The 2021 L&D Supplier of the Year title was awarded to Notion for its STAR Model for Operational Coaching. We take a look at its winning entry and those of our other finalists.
Notion’s STAR® Model for Operational Coaching™ helps drive engagement, performance and productivity. The Department for Business, Enterprise and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) awarded Notion funding for a six-month trial of the STAR® Manager programme across UK SMEs, as BEIS recognised that leadership and management was a key area where improvement can drive productivity.
Managers who take part in the programme are encouraged to develop a more “enquiry-led” approach to management, by using better and more powerful questions that Notion said can help increase engagement, develop confidence and ultimately boost performance and productivity.
The programme is delivered in an online blended learning approach, consisting of 20 sequential modules that are unlocked in a series of “learn, do and review”. Learners record the successes in their Success Tracker and join fortnightly live virtual Q&A sessions with a Notion coach.
The government-funded trial took place in two cohorts. Participating SMEs were randomised into two groups: one that undertook the STAR® Manager programme and a control group. Results were analysed by independent academics and statisticians and show the broader potential that embedding the use of the STAR® model has for all managers and leaders.
Despite the impacts of the pandemic, 63% of learners have been self-motivated to continue their STAR® Manager journey beyond the formal closure of the trial, which Notion says is testament to how engaging and valuable the programme can be for individuals.
Judges were impressed with the results it achieved for 350 leaders across 60 organisations.
Attensi’s gamified simulation-based approach to learning proved invaluable to its clients while staff were working remotely during the pandemic.
Its platform engages users with immersive 3D training that recreates working environments with advanced 3D graphics, realistic scenarios, and interactive dialogues with voice-acted avatars to test users’ knowledge. It is available on mobile, desktop, or virtual reality headsets, and users are encouraged to repeat their training multiple times to get their learning to stick, even after they have gained certification.
One particular success story is Hiscox. The insurance company realised there was a shortage of high-quality technical underwriters, which suggested that existing training methods were not working, so it worked with Attensi to develop an “underwriter simulator”, which included interactions of avatars of brokers and colleagues and simulated market research, emails and phone calls with experts.
Following a survey of underwriters who completed the training, 85% agreed the simulation had helped them understand how to undertake reviews and to identify areas of improvement for account and portfolio analysis, and 85% agreed the training had helped them understand how to apply technical concepts across the underwriting cycle.
Attensi also developed a training programme for shipping operator K Line in partnership with safety and culture experts SAYFR. The result is an interactive simulation of seafarers’ working environment, which has seen in an increase in staff reports of “near misses”, providing management with insight into how errors occur and how accidents can be avoided.
Fuse is a platform that connects people with the knowledge and expertise they need to acquire new skills and perform highly at work. It is used by more than 120 organisations worldwide including Avon, Panasonic, Mazda and BAE.
Fuse was engaged by Avon in 2019 to support a culture of social and collaborative learning. Specifically, it wanted to increase beauty entrepreneurs’ average order value, improve retention, and break down country silos.
The solution was branded “Avon Connect” and offers both peer-to-peer and expert-led learning via a social media-like platform. Over an initial six-month period, data revealed that beauty reps who engaged in social and collaborative learning on a medium frequency (three to four visits per month), were outperforming those who visited less frequently by over 300% in aggregate sales. There was a 20% uplift in retention of those who engaged with the platform versus those who did not. Some 51 of Avon’s 55 markets have been onboarded.
Fuse also worked with Panasonic in 2019 to provide a collaborative learning and knowledge-on-demand experience. It wanted to give customer care agents the right information at the right time to ensure it had a more engaged and knowledgeable team.
The resulting platform is known internally as SPARK and offers a social and collaborative learning experience in the flow of work. It achieved 100% engagement within the first two hours of launch in May 2019 and employee engagement rose by 33 percentage points.
HowNow is an all-in-one learning platform that helps companies onboard, upskill and support employees.
It was approached by property specialists Centrick, which had found employees had a strong desire for a more structured and formal way of learning. Centrick had no central place that employees could tap into for knowledge and it needed something that could be accessed by office staff, remote staff and reps on the road, and could facilitate the measurement of skills development and reporting.
