Why ambitious L&D is crucial for employees

by John Hilton26 Nov 2015
Keeping your learners focused and happy often means ensuring that L&D is inextricably linked to their day to day role.

L&D Professional spoke to Alicia Gleeson, General Manager HR at Crown for her insights on what makes a relevant and engaging L&D program.

Does the L&D address specific business needs?

Firstly, Crown College keeps their training sessions relevant by not just relying on buying packages from external training providers.

Rather, their strategy is to ensure their programs are specifically developed for the way Crown operates, and ensuring they address specific business needs or business drivers.

“We obviously then match all of that to accredited qualifications, so that if a person is going through training in most cases they are also going to be achieving something towards a qualification issued by Crown College,” said Gleeson.

“But in ensuring we have the business outcomes, the managers are highly engaged and likely to enable people to attend, and the people attending the training are also far more engaged because they can see how that’s actually impacting  their work and how they can be more efficient with what they do.”

Does the L&D incorporate a range of qualified trainers?

Crown College uses a variety of qualified trainers who are in-house and real technical experts or experts in their field, said Gleeson.

“We partner with over 30 external consultants who also understand our business and have generally worked with us for a reasonable period of time,” Gleeson told L&D Professional.

 “So that involves bringing in really good practice and fresh ideas, as well as them really understanding the business.”

Is the L&D ambitious?

One of Crown’s more ambitious training programs involved having one of their trainers with a Vietnamese background work in partnership with the college in Perth in developing a 40-week training course to teach Vietnamese to Crown’s hosts.

“They are now conversing after a 40 week program. They are not fluent in Vietnamese but they are certainly able to converse and talk about the business matters with the Vietnamese players on the floor,” Gleeson said.

Gleeson said the result has been high engagement by both the employees and the customers.

“We’ve actually made decisions based on the fact that we now have a group of employees who engage with customers in the way customers feel comfortable being engaged with,” she said.

Does the L&D work with a variety of stakeholders?

It’s essential to research and work with all the stakeholders to ensure that the training is always relevant and meets how we actually operate, added Gleeson.

“Our facilitators are very carefully chosen to ensure that they are people who can bring the entire audience and material really closely together and deliver on all of the learning outcomes,” she said.

Does the L&D incorporate gamification?

Crown College has found that gamification is also effective at engaging employees, but it must be done in a specific way.

“One of the issues in some of the more online or virtual type training pieces has been that they sometimes really drag for people, so we make sure that they are fast-paced and that they have a clear application to the business,” Gleeson said.

Crown College are using apps such as Quizlet for some of the learning that they implement around information transfer.

“We have done some other pieces where our environmental learning is done through online gaming, but not actually playing games with each other,” she said.