A key aspect of Unisys’ strategy has been to create a reputation as a learning organisation and employer of choice. But with 35,000 employees spread across 100 countries, its centralised training organisation was not always connected to the needs of the business.
Training was carried out in individual business units, mainly via the classroom, and because of this the company had no overall picture of its overall level of competency or the true costs of the function.
To remedy the situation the company decided to outsource, teaming up with SmartForce to provide competency-based learning programmes through Unisys University. This manages both classroom and computer-based training (CBT), helping employees to obtain professional certification faster and to support them with online mentoring services.
Significant changes were achieved. Learning became role-specific and aligned to role competency models. It gave students the flexibility to manage their own learning, while remaining oriented to business needs. The result was a single source for cutting-edge IT training that increased satisfaction levels among both customers and employees. There have also been substantial bottom-line effects in a 36 per cent reduction of training costs.
Together McCormack and SmartForce helped sell the e-learning vision to the Unisys population throughout Europe, conducting regular meetings to ensure the system was the first port of call for learning. This involved approaching each country individually to understand local cultural issues and gain buy-in. On the cost side, training is audited at an organisational level, providing dramatic improvements across the business, while management is given up-to-date information for resource planning.
New improvements include automated registration, on-line pre-testing to match courses to skill levels, and a voucher system that streamlines administration. Students have also benefited from on-line mentoring that has helped double the success rate of CBT courses.
BP and Exult Atlas project team