Meet the woman who drives MYOB’s learning strategy

by John Hilton12 Nov 2015
Online software companies are undergoing constant change and L&D is doing it’s best to keep up. John Hilton interviews Alla Keogh, Head of People and Performance at MYOB for her insights.

What are the greatest challenges that you are facing or about face?

I think there are three key things. I think we have raised the bar high with our L&D offerings. Our challenge there is to continue to evolve that to ensure that we are bringing the most relevant and valuable development to our people in real time and again on their terms. So the need for skills development in an agile and evolving learning industry like technology is only getting harder. We are always looking for ways to deliver things like certification, professional development, technical development, and management skills in compelling and dynamic ways.

The second thing is around integrated talent management and the role that both mobile and social learning tools play in that. Mobile learning is becoming so mainstream and the challenge that that poses for us is we need to think about what that means for our contents and our programs, so how we evolve those things to become mobile.

The third thing is not just for us but for all L&D functions is to continue to optimise and measure the value and show that clear return on investment. So for us it’s building capabilities, not just about delivering training programs to our employees. It’s about creating a culture that’s open to mistakes and it’s very much about building trust.

What does your e-learning process involve at MYOB?

Our e-learning offering is part of our integrated online learning platform. We call that our learning lab. The learning lab is a framework that delivers learning opportunities directly to our people and it’s very holistic. It’s about ensuring that our people are achieving their potential both inside and outside of work. Our learning approach is very much around experimentation and learning.

We combine self-paced e-learning modules with online tools and resources, as well as face-to-face learning and coaches. We use an LMS to house our learning lab and everyone has access through a single online portal. Within that team members can create their own L&D plans that are linked to the skills and the competencies that they need to develop for their current roles and any future roles that they might aspire to. In our world, L&D and talent management need to be really seamlessly integrated.

Why did you implement your e-learning strategy?

We really wanted to reflect the change and transformation in our culture. MYOB moved from being a traditional desktop software company to what we are today which is one of Australia’s most innovative online software companies. With that came a change in expectation from our people. They want access to development on their own terms and it has to be really fun and engaging. It needs to be simple and it needs to deliver measureable values, so having access to learning on a 24/7 basis and across all of our locations is now part of our core Employee Value Proposition.

How effective has it been?

It’s been hugely successful. We have seen an 18 point increase on the L&D driver in our recent engagement survey. We have also found that innovation has had a significant uplift in our organisation and I would say that we are well on way to having a genuine culture of learning which we believe ultimately will be one of our biggest assets and sources of our competitive advantage. So our focus on continuous learning that combines training, coaching performance support and also assessment is allowing our people to develop deeper and richer skills.