imc brand training
Brand Training:
Understanding a Brand Means Experiencing It

The Power of Emotionally Intelligent Brand Training

How brand training can enhance employee brand loyalty

It takes a lot to build a strong brand. You need fresh and appealing brand visuals, a corporate design that’s modern and to the point, and an identity that’s bold and a little out of the ordinary. And, not least, you need employees who are engaged and totally on board.

 

Your employees influence your brand, both directly and indirectly, and help shape its external impact across all touchpoints, from initial customer contact to the actual product. Ideally, you want each and every employee to be a multiplier, positively representing your brand in dealings with friends and relatives, when out at a restaurant or at a party and, most importantly, on social media.

 

This all sounds nice, but how to achieve it? The answer is brand training. Many of our customers have been asking us about it, so we’ve decided to take a closer look, using ourselves as guinea pigs. In this article, we describe our own new brand training course, the rules we followed in devising it, and why we believe it is a worthwhile investment.

imc brand training welcome

Rule #1: Brand Engagement + Education = Brandification

When it comes to the values behind a company’s brand, the first step is for everyone in the company to get back to the basics. What are the brand’s origins? What are the principles that underpin it? What is the company’s purpose? By learning about these things, learners become aware that everyone in the company can play a part in realizing the values and goals of their brand. And because brands change over time, the learning needs to be ongoing.

 

imc is no exception. We have changed a lot over the years – and will continue to do so. As well as relaunching our brand, we want to achieve greater momentum on issues like new work, diversity and inclusion, and our own transformation. Consequently, the objective of our new brand training course is to communicate this culture shift and the underlying values in a way that is readily accessible so that we can instil in our employees a strong emotional attachment to our brand.

 

Learning objectives set out the areas and levels where change is to happen (understanding, thinking, action, etc), so it is important to define them right at the start of the brand training process.

imc brand training welcome tablet

imc Brand Training

Rule #2: Genuine attachment transforms initial attraction into a full-blown relationship

A company’s fundamental values and culture are reflected in virtually everything it does and therefore need to be understood and actively supported by its employees. New hires, in particular, must be able to rapidly internalise what their new employer’s brand means and stands for. They applied for the job out of an initial attraction to the brand, and it is now up to the company to build that attraction into a genuine relationship.

 

A successful onboarding journey is vital to this because onboarding is the first step towards brand loyalty. For this reason, companies should proactively offer onboarding experiences that are consistent with and support their brand promises.

 

That’s why the completed brand training course at imc was specifically developed for our new onboarding journey and designed to fit into our onboarding storytelling. It also works as a stand-alone training course for established imc employees.

imc brand training

imc Brand Training

To ensure that new employees find it easy to get started and engage with our brand training, we have made it an integral part of our onboarding process. We have also incorporated it into our learning management system (LMS). To reach as many learners as possible, brand training must be easy to engage with, not take up too much time, and be accessible from any location and device.

Rule #3: Turn likes into love with emotional branding

Emotional branding is very powerful. It’s the art of connecting with people by tapping into their feelings. But how do you translate this emotional aspect into online training? One very effective approach is to use elements of branding that have high recognition – such as logos, brand visuals or mascots. You can generate very strong emotional appeal by incorporating these elements into storytelling as a way of communicating your brand message.

 

We (almost) always follow our own advice, so we chose storytelling for our own brand training course. The narrator is our mascot, Max.

storytelling icon

Storytelling:

Storytelling is a communication method that uses narratives to convey information. It is widely used in knowledge management, child and adult education, journalism, psychotherapy, marketing, PR and advertising.

Max looks a little like a ghost and emerges from the dot on the “i” of imc. He starts out very pale but gradually takes on more colour as the learner progresses through the course and learns more about the imc brand.

imc mascot max

imc Mascot Max

Max features in every module of the imc brand training course. For example, in one module, he reads from a book telling the story of the company’s founder, Professor August-Wilhelm Scheer. As the course progresses, the mascot pops up to provide background on various points or quizzes the learner on content they have just covered.