The Centrick Academy was born. Employees are able to create and share content – or “nuggets” – with colleagues in a matter of clicks and a browser extension is available to allow staff to share and save external material they find online. This has reduced the need for the people team to create all the content on the platform and ensures that content remains up-to-date.
The mobile app allows staff who are out on the road to learn when it suits them, while those who are desk-based can access the Academy via Microsoft Teams.
HowNow enables Centrick to compile real-time reports on who has completed what training and what their scores are.
Centrick staff now give L&D a score of 4.1 out of 5. Learning has moved from one of the bottom three engagement drivers to second in a list of 10.
Customer service and sales conversion resources have been bolstered, while a mentoring programme has been launched through the platform.
Let’s Get Healthy
At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Let’s Get Healthy worked with all its clients to move their health and wellbeing training online.
It conducted a rapid needs analysis to find out what was required. It captured insight in virtual groups, telephone calls and surveys, and trained up “champions” to ask colleagues what they needed. It then validated the needs of employee with the latest science and research, and its training became CPD certified for the first time to ensure that participants were professionally recognised for their training time.
It developed a multi-channel learning strategy, which consisted of virtual workshops that were delivered between 7am and 10pm to work around home schooling and commitments. A “train the trainer” programme for L&D teams was launched, and online games were developed to signpost to virtual toolkits and workshops for front line workers who only had short breaks in which to learn.
One-on-one coaching for line managers who needed a safe place to discuss issues raised in the workshops was also established, alongside over 200 hours of online training for managers.
One happy client has been the Co-op, which saw more than 5,500 colleagues engaged in the online game and 18,000 page views of its associated articles. The train the trainer programme has allowed it to train up more than 3,000 line managers in mental health awareness, and hundreds of hours of coaching has been delivered to line managers in Funeralcare.
MatchFit is an independent L&D supplier with a focus on developing sustainable high performance and employee wellbeing. Its interventions are centred around a model called CLIMB, which comprises five essential components aimed at achieving performance intelligence: Commitment, Leadership, Intensity, Motivation and Belief.
Since April 2020 it has worked with the Ministry of Justice’s central HR technical consultancy (HRTC) to implement a holistic learning programme across 34 agencies and public bodies. The MOJ observed poor job satisfaction, high attrition and low morale among employees, which was having a significant impact on its finances. Employment litigation and grievance cases had also risen by 38% and 18% respectively, and a culture change was needed to support managers in handling issues.
The CLIMB programme is now delivered as part of the HRTC framework, which comprises two areas: culture and interventions. Senior leaders are challenged about responsibilities, deliverables and team and individual collaborations, and a comprehensive report draws out all findings, clarifies the scope of the challenge ahead and lays the groundwork for the interventions to come. Interventions focus on the technical capability and confidence of managers to handle HR cases and on “leading self” and “leading others”.
More than 26 management and leadership teams and 290 individuals across 14 MOJ customer sites have taken part. It has seen a 33% fall in the average time to handle attendance management cases, a 20% fall in the average working days lost to absence, and a 17% fall in the cost of sickness-related absence.
Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?
WIMTBGF? Is a leadership consultancy specialising in helping teams achieve what they never thought possible.
In 2019 it delivered the Driving The Ambition – High-Performance Teams programme for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). The programme was designed with three principles in mind: ensuring leaders were clear on their priorities for the coming year, helping managers align and engage team to the organisation’s ultimate goal, and equipping team members with a toolkit of simple and effective habits they could adopt every day to transform their performance. There was also a focus on giving and receiving feedback and motivation during tough moments.
The programme involved a series of workshops: an initial session for managers to layer their goals and subsequent sessions for every team, delivered over seven months, with additional momentum coaching calls between each workshop to help teams continue to review their performance and hold each other to account. This continuous development approach helped to embed the learning.
In response to the pandemic in 2020 it delivered three additional workshops per team, covering topics including dealing with change, performance under pressure, risk and decision-making, and balancing the now and the future.
As a result, FSCS have made faster progress against their objectives than they had thought possible while simultaneously navigating a pandemic. Customer satisfaction rose to 84%; claims quality to 98%; and 89% of calls are answered within one minute. It has an engagement net promoter score of 67 and overall engagement is at 88%.