In 2015, Theresa Evans, Director of Human Resources for Whiteford Taylor Preston, was looking for a way to solve some of her most persistent training challenges. In 2016, she made the decision – along with the firm’s IT professionals – to subscribe to the SavvyAcademy LMS. By early 2017, she was already seeing positive results.
This case study documents the challenges she faced before purchasing the LMS, the roll-out process, and the results that she is already enjoying… in her own words.
BEFORE: WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES?
My largest HR concern was that we have – just in our downtown Baltimore office – 30 administrative assistants with a broad spectrum of skill levels. We have tried to address training needs in the past using outsourced training sessions where we host a full-day event in all of our larger offices. The trainings were well-received but they were crammed into one day. It was useful to people who had some familiarity with the topics but for those who had never done the tasks before, they very quickly forgot it all because they didn’t put it into action.
Staff and Culture Challenges
We have people who get by with doing the bare minimum and others whom you can ask to do anything and they can do it or they will figure it out. And we have everyone in between. How can you educate each of these types of people?
We know who the weaker people are but holding them accountable for changes without a system in place was hard.
Our attorneys know which assistants have better skills and so they go to those people to do tougher documents or more complex work rather than going to their own assistant. We are trying to say, “No, you should be able to ask anybody to do anything for you.” We want all of our assistants to be capable of doing any work that the attorneys ask of them.
Why an LMS?
From a training perspective, we wondered: How do we a) get the right information or training materials to those who need it, b) make them accountable for learning it, and c) when they learn it we want them to be able to immediately access the information again for refreshers.
John, the manager of our IT support group, and I talked with Savvy Training & Consulting about the Savvy LMS. We took a demo and John and I fell in love with it. From an IT perspective, it addressed his needs, too. IT has to roll out new systems all the time and they are constantly tasked to train on those systems. We realized that we could incorporate that training into the LMS as well.
The LMS was a good way to address all of our training needs in one system.
THE LMS ROLLOUT
Savvy helped us develop our rollout process.
First, I sent an introductory email to everyone about the project, and a survey. We used the survey to do some baseline assessments. From there, we developed a curriculum that includes required courses that everyone must take and pass. People receive certificates for completion.
Savvy helped us evaluate those assessments and create learning paths for those who need the basics. They also helped us develop learning paths for those who are more advanced.
AFTER: THE RESULTS
We launched baseline courses that everyone had to take in Word and Excel and everyone was required to take them by a specific date. I get a Daily Completions report from the LMS that tells me how many have completed the series, how many are in process, and those who have not started.
People were initially concerned about the amount of time the modules would take because it looks like a lot, but once you get into it, you discover that each one is just a few minutes long.
We communicated everything in a very positive way and we let them know that their participation would be incorporated into their evaluation this year. I thought I would get flack about it. I thought some would push back, but almost all of the feedback I’ve received is positive.
Ongoing Use/Culture Shift
The SavvyAcademy LMS is supporting a culture shift in our firm. It’s huge!
Because of the launch requirements, people now know how to use the LMS and they know that they have answers to their questions at their fingertips.
We also can track the other learning that they do on their own. At evaluation time, these reports will help us determine if a person has made progress. Did they meet the requirements? Did they go above and beyond? We will incorporate this into our annual evaluation process.
ON WORKING WITH SAVVY
Savvy has been huge. They were instrumental in helping us make this culture change. We had been talking about doing this for a long time but we didn’t know how to start. Savvy has made it happen. I can’t say enough about Doug and also Terry, who is amazing and brilliant.