Rule #4: The right implementation is everything

In our case, the right tool for creating the brand training course was Articulate Rise. It allowed the team to get involved and help shape the course right from the outset. The necessary expertise in didactics and form was provided by our inhouse instructional designer Oliver Steinhilber. “Brand training courses are very much in demand from our customers at the moment,” he says. “Everyone’s looking at learning on topics like onboarding, change and new work, and the people responsible for it in HR, marketing and internal communications want to make sure their learning content is authentic and has emotional appeal.”

authoring tools imc Express and content studio

The Right Tool:

To be sure you’re using the right tool for creating your training course, it’s best to talk to an instructional designer first. Articulate Rise is a sophisticated software application that has a reasonably steep learning curve. For less experienced users, authoring tools like imc Express provide a quicker and easier way of getting started on generating content.

Why invest in emotionally intelligent brand training?

Simple: because brand training content with emotional appeal makes it easier for employees to identify with the brand. This sense of identification improves employee motivation and therefore has a direct effect on their day-to-day work. By using brand training content that has emotional appeal, a company can also create brand ambassadors from among its own ranks – employees who will champion the company brand to both internal and external audiences.

 

Deep understanding of shared company values and genuine buy-in to the company culture lead to better communication and collaboration, as imc Director of Brand Strategy Kerstin Steffen explains: “Brand training is effective if afterwards everyone feels confident they have chosen the right employer, and all learners feel positive and excited. Effective brand training turns employees into role models who are happy to be ambassadors for the company spirit and brand message.”

Photo of Kerstin Steffen
Everyone should finish the course understanding what makes us who we are here at imc and what values we identify with – as well as what kind of cooperation and collaboration we embody and expect.
Kerstin Steffen
Director Brand Strategy
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I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.

 

I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.

 

Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.

 

Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
move article_Onboarding imc
move!
Turning onboarding into an experience

Welcome on board - the new imc onboarding journey

How imc is leveraging new work to create a new culture for welcoming new team members

No more boring onboarding processes! The pandemic has left its mark, and we embarked on a holistic new work approach. Now, it’s time to rethink our onboarding journey as well.

 

As a digital learning provider committed to creating digital learning experiences, this was a challenge: We had to set a high standard. While we already proved ourselves in many (onboarding) projects,we now had to design and implement a successful process at imc.

 

Challenge accepted. Hybrid, global and unique – these characteristics were a must for the onboarding journey we wanted to create while integrating gamification elements and, of course, our Learning Suite.

Well, and it should be fun. Quite the wish list.

 

At the same time, we wanted to move away from pathetic handbooks, boring guidelines, and isolated solutions for individual locations. Having an onboarding journey that inspires and motivates while turning our brand and our brand values into an experience to complement our global processes was important to us.

 

In our latest move! article, we took a look behind the scenes of the new onboarding programme and present several exclusive highlights.

move article_Onboarding imc

A different take on onboarding

We all know that exhilarating joy we feel when signing a new employment contract. The days leading up to that first day of work are usually marked by anticipation and excitement.

 

We were determined to hold onto these positive vibes. Using a hybrid approach was also a key factor. “While the imc team loves digitisation, we strongly believe in human communication. Thus, the journey should not be exclusively digital,” says Kerstin Steffen, Director Brand Strategy at imc.

 

Claire Raistrick, HR Manager and member of the Onboarding Project Team even goes a step further and sums up the grand objectives: “At imc, we believe that onboarding is an art. Each new employee contributes their uniqueness, as well as huge potential for performance and success. At imc, we create an environment that allows employees to reach their potential. Loosing the energy of a productive employee is a lost opportunity. Loosing a new employee through poor onboarding is criminal.”

Claire Raistrick
Loosing the energy of a productive employee is a lost opportunity. Loosing a new employee through poor onboarding is criminal.
Claire Raistrick
Senior Human Resources Manager
imc information multimedia communication AG

Seizing the new opportunity: Welcome to imc!

What exactly can our new recruits expect? “Today, this super-sweet – and personal – welcome message from my team arrived in the post. What a fantastic gesture! Thank you!” Vanessa Steinmann had left this comment on LinkedIn. It is but one of many examples.

