quality of hire.

What the organisation did

  • Defined the organisation’s values, and translated these into desired, measurable employee behaviours.
  • Mapped values to the competency framework to describe desirable skills, behaviours and attributes required in staff.
  • Updated the selection and assessment approach to ensure there was a simple, rigorous and streamlined process that provided a consistent minimum global standard.
  • Made technology the heart of the global hiring framework, with the aim of moving towards a globally consistent approach.
  • Streamlined applications so that all candidates applying for a role at Barclays would go through the same process. With assessments online and automated, data on the completion and conversion rates could be analysed and monitored .
  • Introduced live action situational judgement tests (SJTs) with integrated multimedia capability as the first point of assessment.
  • Gave high volumes of candidates a realistic preview of life at Barclays through innovative tools. Technology combined accurate, predictive assessment that measures an individual’s values, personality style, work preference and motivations, with immersive multimedia.
  • Customised SJTs to Barclays’ needs. Using green-screen technology, tests immersed candidates in live-action video that portrayed a series of real-life job scenarios in the role they were applying for.
  • Rolled out SJTs to other divisions and geographies by replicating and localising scenarios in multiple languages.

Benefits and achievements

  • More than 600,000 applicants assessed across Europe and Africa.
  • Achieved targeted cost savings of £6 million in the first year, and a further £14 million in 2014/15.
  • Cost per hire reduced by 30% and direct hiring moved from 67% to 93% – facilitated by the improved process.
  • Attracted fewer but higher-quality candidates; the average number of applications received per job nearly halved from 600 to 313.
  • Conversion from assessment to hire is four times better than it was previously; moving from 1:8 to 1:2 conversion.
  • Candidates net promoter score (NPS) rose by 41 points and hiring manager NPS rose by 21 points.

Judges’ comments
“An ambitious project linked to rebuilding culture globally. Delivered some excellent results with creative use of technology.”


RUNNERS-UP

JT Group

About the organisation
JT Group is a global communications company providing a suite of managed products and services. This includes fixed-line, mobile, broadband, network connectivity and hosting, as well as high-speed fibre broadband services. Based in the Channel Islands, it employs more than 600 staff in 11 locations.

The challenge
The group recently acquired companies in Australia and the US. The legacy HR system was unable to support employees across different jurisdictions. Managers did not find it user-friendly as it was a standalone system with no integration with other processes. They felt they were unable to run any meaningful employee data, as reports were unreliable.

What the organisation did

  • Chose the Oracle HR system as a solution to bring the workforce together in a collaborative cloud-based solution.
  • Deployed Oracle across five countries in five months.The system integrated with multiple payrolls and provided all remote employees and road-based engineers with access to their own data, where they were able to book holiday, administer their timecards and view what development opportunities were available to them.
  • Enabled managers to remotely manage their employees regardless of geographical location using a device of their choice, which was fully integrated with their emails.
  • Allowed the system to be personalised – colleagues can choose a colour that suits them and the system adapts to local users’ terminology, based on location.
  • Gathered a test group of employees across the businesses. Recruited “super users” who championed the technology and were able to assist with the training.
  • Provided drop-in sessions, videos and online user guides. The system was so simple and intuitive, however, not many staff took up the training – preferring to teach themselves.
  • Devolved people responsibility back to managers through using the system, which freed up HR resource.

Benefits and achievements

  • Managers can now run meaningful reports on their own staff.
  • Employees can see what development and training opportunities are available to them.
  • Online appraisal system is slicker and more transparent.
  • Savings in HR team allowed it to re-deploy team to a strategic business partner model rather than transactional.
  • System can grow with the organisation as it expands globally in different jurisdictions
  • Data is up to date and reportable.

Judges’ comments
“A well-run project to implement a new global HR system, overcoming barriers along the way.”


Leeds Building Society

About the organisation
Leeds Building Society is the fifth-largest building society in the UK. It serves more than 700,000 customers across the country who, combined, hold around £9.9 billion in savings balances.

The challenge
Leeds Building Society questioned how it could continue to grow colleague numbers, while delivering major transformation projects and retaining a highly engaged workforce who demonstrate its values. It needed to know how its colleagues were feeling, and have an early-warning indicator of any concerns.

