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How We Did It: Creating a Frontline Leadership Learning Journey

The Need

One commercial banking organization needed to increase leader engagement in its frontline development program.

The Solution

With a DDI leadership development subscription that included digital content and in-person classroom experiences, the organization built an innovative blended-learning approach for frontline leaders. 

The Result

The organization created an engaging leadership learning culture, prompting an uptick in leader participation, which reduced turnover and improved overall frontline leader retainment.

There was a story about someone who self-enrolled and then didn't participate after the fact. They got him into a classroom session. And the person's feedback was, 'Get me into more of these. This was fun. I love to get to know my peers.'

Rebekah Blackwell, Senior Project Manager - US Operations, DDI

In this How We Did It video, Rebekah Blackwell, senior project manager, shares how DDI worked with one commercial banking organization to develop a frontline leadership learning journey with both digital learning content and in-person classroom experiences.

This organization faced what many do—many leaders self-enrolling in digital courses, but then seeing leaders not actually participate. Learn how they solved this challenge and pulled leaders into their program, increasing engagement with an innovative learning design. 

Learn about DDI's leadership development subscriptions

Transcript:

Beth Almes:                        

Hi everyone. And welcome back to How We Did It, where we talk about the amazing work we've had the chance to do alongside clients who are accomplishing incredible things through leadership. Today, I have Rebekah Blackwell to talk with me about a company that is doing some really amazing things to create a leadership learning culture as part of their strategy to reduce turnover and retain all that talent that they're going to need for the future. Rebekah, thank you so much for being here today.

Rebekah Blackwell:         

Thanks for having me, Beth.

Beth Almes:                        

So tell me about this company and the business need they had to start really investing in a new leadership program.

Rebekah Blackwell:         

This company was a commercial banking organization that had a need to address a large population of their frontline leaders, and wanted to use primarily digital content to get to as many as of them as they can, and then follow up with some in-person classroom experiences.

Beth Almes:                        

So from a development perspective, they had a few things in place, but maybe were struggling in a few areas. What kind of challenges were they seeing?

Rebekah Blackwell:         

They were finding that people would self enroll into content with big hopes that they would complete as much as they could, and not seeing the participation coming along with it. So they were finding that they needed to be a little bit more prescriptive, and to be able to pull people in a little bit more to keep them engaged.

Beth Almes:                        

So this company was creating this amazing learning culture, where they wanted people to get engaged in their learning and development. And it sounded like people wanted to do that, but they were struggling to just get engaged. So how did DDI work with them and use a subscription approach to help them be a little bit more innovative in their learning design?

Rebekah Blackwell:         

We had a great time working with this client and learning more about their business context to be able to select the right content for them. And they still wanted that self-engaged part where learners could go in and find the digital content that was right for them. But then they also wanted classroom content where they could go to a virtual session, apply some of those skills, meet their teammates, and stay engaged in that way. 

So we sat down with them, based on their context, selected some of that content, and then planned a rollout strategy that met the learners where they are with time that they could commit and meeting some of those interests. And created a digital-first journey where they could get into the system and then continue working together.

Beth Almes:                        

So leaders would get engaged with this digital content first, and then they might attend live sessions. But that's just the content side of it. What else did they do around it that kind of created that environment to encourage people to keep getting engaged and to go back to the learning and explore more?

Rebekah Blackwell:         

They used our Pinpoint platform in a very unique way. They were prescriptive with what they wanted their learners to access, and paired down the things that they knew would be most impactful for their learners. They brought them to things like discussion planners and knowledge checks and games that they knew that their people would be interested in, and were directly related to their learners for that sustainment piece. 

And then they had a fun little leaderboard actually, where they would track everybody's usage against it. They could see where their teammates were excelling, where maybe they could do a little bit more, and brought a little bit of gamification into that learning, which was cool to see.

Beth Almes:                        

So it sounds like definitely a fun team to work with. And they brought that to the leaders in their organization. What has the feedback and results been like so far?

Rebekah Blackwell:         

They have been thrilled with the results. There has been increased engagement from their learners. Even last time that we talked to them, there was a story about someone who historically was one of those that self-enrolled and then didn't participate after the fact. They got him into a classroom session. And the person's feedback was, "Get me into more of these. This was fun. This was great. Love to get to know my peers." So we're excited to continue working with them.

Beth Almes:                        

That's fantastic. So they took that self-enrollment environment and really were able to do what they set out to do, of switching people from, eh, maybe I'll try to engage with that if I have time, to give me more, I have the time and the energy. That's so exciting. So what's next for this client, as they take the next steps in development for their leaders?

Rebekah Blackwell:         

They're looking to expand and meet more of their leaders where they are. So they've started plans to reach 400 learners. They were at 100 for the last year. And starting with digital-first, getting people into content. And they're so excited about "My Pathway: Leadership Core" coming out, where learners will be able to take their self-assessment and then find that content that's personalized for them. 

They're really excited for the easy lift of it all to find those needs without the personal conversations that they used to have to do in the past. And along with that, they're excited for the enhancement to their development planning process with self-assessment to bring in some key insights.

Beth Almes:                        

That's fantastic, Rebekah. Thank you for sharing this story today, that really shows how to make development and learning a way of work as they combine fantastic digital, engaging experiences with those live classroom experiences and bring that to more of their leaders. Loved your story. Thanks for joining us today.

Rebekah Blackwell:         

Thank you, Beth.