 

At imc, we are confident that welcoming new team members already starts with pre-boarding. That is why we post out a personal greeting and invite our new recruits to our brand-new pre-boarding cockpit. A win-win situation: The new recruit can get a feel for our Learning Suite and start exploring everything they need for a successful start – from welcome videos to our cultural playbook. In addition, our BizQuiz is great fun while playfully offering valuable introductory information on all aspects of imc. Of course, Onboarding Buddy Smarty is always on hand to support the onboarding mission.

move article_Onboarding imc

Time for surprises

We came up with a number of specials to ensure that everything goes smooth in the first few days and weeks. The custom-created Welcome Boxes unleashed waves of enthusiasm, delighting both our existing and new team members. Jan Stauder, IT Engineer at imc, claims that everyone loved the fruit-jelly foxes resembling the “smart fox”, a popular German cartoon character. When Claudia Michels started her new role as Corporate Designer, she was over the moon to receive the imc coffee mug and clover seeds with the message stating, “We grow together.”

Our new brand training is yet another highlight in our onboarding programme. We already created this for several customers. Now, it has become a key component for our own journey. The objective: Going beyond understanding the corporate brand and diving into a full experience. In this gamified course, our mascot Smarty takes the new colleague by the hand to discover imc brand identity together.

move article_Onboarding imc

Entertainment and networking: Our Welcome Days

How do you beat this? We went another step further with our hybrid Welcome Days. Our Welcome Days are THE networking events for all new imc team members. For two days, everyone seizes the opportunity to meet imc leadership personalities, and gain insights into the product portfolio.

 

“We wanted to make sure that entertainment and networking are not neglected,” says Desiree Stroh, HR Manager and Welcome Days Host. “You can participate in activities like bingo, quizzes or the virtual photo box, that provide technical content while also offering variety and fun. These onboarding moments should make new colleagues feel that they made the right choice in joining imc and giving them memories of their first steps they can look back on with a smile.” Jennifer Wilhelm, HR Manager and Welcome Days Organiser, emphasises just how important it is to get newbies on board, create memories and form connections with them that will stay with them for a long time on their journey with imc.

move article_Onboarding imc

Orientation phase: Check!

We wanted our onboarding journey to continue beyond the first few weeks after welcoming our new imc family members. “Work in progress” is the motto under which we are still developing additional creative ideas to turn this phase into yet another experience.

Mission completed

After six months, it’s “mission completed”. A reason to celebrate. For all of us. And best of all: The journey continues. A range of events and campaigns like our brand ambassador programme or our diversity and inclusion initiative encourage employees to get involved and network, even when working in a hybrid system.

 

Are we proud of our new onboarding journey? Absolutely! Is it perfect? No. That’s why we are aiming for continuous improvement. Leveraging our employees’ help to shape things is one of the fundamental principles of our new work model. That is why we are inviting our team leaders and colleagues to get involved and help shape these new processes.

 

We must say though: After two months, the feedback we received makes it clear that it is all worth it – and that is great encouragement for us to step it up a bit more. Let us surprise you!

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Contact person

I' ve been working as a permanent member of the imc Marketing & Communication Team since 2021. The mix of creative content creation, social media and online marketing activities excites me the most about my job.

 

My goal is to inspire people with creative and innovative content and to make the imc brand more tangible.

 

My passion besides my job? Travelling a lot and discovering the world. I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions at [email protected]!

Doreen Hartmann imc
Doreen Hartmann
Junior Marketing and Communication Manager
E-Learning Content Trends
Trendspotting
Where is e-learning content going in 2022?

This year’s e-learning content trends

Interview with Falk Hegewald, Director E-Learning at imc

Out with the old, in with the new. A new year brings new content trends that nobody involved in corporate learning can afford to ignore. Together with Falk Hegewald, Director E-Learning at imc, we are taking a look at the coming year’s crucial topics for companies.

Falk Hegewald

INFO

Falk Hegewald started out in design: He studied graphic design and followed that up with game design. But when imc introduced him to the e-learning sector nine years ago, he decided to stay put. “Back then, I was attracted to the idea of creating something new in this world of e-learning. It was all still very 1990s in those days,” says Hegewald. At imc, he is responsible for custom and off-the-shelf content  worldwide.

E-Learning Content Trends imc-e-learning-punk

Now, we’re really getting started: 3D, VR and Metaverse

Falk Hegewald is confident that the upcoming big changes are here to stay – well beyond 2022. Many major corporations are driving the development of virtual reality and metaverse. Nike recently acquired a design studio that “produces” NFTs and virtual running shoes.