What the organisation did

  • Worked with PSYT Technologies to pilot a new behavioural analytics mobile phone app called me@.
  • Enabled me@ to regularly alert colleagues, asking them health, wellbeing and performance survey questions. In return, colleagues received personalised feedback charts and insight into their productivity, wellbeing and mood.
  • Received aggregated reporting on how colleagues operated across a broad range of colleague engagement elements; all of which could be segmented into different demographic groups, while retaining colleague anonymity.
  • Offered colleagues an exciting opportunity to be part of something new, innovative and progressive. More than 120 colleagues volunteered, to help the society to have a better, mutual understanding of performance and wellbeing.
  • Held an open day for all colleagues taking part, to showcase the app and answer questions.
  • Reported that, on average, colleagues spent a maximum of two minutes per day using me@, over a two-month period.
  • Demonstrated that by using me@, colleagues gained the benefits of increased self-awareness and increased performance. For example, they are able to see the time of the week at which they are most productive.

Benefits and achievements

  • Colleagues are happy with their internal relationships, including the relationship they have with their line manager. They feel that there is open and honest communication, which enables a sense of trust.
  • Colleagues feel productive and are absorbed in their work, with opportunity to use their strengths.
  • Me@ has shown that there is insight to be gained into colleagues’ performance, wellbeing and health.
  • Results have supported the breadth of engagement communications and the organisation has promoted the “team” award in its recognition programme, Excellence in Action.
  • Included activities such as lunchtime pilates, walking clubs and spin classes in quarterly colleague wellbeing weeks; launched a colleague cash health plan, which promotes wellbeing by effectively paying for preventative health checks, such as dentist and optician costs, as well as providing discounts to national gyms.
  • Me@ has helped to develop thinking for the future of behavioural analytics. The organisation now wants to develop and embed the use of an app that takes elements of personal performance, wellbeing and health into an all-round colleague engagement and communication platform.
  • Gamification and performance/behavioural data enabled the society to drive the right colleague engagement behaviours; deliver tailored communications to specific colleague groups, as well as Society wide; motivate and align teams through communication and recognition; develop colleague autonomy, mastery and purpose through re-enforcing what they are doing; and drive a culture of recognition and measurement.

Judges’ comments
“Really innovative solution helping employees to improve their wellbeing and productivity. It will be very interesting to see how the promising results from the pilot will be taken forward.”


Questback

About the organisation
Questback is an online survey and feedback software provider. It offers data collection and analysis solutions including: market research; customer satisfaction and loyalty; product and concept testing; employee evaluations; and people analytics. It serves more than 50 countries and has launched more than one billion online surveys.

The challenge
Questback has 300 employees, more than 50% of whom have joined in the last two years. Growth has been both organic and through acquisitions, meaning that the company needed to create a strong, but inclusive, culture to unify its workforce.

What the organisation did

  • Introduced MySay – an always-on, continuous feedback platform, which went live in July 2015. MySay allowed every employee to provide their feedback and ideas through simple to use, mobile-friendly software.
  • Linked MySay directly to Questback’s purpose, helping ensure that employees are mobilised and empowered to contribute ideas on any subject.
  • Allowed employees to log onto MySay, select a topic and rate how they believe the company is performing in that area and make suggestions for improvement. They can also create their own topics, if required.
  • Permitted staff to give a quantitative score on performance, but more importantly let them provide comments. These are routed to the feedback team, where they are followed up.
  • Ensured that every comment, and all feedback, is visible to the entire company. There is no anonymity for staff or managers. Once employees understood that they were not being judged, that everyone was equal, and that this was an opportunity to contribute to the company direction and strategy, the pace of feedback increased.
  • Agreed that every suggestion would result in a dialogue between staff and relevant senior managers – nothing is ignored. Results can be broken down and analysed by country, department and office, providing Questback with a real-time picture of engagement and mobilisation.

