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For the first time, the core learning offer for all government employees, will be brought together in one platform - creating a single ‘front door’ for all pan-government learning and upskilling, using HowNow’s technology. 

The Cabinet Office has signed a four-year contract to deliver a new cross-Government learning experience and skills platform. 

Of the 68 suppliers who expressed an interest in providing the service, it was Pearson supported by HowNow that the UK Government chose to become their one home for learning and skills. 

“Our ambition is to provide a great user experience for all government employees, empowering them to take charge of their own training and development needs and take a proactive approach to developing their own careers.” said Rebecca Birs, Business Change Lead for the Cabinet Office.

The UK Government joins HowNow customers like Sanofi, AND Digital and Trainline in delivering skills-first learning. The platform will: 

  • Enable users to create profiles to capture their skills; 
  • Track completed learning; and 
  • Recommend personalised learning based on the skills users would like to develop.

This will support managers, helping them take a more strategic approach to planning and delivering recruitment, development and talent management initiatives. 

Closing skills gaps with AI Identifying, assessing, developing and deploying skills has long been a complex and manual task for HR and L&D teams. HowNow uses AI to solve this challenge.

By mapping every employee and learning opportunity to skills, HowNow can align personalise learning, identify gaps and measure the impact on skill development. 

“For the UK Government to choose our combined solution with Pearson from 68 providers, affirms our commitment to a skills-first approach to L&D, as well as our leadership in delivering innovative technology. 

“And with PwC finding that 78% of CEOs reporting some extent of skills shortage within their organisation, it’s clear that taking a skills-first approach is the way forward for L&D. It not only shapes superior employee experience, but keeps organisations at the forefront of making learning impactful.” - Nelson Sivalingam, HowNow CEO.

Get a head start! Let us map critical skills for five of your key roles and future proof your L&D.

From 68 Suppliers, UK Government Chooses HowNow In Partnership With Pearson To Become Their One Home For Learning And Skills

From 68 Suppliers, UK Government Chooses HowNow In Partnership With Pearson To Become Their One Home For Learning And Skills
Featured
Jul 24
.
5 min read

For the first time, the core learning offer for all government employees, will be brought together in one platform - creating a single ‘front door’ for all pan-government learning and upskilling, using HowNow’s technology. 

The Cabinet Office has signed a four-year contract to deliver a new cross-Government learning experience and skills platform. 

Of the 68 suppliers who expressed an interest in providing the service, it was Pearson supported by HowNow that the UK Government chose to become their one home for learning and skills. 

“Our ambition is to provide a great user experience for all government employees, empowering them to take charge of their own training and development needs and take a proactive approach to developing their own careers.” said Rebecca Birs, Business Change Lead for the Cabinet Office.

The UK Government joins HowNow customers like Sanofi, AND Digital and Trainline in delivering skills-first learning. The platform will: 

  • Enable users to create profiles to capture their skills; 
  • Track completed learning; and 
  • Recommend personalised learning based on the skills users would like to develop.

This will support managers, helping them take a more strategic approach to planning and delivering recruitment, development and talent management initiatives. 

Closing skills gaps with AI Identifying, assessing, developing and deploying skills has long been a complex and manual task for HR and L&D teams. HowNow uses AI to solve this challenge.

By mapping every employee and learning opportunity to skills, HowNow can align personalise learning, identify gaps and measure the impact on skill development. 

“For the UK Government to choose our combined solution with Pearson from 68 providers, affirms our commitment to a skills-first approach to L&D, as well as our leadership in delivering innovative technology. 

“And with PwC finding that 78% of CEOs reporting some extent of skills shortage within their organisation, it’s clear that taking a skills-first approach is the way forward for L&D. It not only shapes superior employee experience, but keeps organisations at the forefront of making learning impactful.” - Nelson Sivalingam, HowNow CEO.

Get a head start! Let us map critical skills for five of your key roles and future proof your L&D.

From 68 Suppliers, UK Government Chooses HowNow In Partnership With Pearson To Become Their One Home For Learning And Skills

Featured
July 24, 2024
.
5 min read

A good understanding of your audience is the best platform for success.

Whatever industry you’re in! But what does that look like in L&D?

Anita Anthonj, Founder and CEO at Talaera, works with lots of L&D teams and joined us to share her best lessons on getting this right.

With lessons on the difference between top-down and bottom-up initiatives, getting your message right, prioritising to deliver commercial impact and much more.

Watch the episode

Listen to the episode

6 takeaways on understanding your audience to deliver great L&D experiences

1. Is this a bottom-up or top-down initiative?


“Because depending on what it is, you're going to have to go through a different journey, right? If something is bottom up, I think that's awesome because you know there's already a hunger for something.