 

“The key driver for metaverse is to create a world where you can play. However, that world will also feature workspaces. We are already entering that world with virtual meeting rooms,” Hegewald explains. “At imc, we are taking that as an incentive to develop the 3D aspects of our content to gain a head start in the creation of such digital worlds and environments.”

E-Learning Content Trends imc-e-learning-punk Description Metaverse

INFO

Metaverse:

Metaverse describes an immense collective virtual space formed when real and virtual worlds merge. A metaverse comprises both open and closed platforms. Companies can create their own worlds as well as digital products, and even sell them there – just like in the real world.

Engaging content and adaptive learning

This year will also see a strong focus on more engaging content that both motivates and captivates the learner. Not everything needs to be a game, Falk Hegewald claims: “You can also use novel engaging activities and formats. There is already demand for inspiring training, as companies have realised that they need to get more buy-in from their employees. As a premium content provider, we can deliver that.”

 

Adaptive learning will also be very relevant for content in the year ahead. In the past, the focus was on learning management systems featuring intelligent interfaces that facilitate appropriate distribution of training courses. Now, we are moving towards skill management through content. Falk Hegewald is confident that adaptive e-learning content will be in demand this year. “You rarely need everyone to learn everything. Employees with different levels of knowledge attend the same training course. Testing prior knowledge and leveraging suitable tools to assign content becomes a whole lot easier if the content is adaptive, too.”

E-Learning Content Trends imc-e-learning-punk Adaptive learning

Adaptive learning

Premium off-the-shelf content will be big next year

Last year, Falk Hegewald was particularly excited about the "Cyber Crime Time"awareness game, which deals with IT security issues by letting the learner take on the role of a hacker. Step by step, they learn the most common cyber-attacks first hand. “This goes well beyond your typical off-the-shelf content, be that from us or from our competitors. We wanted to create something that gets the employees’ attention.”

 

Yet, that was only the first step: This year, Cyber Crime Time will be expanded to include additional training courses and learning nuggets – smaller learning units. “Our aim is to create an entire training world for IT security so Cyber Crime Time remains exciting for our customers,” Hegewald explains.

E-Learning Content Trends imc-e-learning-punk

Premium Standard Content of imc

Falk Hegewald’s department also had their hands full designing custom content for corporate clients throughout 2021: They created a wide range of complex learning content, as well as complete digital learning journeys – covering everything from onboarding through corporate strategy to exciting sales training for customers like Jägermeister. “Generally speaking, many of our customers were more daring in their content design and presentation this past year. We love that trend and believe there is room for even bolder creative moves in the stories and the design,” says Hegewald.

E-Learning Content Trends imc-e-learning-punk Jägermeister Customer Case

The Jägermeister Master Academy

The war for talents goes into the next round

Companies are forever looking to attract talents and retain them long-term. The right onboarding and employee development are playing an ever-greater role in this quest.

 

To feed into that ambition, it is important that professional development content is up-to-date and dynamic. Falk Hegewald explains: “Young talents joining the job market are used to a different pace, they use media in a totally different way. It can become very challenging for a company to keep them engaged.”

That is why a key aspect will be to make onboarding and professional development courses accessible on all devices, enabling the latest generation of employees to learn anytime and anywhere.

 

As Head of the Division, Falk Hegewald always gets excited when new colleagues bring fresh and interesting ideas, as is often the case when they join straight out of university. “This type of inspiration is vital. As a content department, we always need to keep an open mind for new ideas.”

Falk Hegewald
More and more decision makers come from a generation that grew up playing Game Boy, making them more open to new ideas in corporate learning.
Falk Hegewald
Head of New Media
imc AG

As Content Director, what are you looking forward to this year?

“Exciting new customers and new client projects. Personally, I would really like to visit the other imc locations again and meet the employees I have not yet had any personal contact with.”

 

Well, here in Saarbrücken, we are looking forward to meeting you, Falk!

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Contact person

I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.

 

I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.

 

Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.

 

Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
My Digital Onboarding Kit
How to ensure digital onboarding success

Six vital modules for every digital onboarding concept

A blueprint for efficient onboarding with lasting impact

Different companies have different requirements for their onboarding process. They might want to use modular and future-proof concepts, achieve cost and time savings compared to current approaches, or enable employees to start working sooner. Moreover, the pandemic has accelerated the need for digital onboarding as face-to-face training has not been possibleDespite the pandemic introducing more relaxedremote working arrangements, hybrid work arrangements will become the norm; hence digital onboarding will become the tool to deliver great first experience to new employees. 