Benefits and achievements

  • Over the last year, enterprise revenue grew by more than 100%.
  • Based on feedback and suggestions from new joiners, Questback has radically changed staff onboarding. This has increased satisfaction, retention rates and employer brand.
  • Around 380 suggestions have already been made, covering everything from product innovations to the type of tea provided in office kitchens.
  • All new staff now say they find the induction and onboarding process relevant; 70% of them view it as exceptional and something they have not experienced before.
  • MySay has provided a central, high-profile system that spans all offices and countries, acting as a shared backbone to the company, reinforcing culture and encouraging employees to see themselves as part of a bigger entity.
  • Staff know that they are being listened to and that action will be taken on their ideas and concerns. This management accountability has increased staff satisfaction and empowered employees.
  • MySay has been a vital part of cultural change, harnessing innovation and mobilising staff: in 2015, enterprise software revenues grew; investment in research and development increased by 50%, as ideas were turned into innovative new products and features; and, in the UK, sales grew by 21%.

Judges’ comments
“I like the approach to employee engagement which is evidently pervasive across the organisation. Strong submission.”


Rentokil Initial

About the organisation
Rentokil Initial is a multinational business services company and is focused on pest control, hygiene and workwear. It is one of the largest business services companies in the world, comprising a number of global brands.

The challenge
Around 90% of Rentokil’s employees are technicians whose access to technology is limited and literacy levels are poor; the ability to provide learning and development (L&D) is critical, but it is impossible to bring everyone off the road for classroom training. Rentokil operates in more than 60 countries, so activities are cascaded by managers whose experience is often limited – employees speak more than 31 different languages, with 70% of the organisation not speaking English as their first language.

What the organisation did

  • Implemented FUSE, a social and collaborative learning management system. It provided a platform that would engage users in the learning journey.
  • Aimed to create an online environment where people could learn on their own, where they would become “part of the learning experience”, and not feel like they were having to do a mandatory piece of training.
  • Wanted the system to provide an element of gamification – through this the organisation could run internal competitions and recognise and reward colleagues’ effort for engaging with the process.
  • Enabled colleagues to be creative via the recording functionality; to collaborate and share with other users, while learning. Users can create their own screencasts from within the tool. This can be achieved regardless of whether they are using a desktop, tablet or mobile device.
  • Developed FUSE to look like other social media tools – with the same look and feel as Google+ or Facebook, so that users would feel familiar with the interface. Users said that right away, it was easy to navigate and to find the necessary content.

Benefits and achievements

  • Almost eight in ten (78%) employees said FUSE has helped them to apply learning to their role.
  • More than eight in ten (84%) found content on FUSE relevant and engaging.
  • Increase of 7,223% in content views per month – there is more usage of the new system in a day than there was on the old system in a month.
  • Net Promoter Score for FUSE is 8.6, an increase of five points.
  • There have been 1,500,000 learning interventions delivered since FUSE was launched.
  • More than 1,000 pieces of user-generated content have been produced or shared, resulting in a yearly saving of £232,000 (in comparison to the cost of creating/buying this content).
  • FUSE has reduced the amount of classroom training time by 20 minutes and by using the “event tool” within the platform, has increased compliance tracking by 80%.
  • Reduced number of training hours for technical training in North America, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Indonesia by an average of two hours per employee by using FUSE to deliver digital training, which has saved around £420,000.

Judges’ comments
“Good business challenge, solid solution and well-articulated business results.”


Royal College of Nursing

About the organisation
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is the world’s largest union and professional body for nursing staff. It is a membership organisation of over 435,000 registered nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants and nursing students.

The challenge
A 2014 review showed recruitment processes were cumbersome and lengthy. Managers said that the e-recruitment system was difficult to use and very time-consuming. Almost one in five (19%) job applicants said that the e-recruitment system was disjointed. Half of the people who commenced the process did not submit their application, which meant that RCN was failing to hire talented candidates.

What the organisation did

  • Decided that the RCN needed to completely overhaul recruitment and selection.
  • Created an employer brand that captured the culture and spirit of the existing workforce, coupled with projecting the RCN vision and future aspirations to prospective employees.
  • Upgraded the e-recruitment system from iGrasp to the newest version of the system, Talentlink. Made Talentlink a single sign-on system, eliminating the need for managers to have a separate username and password.
  • Reduced the number of authorisation steps needed to proceed to recruitment from four to two.
  • Allowed vacancies to be recruited on a CV-only basis, rather than with a standard application form, to improve the candidate experience and increase the number of relevant, quality applications received.
  • Introduced a simplified online shortlisting form.
  • Built a new careers website. Decided to bring the project in-house to ensure that RCN had better control of the site and that it was quicker and easier to update.