“Top down is a lot more challenging, because a lot of times, it might be initiatives that the employees are just not interested in.” - Anita Anthonj.

And if people don’t see the value in an initiative, it’s hard for that to be successful.

In those cases, here are some steps to follow:

  • Ask why they want to offer that service to someone. Because if nobody’s asked for it, it’s fair to ask why it’s happening.
  • Analyse that motivation and assess the relevant stakeholders.
  • Establish the right narrative for each person, based on their motivation.

2. Manage the noise and get your timing right


“You're up against not just all the initiatives you need to push through and you need to do, but also everything else that goes on in an organisation.”

If you know where the organisation is going as a whole, that influences your messaging.

If you understand when it’s a challenging time or there are lots of internal comms going out, you’ll deliver your message in a certain moment.

When you understand existing levels of buy-in, that shapes the audiences you communicate with and how you do it.

3. Understand commercial context and business goals


“Where I constantly see projects get pushed through, it’s when there's really a strong understanding of where the business is headed, what's going on, and how what we want to do in learning and development maps to the business goals.”

This often means getting close to the commercial numbers and business strategy documents.

If your quarterly reports show we’re having a tough year, it’s important that we pitch the ideas that have immediate business impact.

If there’s hype around something - like AI - can we push back to understand if there’s a strategy for it? And if that aligns to overall goals?

Do we know where the budget comes from for initiatives? And who the owners of those budgets are?

These are the kind of questions that will guide your L&D efforts towards commercial impact.

“You have it all the time that somebody comes up with an awesome idea and it's a great idea.

“It's the right idea, but they're unable to map it directly with why this is going to make us money or why this is going to bring us forward.

"And I think that's super important to be able to map that and tell that story to the different stakeholders who all need to hear a different story.”

4. If you’re a small team, prioritise what you work on


“If you have X projects, it’s about understanding does everything have to be done at this time?

“What has the highest business impact? What's the most pressing for the business right now? 

“What's the most business impact in the short term, in the medium term, in the long term. And I think that's what you want to look at with different projects.”

Which can be tricky as HR and L&D teams because it often feels like everyone wants something from you.

But if you can map out the things you’re doing and want to be doing, it’ll help you prioritise what you dedicated your resources to.

And it can also act as a mechanism to stop, reflect and pause the creation process - which allows us to ask why we’re doing something and if it contributes to that impact.

5. Build clarity around what your team can and cannot do


“One of my favourite things is telling a potential customer, what we do is not going to work for you. And here's why. 

“And a lot of times they come back and they end up working with us because we were very clear in what we cannot deliver, but because we were clear in what we cannot deliver, it became very clear what we can deliver.”

In Anita’s experience, this is because when they faced a need later, they understood that you’re the right person to solve that problem.

And HR and L&D teams can go through a similar process of building clarity around who you are as a team, and then communicating that to the rest of the business.

6. Prioritise what your audience wants to hear, not what you want to say


“It's not about what you want to say, but how the audience wants to receive the message.”

You might have the best idea in the world, but if you don’t understand how to connect someone to it, it’ll probably fall flat!

“It's so important to really understand where the other person is coming from. What are their motivations? Why should they care? And then tell the story in a way that they can receive.”

Anita’s three ingredients for getting this right? Active listening, empathy and curiosity!

“Because people will tell us all day long who they are and what they care about. Most of us have this sense of… a head of marketing does this or cares about this…

“But I would say, who is that person when they're at home and they're tired from the day, they’re in their jammies and they just want to watch Netflix? Who is that person? That's the person you need to talk to, and that's the person that needs to receive your information.”

Podcast | 7 Lessons On Understanding Your Audience To Do Your Best L&D

Podcast
July 17, 2024
.
5 min read

What happens when the people closest to your customers feel disengaged?

Well, it’s fair to assume your customer experience suffers.

So when we heard these numbers at last week’s Festival of Work, I was pretty worried:

  • 33% of frontline employees report doing the bare minimum needed in their job!
  • 40% don't feel motivated or present the majority of the time.

Whether it’s dealing with customers directly, building products or prepping orders - doing the bare minimum or struggling with motivation most of the time isn’t good news for anyone.

Customers. Employees. Businesses. 

They’ll all suffer if we can’t deliver a better experience for frontline employees.

So, let’s try and answer two questions.

  1. Why are they actively disengaged with work?
  2. And is there anything we can do about low frontline engagement?

Shoutout to Luke Boshoff and Flip for the numbers and inspiration to write this post - check out our original summary of their Festival of Work presentation here.