 

Yet, companies are not the only stakeholders – Employees have their own expectations of the onboarding process. This is why many HR managers are deciding on learner-centric onboarding that revolves around the needs of new employees:

“I want to know what makes my company tick,” – “I want to feel like I’m becoming part of the community,” – “I want to improve my skills.”

 

To achieve that, your onboarding needs a framework that provides guidance and an emotional connection while assessing the current state of knowledge and developing expertise.

This article explains how to design an exciting and creative digital onboarding process with new and existing e-learning content, even without a learning management system (LMS).

An illustration of the key building blocks

Our experts are always developing concepts suitable for a wide range of requirements. Get a head start with our “best of” compilation. Let’s imagine this situation: You want to digitise five days of basic training that has always been conducted on site. You are looking at a very diverse group of participants. The target group for this training extends beyond new colleagues, and also includes “old hands,” as well as some external service providers. They each have a different level of prior knowledge, different hardware, and different levels of access to a learning management system (LMS). Some might not have any access at all.

 

How do you satisfy them all? The solution is to design a structured framework for digital onboarding. Our experts recommend getting a head start with these 6 modules:

  • A central (digital) starting point
  • A daily virtual kick-off
  • The self-learning phase
  • A virtual hands-on workshop
  • The online quiz
  • A learning diary

Together, these six modules form a foundation. Let’s look at each element separately.

My Digital Onboarding Kit – The modules in detail

The central starting point could, for example, be a browser-based landing page created especially for onboarding, a homepage in the company intranet, a portal page (in the LMS) or an interactive PDF. It is important that the employees can see at a glance what is on the agenda for the day when they arrive for their onboarding. Think of it as a modern timetable. Every new employee needs structure, and an overview page is an easy way to provide that.

Digital_onboarding_homepage

Portal page as central starting point

The virtual kick-off at the beginning of each training day serves to agree and discuss the agenda and objectives for the day together with the trainers. The focus should be on social onboarding, on promoting interaction between the participants. Our experts recommend a playful warm-up with surveys, icebreakers, or activation games aka energisers. Why not play a round of “I packed my bag” to get started? It is helpful to establish a meeting netiquette, specifying that cameras and microphones must be switched on.

virtual kick-off

In the self-learning phase, each learning format achieves a specific objective. For example, digital performance cards help employees gain knowledge with a certain focus, and then apply it in simulations as part of web-based training. Virtual scavenger hunts help them familiarise themselves with the company or the intranet. Companies can also integrate existing training courses or offer individually tailored or branded content. Variation between different e-learning formats has proven particularly effective.

Performance cards

Performance cards

The hands-on workshop moderated by the trainers gives the employees an opportunity to apply what they learned and clarify any questions or uncertainties. This could include polls, multiple choice questions in the group chat or whiteboards.

The online quiz concludes the day. One great example is the BizQuiz. It provides participants with feedback on their learning progress and gives them the opportunity to close any knowledge gaps.

quiz app: Biz Quiz

Finally, the learner makes their personal entry in the learning diary. An easy way to integrate the diary is to design a page in the intranet, a document in the cloud or a form that mirrors the central starting point, and which each participant completes for themselves. This serves to summarise the core messages from the workshops or formulate the questions and tasks for the self-learning phase, as well as compiling key insights from the training courses. The personal learning diary thus becomes an individual reference resource participants can look things up in long after their onboarding.

Learning diary

GOOD TO KNOW

Time investment for trainers is automatically reduced

The targeted use of digital learning formats in the self-learning phase reduces time investment for trainers during digital onboarding. That saves costs and resources. Following this 6-module approach, trainers are only required for the kick-off and the workshop phase.

Digital vs hybrid onboarding

Digital onboarding works. This approach can absolutely be appropriate while also saving resources. Nevertheless, some onboarding processes are easier to realise in a hybrid format. Of course, that does require new employees to travel to the location.

 

One example for a good hybrid solution would be to communicate theoretical content through online self-study, and then bring participants on site to carry out specific actions, such as operating machinery. The face-to-face part of the training can then be utilised for practical exercises and to clarify questions.