Benefits and achievements

  • Careers website is attracting, on average, 974% more hits than the jobs page on the RCN website.
  • Reducing the number of authorisation steps has cut five days off the time taken to authorise recruitment – from six days to just one.
  • Streamlining the recruitment process reduced time to hire from 56 days in 2012/13 to 46 days.
  • Volume of applications reduced from an average of 17 per vacancy to 13, but a higher percentage of those applicants are shortlisted.
  • Percentage of posts re-advertised has fallen from 11% to 4%, indicating that RCN is achieving a higher standard of applicants in terms of quality.
  • Overall spend on recruitment has fallen 20% from £190 in 2013 to £152 in 2015 – in thanks to a significant reduction in expenditure on print advertising due to the technology of online recruitment.
  • Cost per hire has fallen 6% from £1,605 in 2014 to £1,514 in 2015.

Judges’ comments
“Impressive example of revamping the recruitment process using technology. Impressed with the initial analysis and strong work on the employer brand.”


SAP UK

About the organisation
SAP UK is a market leader in enterprise application software. It helps organisations generate new opportunities for innovation and growth, and stay ahead of the competition. It is based in Middlesex, but also has 900 employees working in locations in Ireland.

The challenge
As a result of a cost-savings initiative, SAP UK realised that it needed to develop a better way to attract job candidates. It desperately needed to reduce its third-party agency and job board spend, which was much higher than its industry peers. This could be achieved by creating a robust talent community and enhancing its online social media presence.

What the organisation did

  • Began building a state-of-the-art Talent Community, using its recruitment marketing tool (RMK). Actively marketed prospective candidates, using this ever-growing database as a primary hiring channel.
  • All 300 members of the talent acquisition teams (sourcers and recruiters) began using the RMK tool on a daily basis.
  • Relaunched SAP’s social media strategy to improve the overall employment brand. The social recruiting and creative media team launched “Life at SAP” social channels and focused on employees telling their personal stories.
  • Drove all of the traffic generated from content on social media channels to the careers site, and tracked all of the applications and hires using RMK. Using RMK, SAP proved to the business that social media channels really work in recruiting and making the best hires.
  • Merged the employment brand, creative media, and sourcing teams under one leader, Matthew Jeffery (VP of employment brand and sourcing). The employment brand team owns all “Life at SAP” social media channels, and this same team now markets directly to various segments of the Talent Community based on skillset, location, or both, based on the parameters of a specific hiring initiative.
  • Enabled the sourcing teams to tap into more than 600,000 members as a database of qualified, passive candidates. Sourcing teams not only search the database, but they can set up complex search alerts, allowing them to know the moment someone with a particular skillset in a particular location joins the Talent Community, so that they can immediately begin a relationship-building process.

Benefits and achievements

  • As of 2015, SAP’s sourcing and employment brand teams had launched 10 major campaigns to Talent Community members.
  • In early 2015, the employment brand team was able to identify 6,422 new graduates in the RMK Talent Community in Hungary, South Africa, and the UAE, and sent a targeted email, piquing their interest in the Sales Academy.
  • More than one in 10 (11%) candidates who received this email clicked on the apply link, and 69% of those candidates completed an application. In total, 17 people were hired as a result of the marketing campaign. This achievement was replicated in four other hiring initiatives in 2015.
  • Sourcers and recruiters have a massive candidate talent pool to tap into, and Talent Community is now their first and primary channel, above LinkedIn.
  • RMK has been an invaluable technology innovation at SAP, allowing it to be certain of the source of hire, and saving SAP £ 3.01 million in agency and job board fees in 2015.
  • Relaunch of “Life at SAP” social channels has reinforced which channels are building its pipelines and more has been invested in those channels: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Weibo, and WeChat. In 2015, the Facebook page grew from just 5,000 likes to almost 40,000.
  • SAP’s WeChat site, launched in China in mid-2015, has almost 10,000 followers, with 68% growth in Q4 alone. The Weibo site (Chinese equivalent of Twitter), also launched in 2015, has more than 14,000 followers. These social media channels have accounted for more than 25% of the growth of the Talent Community in 2015.

Judges’ comments
“Great link of employer brand and recruitment, as well as aligning everyone into the same tool for recruiting purposes.”

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