Three reasons for low frontline employee engagement


1. It’s easy to feel like a second class employee on the frontline


If you’ve ever worked in a frontline role, you’ll get it.

Worse pay, less flexibility, more disconnection and worse communication are common symptoms for people suffering outside the desk-based roles.

And, according to Flip, people on the frontlines actively want the opposite.

They crave more flexibility, competitive salaries, better training and effective communication.

2. The tech they use isn’t tailored to the frontline experience


Consistency of tech is a great thing! 

We all know how bad it can be when every team uses a different tool and none of them speak to each other.

But this desire to be consistent could be contributing to worse frontline experiences.

People in office-based roles often build the tech stack that will be used across the business.

Meaning they’ll find something that works in offices and try to map it onto frontline roles.

You'll hear first-hand stories like this all the time.

For example delivery drivers will tell you that the tech they use for routes and managing orders has clearly been selected by someone who has never seen the role up close.

And this ultimately results in frontline workers using tools that aren’t fit for purpose.

Think about the amount of training and education that’s built to be delivered on a laptop and shared with people who only access phones on the job, at best.

3. People on the frontline feel out of the loop and left out of development opportunities


We mentioned both of these briefly, but when one influences the other, we need to call them out.

Being blunt, communication to frontline employees isn’t good enough.

And it’s affecting both their experience and performance:

  • Only 35% think the communication they receive is effective.
  • 37% feel that fractured communication creates challenges in their day-to-day work.
  • Only 39% feel heard, down 34% from 2021.

Source: Axonify via workvivo

If poor communication is limiting people’s performance and tech isn’t built to help them on the job, that probably translates to lower frontline performance in some way.

And that lack of impact could be playing into an existing lack of development opportunities for frontline workers.

According to McKinsey:

“Annual employee turnover among frontline retail workers has been at least 60 percent for a long time.”

With a lack of career development named as the second-highest reason they consider leaving their job in that McKinsey research.

Three ways we can improve frontline employee engagement


1. Bring knowledge and information to people on the frontline


The reason this story resonates so strong with us is because we see it up close and personal at HowNow.

Our customers are delivering relevant and accessible learning to people on the frontlines.

Like FitFlop.

When they opened their New York store, they recognised that their people needed product knowledge and customer service training ahead of launch day.

So they created a mix of company consistent and store specific resources that could be consumed on the HowNow mobile app.

These included a range summary resource that took 15 minutes complete, two-minute videos on store stock and product returns, and more.

Not only did this mean people were enabled ahead of open day, it meant they could easily find and revisit those resources in the flow of work!

FitFlop’s US VP of Sales highlighted that HowNow had been crucial in enabling the new store employees to deliver the best in class customer service and expertise in product knowledge FitFlop expect - which was music to our ears!

If you want to learn more about FitFlop’s approach, check out how they transformed employee engagement in L&D here.


2. Build a relevant value proposition/tech stack for frontline workers


This was another big lesson from Flip’s presentation; we have to create a value proposition that’s relevant to the frontline workforce.

And addresses those concerns around day-to-day experience, development and communication.

This all starts with our talent and hiring processes.

How do we frame the frontline experience in job descriptions? And what promises do we make during the interview process?

Then our goal is to deliver on that, finding the right tech for that proposition and the problems they face each day.

If we do that, we create more positive sentiment and engagement, which hopefully puts an end to doing the bare minimum and low motivation.

3. Bring skills-first learning on the frontline


One office habit we don’t want to replicate on the frontline is content-first learning.

The idea that we create content we THINK we might solve problems first and then distribute it to people it MIGHT be relevant to.

Instead we need to look at development through the lens of skills.

Frontline workers make up an estimated 70% of the total workforce, and the World Economic Forum states that 44% will see their skills disrupted in the next five years.

That’s a lot of changing skills to roles that already struggle with development opportunities.

Ultimately, that means we need to help frontline workers build the skills needed to perform, stay relevant, and help companies hit their goals.


Why do so many companies struggle to make the shift to skills-driven L&D?


Because it’s typically a really difficult task!

From what we hear, companies who map their skills manually take between 9 and 12 months to get it done.

And that’s before you measure the skills you have and try to close the gaps - which probably means your skills needs have shifted before you get to that point!

This is why we launched HowNow AI!

Designed to help you map skills frameworks for every role in your company in seconds.

Then measure current skills at speed and scale, allowing you to close the gaps through learning.

Here’s how that first crucial step works - the mapping of skills using HowNow AI:

If you’re ready to make the shift to skills-driven L&D, check out HowNow AI here

Frontline Employee Engagement Is Worryingly Low! But How Do We Fix It?

Learning And Development
June 19, 2024
.
5 min read
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