 

Similarly, a dual approach helps with understanding the corporate culture. For instance, companies might invite new employees for an intro day before their first day of work. Make the most of this day by asking colleagues to talk about how they realise the values, objectives, and mission of the company in their daily work. This meeting can also be leveraged to establish an emotional connection with new recruits and build enthusiasm for the company.

 

In our experts’ experience, it is not as clear-cut as one approach being universally better. Rather, it is about selecting suitable formats and linking them in a helpful way based on the new employees’ needs and the learning objectives.

We linked a special treat for anyone interested in hybrid onboarding:

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The trends of the education rebellion

E-Learning Punk is an article and talk series for all L&D Pros who want to dare something and believe that digital training has to be colourful and loud.

E-Learning-Punk Logo

Contact person

I joined the imc newsroom team in 2021. As a journalist my heart beats for content and storytelling.

 

I’m excited to figure out how e-learing and digitization affect the future of work. My task is to create content to talk about and I’m always looking for trends.

 

Privately I love to travel and eat Tapas.

 

Topics: E-Learning Trends, Corporate Social Responsibility, Press and Influencer Relations

Nina Wamsbach
Communication Manager
lms hot topics E-Learning Glossar
LMS Hot Topics
Topics: Onboarding of the future

Science fiction or near future?

What effective onboarding might soon look like

28% of all new recruits quit within their trial period or even fail to turn up on their first day of work. Moreover, employees who receive poor induction are twice as likely to leave as employees who go through an effective onboarding process.

These figures by Haufe should alarm companies: Faced with the ongoing “War of Talents”, new hires are extremely time consuming and costly. Yet, a well-designed onboarding concept can be integrated directly into the existing learning management system (LMS).

To many LMS managers, some of the options available today sound like science fiction. That’s why we embarked on some onboarding time travel into the near future to experience what onboarding might look like.

The first few weeks are crucial for making new colleagues feel welcome in the organisation and helping them become part of the team, as this is the foundation for long-term company loyalty. This requires both empathy and clear onboarding processes. Even larger organisations with existing learning management systems that would provide an optimal infrastructure for efficient onboarding design are often unaware of the opportunities available.

This is why we are following our fictitious employee Hanna in this article to get a glimpse of her slightly different onboarding experience ...

AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT
Icon representing Retailer Qualification

Hanna is excited. She just signed the contract for her new job. She is leaving the big bank where she had been involved in investment advisory services for several years and completed many professional development courses. While most of these followed the traditional face-to-face format, some were delivered online – and often bored her to death.

She will handle similar tasks in her new job with her new employer and fears that she will have to chew through the same dull content all over again. After all, that’s what happened the last time she changed jobs. She lets out a sigh at the mere thought at yet another bog-standard first aid course. Hanna has been a certified first aider and fire protection assistant for years.

PRE-BOARDING WITH ROBBY

Exactly two weeks before her first day at work, a friendly email lands in Hanna’s inbox, asking her to join her new employer’s in-house learning management system. She is quite unsure what to make of that. Surely, they are not expecting her to work already?

Curiosity gets the better of her – and she is in for a surprise. Instead of the expected work assignments, a chatbot welcomes her who resembles a cross between Wall-E and R2D2. The assistant introduces himself as Robby and gives Hanna a virtual tour of her new office, introduces the other team members with a picture, and shows her where they sit. He also reveals her future email address and the (mobile) devices she can expect to find on her desk on her first day.

 

He asks how she plans to travel to the office, and whether she prefers public transport, car or changing it up. She chooses “both” and promptly receives an overview of all connections and parking options. Robby also shows her who will be sitting at reception on her first day and issue her access card.
The little chatbot then explains which communication tools are used in the company and which other tools Hanna will be working with. She is given the option to take a closer look at these tools before starting her job, but is informed that her manager will personally show her how to use them all in her first week.

Robby ends his tour with the words: “We are looking forward to welcoming you soon. If you have any further questions, simply launch a chat and I will be happy to help you!”

MOBILE SCAVENGER HUNT
Icon representing Effective Quality

The day of truth has arrived: The first day gets underway and Hanna is stumped. Armed with a smartphone, she is asked to team up with another colleague to complete some type of digital scavenger hunt through the company. When she passes certain offices, she receives a notification along the lines of: “Say Hi to Peter! Peter is responsible for your business trips and finances.”

