Developing a Successful Learning Program
A leading company in the cruise industry working across several continents knew they needed a new learning program. This company, who provides outstanding services to their customers through innovation and leadership, discovered their need for a partner to design, develop, and implement a learning program for their senior leadership team with the intention of developing a unique deliverable while driving business results. The senior leadership team included directors, who lead and develop teams of hundreds of professionals, as well as those in executive management, who directly oversee the operation of the organization.
To avoid a knowledge and experience gap or sharp learning curve, key goals of the learning program were identified. The program had to provide consistency in delivery while testing comprehension and knowledge transfer. Further, it had to allow for coaching and mentoring components in a blended approach. Finally, it had to deliver a structured approach that provided effective learning with accountability.
The established program objectives were the following:
- Enhance the effectiveness of the current leadership team
- Onboard, educate and orientate newly hired members of the leadership team
- Educate and orientate newly promoted members of the leadership team
- Develop high-performing employees for future roles within the leadership team.
During the discovery stage, Synergistx assessed aspects of the learning needs of the team, starting with the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. We continued to investigate barriers of the team’s training process and included a comparison of actual performance with desired performance. We further mapped the current state of the team’s learning process, while identifying any available documentation that could be repurposed or bridged to the new program. Additionally, Synergistx analyzed learning gaps to determine where new emphasis should be placed, while keeping the vision of the future state of the program at the forefront. Through problem-solving conferences, appraisal reviews, questionnaires and surveys, material reviews, difficulty analysis, and drive pattern identities, key themes emerged relating to approach, deployment, learning, and integration.
The key themes captured the shared understanding of the operation. These helped focus the development and design of the learning program itself. This understanding determined the best, most effective means of training delivery in order to accurately align a solution to the business need. A blended approach, utilizing Synergistx’s Prescriptive Performance Model, necessitated the creation of several content/ knowledge components, which included the following:
- Targeted eLearning modules
- A company glossary of terms
- Quick reference cards/job aids
- Interactive reviews testing comprehension
- Case study exercises
- Knowledge check exercises
- Key activities to complete with a mentor or coach
To drive business results for the leadership team and provide acceleration adoption of process and strategies, the learning program focused on the following components of the policies and procedures managed by the job role: key areas of focus, responsibilities and guidelines, best practices, common challenges, and job function tips. Validation exercises were designed to assess and validate learning by incorporating activities and practice exercises, coaching and mentoring activities, case studies, learning objectives, and self-assessment exercises.
The online eLearning modules targeted learning for the key responsibilities and management roles of the team members. Each module incorporated various forms of media such as video, photos, PDFs, hyperlinks as well as additional interaction. These interactions take the form of simulations, topical driven narrative, and online resources tools. Quick reference cards and exercises completed the experience. Members of the team then applied their knowledge gained from the e-learning components in case studies and knowledge check exercises. Finally, an involved, in-depth examination over multiple learning components compiled the results. These results made the improvement of organizational and individual performance clear.
Additionally, to effectively manage the program components, Synergistx designed a web-based infrastructure to house the program components. This provided learners access to the learning components via a web browser from anywhere, at any time.
The learning components not only refreshed and re-educated existing members of the team, it removed any experience gaps and refocused the team on critical aspects of their roles.