 

In her new office, she meets the colleagues Robby had already introduced her to virtually, and she is asked to log into the learning management system from her workstation and complete a test. Instead of a typical mind-numbing multiple choice test, Robby greets her, guides her through the different departments and processes, and invites her to an interactive quiz. Even the training sessions on data protection, cyber security and first aid flow nicely.

When she states her qualifications as a first aider and fire protection assistant, she is asked to upload her certificate and given leave to skip all subsequent questions in this field. Robby also enquires directly whether he may add her as a first aider in the system. Hanna agrees.

 

The system also adapts to her current knowledge with the subsequent questions, and tailors them accordingly. When the program notices that Hanna already possesses sound knowledge in a field, it either asks more difficult questions or skips certain sections. At the end of the training session, Robby leaves her with the words: “Thank you for your support! I see you are already a real pro. I will adjust your onboarding plan and training accordingly.”

Indeed, Hanna learns only new contents in subsequent training sessions. She is asked to self-assess and is provided with a tailored concept aligned with her personal development goals. She is free to schedule her learning time at her leisure. Her superiors only set a deadline for completing all training units.

 

Even learning method and approach are tailored to her personal requirements. All training contents is available in various formats, and Hanna can select her preferred system. This involves no additional tests: The algorithm identifies the methods most suitable for Hanna based on the training units she has already completed, and suggests training units using a similar approach. If she doesn’t like them, she is free to switch to other formats at any time.

LEARNING ON DEMAND
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A few weeks into her job, Hanna suddenly stumbles on a question. She enters it on the intranet and is immediately referred to a matching training session. In addition to the specific training offer, she is also shown which colleagues could assist her with her query. Meanwhile, Hanna is shown as an expert for questions in her specialty areas.

 

Intuitive tools also let her create her own training sessions in minimal time. Templates are provided in the system, and she can choose between voice-to-text, typed entries, preparing presentations or creating diagrams. Content design is automated and the output is provided in a range of formats. Training is delivered in “learning nuggets”, that is smaller learning units no longer than three minutes each.

TARGET VS. ACTUAL
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By now, Hanna’s profile is after three months filled with a wealth of information. She had already discussed the direction she would like her development to take with her manager in the initial weeks, and they identified the required competences and skills and how she can acquire them. In the next half year, she would like to further improve her English. She is also considering assuming technical management tasks.

To this end, she submitted her self-assessment which must be confirmed by her line manager. A skill profile based on this assessment was set up in the system, which shows target and actual scores. Every time Hanna creates or completes another training unit, the target score increases, and she can see which courses would help her achieve further improvements.

SKILLS-BASED JOB PROFILES

Hanna’s onboarding is complete after six months. She feels like she has arrived and is in good hands. Her line manager now sets up a meeting together with the head of her department. Hanna is slightly uneasy when she arrives for the meeting and wonders whether she had misjudged her achievement after all.

Instead, she finds out that a colleague in another department had unexpectedly handed in his notice. The skills match for the position showed that Hanna already met 80% of the job requirements. While she still needed training in employee management, her superiors are confident that she will master this quickly. Hanna accepts and is promoted after only half a year with the company.

...and in reality?

So far, so good. Which parts of this story are wishful thinking? Which aspects ring true in real life? No doubt, almost every scenario described is possible today - or will be very soon. Nevertheless, companies are only utilising a fraction of these options and opportunities. Creating a dedicated skills profile for each job, developing learning paths and linking these with competences or integrating learning on demand  takes time. Yet, investing in these topics – also in combination with skills-based job profiles – and integrating them into the onboarding process pays off, especially when facing skills shortages.
We therefore hope that Hanna’s story leaves the realm of science fiction and becomes reality soon.

 

Our eBook on competency-based learning  offers many helpful tips and, of course, we are happy to assist. Feel free to contact us directly on [email protected]

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Contact

I have been working in the Marketing & Communication Team at imc since March 2019.

Communication, creative content and social media are my passion. "KISS - Keep it short and simple" is my credo.

 

To explain complex content in an understandable way and thus make the topic of e-Learning accessible to everyone is an exciting challenge every day.

 

Privately I love to read, play poker and travel a lot.

I am always happy to receive feedback or suggestions.

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Nadine Kreutz
Communication Manager