Unlock Corporate Training and Communications Success

00:38:42 | June 10, 2015

During this presentation, we discuss:

-How to effectively scale your training to 8,000+ employees.
-The Top 3 Problems with Corporate Training and how video can solve them.

Takeaways for you:

-Learn the 4 common mistakes most every corporate training program makes.
-Learn the 'Busy Executive Approach' to launching a program that shows immediate results.
-This webinar is the 3rd installment of our series discussing video first training and will serve as the final intro webinar before we learn what this experience looks like and how to execute it.

About our speaker:

Eddie Sweeney is a 30 year veteran in the Human Resources industry to come speak about his key learnings about training throughout his career. Eddie Sweeney brings vast experience from working for global companies like National Semiconductor (now owned by Texas Instruments) and Vitria.

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All right, guys, welcome to the webinar today, Unlocking Corporate Training Success. My name is Erik Ducker, a video strategist here at Vidcaster. Shortly I'll be introducing to you Eddie Sweeney, the former Chief Human Resources Officer at National Semiconductor. But before we get into Eddie and what he has to discuss, let's set the stage and the context for what we're talking about. So this is the third installment of a webinar series on video first training. And what we discussed was talking about the future of video training and how to approach it. And we got a lot of great feedback from the people who were on that webinar. It was titled Khan Academy Revolution, the why video first training is effective. And the second installment of the webinar was all about content creation. What makes effective video training content. We had the pleasure of co-hosting that webinar with GoAnimate's COO Gary Lipkowitz where we took a deep dive into what makes effective video training content. What are the visual tools that trainers have to use with video? And so this third installment is actually going to be a special presentation, a little Q and A with an HR industry veteran where we discuss the key learnings that National Semiconductor had from using video in their training for their employee development. And then, of course, if there's any topics that you guys want to discuss in this series, we're more than open to researching and presenting on those as well. In the future, over the next two months, look for webinar discussing how to actually launch these experiences, whether it's for employee training, customer training, paid training, or for actual lead generation. So I want to set the stage in understanding what video first training is, why we actually care about this. And right now in 2014, this is from the ATD training report. Classroom-only methods are still being used by about 60% of companies. And what that means is either an in-person instructor-led classroom or a virtual classroom with an instructor from a remote location. And the trend that we are hoping, and actually kind of seeing right now, is that classroom and instructor-led training is not scalable. And as you can see, that from the small size companies to the large size companies, the amount of training in a classroom actually shrinked from about 70% to 50%. And I believe that we're going to actually just see that number shrink more and more as we continue to build out what we can do with video. So how video first training fits into all this is the old approach is the standard classroom method where you go to class, you take some notes, and you pass a test or you fail a test, and you either re-take the course or don't try again. But now what we're seeing in the consumer markets is that people are seeking additional resources through video, such as like Khan Academy, for learning more about what you can do with trigonometry, for example. So this video actually has over a million views. And Khan Academy itself has over 13 million monthly active users. People who are seeking out video resources to enrich their learning from beyond just a classroom. So we're seeing that video first training in the consumer market is necessary for learning for our consumers, but we're waiting to see when the enterprise is going to kind of latch on to that idea. Because the enterprise is made up of consumers. So just to give a quick definition of what video first training really means, it's kind of the idea of creating resources that your audience can access anytime, anywhere on any device. So this means that you're creating a library for people to seek solutions to their problems when they need them or just in time instead of providing a classroom environment where they can only seek this information when the instructor is there. So without further ado, let's discuss what we're going to talk about today. So we just recapped what our previous webinars discussed. But now we're going to introduce our guest today and discuss kind of how video is applied to the various HR functions at National Semiconductor and then how to get started with video training. And what are the three takeaways that you can give to your CEO today. So without further ado, Eddie Sweeney. Welcome. How are you doing? I'm very well, thank you, Erik. Nice to be on the webinar. And it's great to have the chance to chat with you and all your colleagues. Awesome. Could you just give a high level overview of what were some of your functional responsibilities at National Semiconductor? How did you get to the point where you are today? OK, well, first, just explain the little accent you hear from me. I'm originally from Scotland but have lived here in the Bay Area for the last 25 years. And I have been in the human resources field for the bulk of my career working for companies in Europe as well as here in the US, and have spent a large proportion of my time working internationally in China and Japan, Singapore, Malaysia. So the last company that I worked for is a company called National Semiconductor. They were one of the largest chip manufacturers in the world. And we sold the company off to one of our biggest competitors, Texas Instruments, back in 2011. So since then, I do a bit of investing. In fact, I'm connected with VidCaster. And I also act as a consultant to a number of companies here in the Bay Area. So National Semiconductor was about a $2 billion company. 8,000 employees with over 50 locations around the world at the time we sold the company. And about 80% of our employees were located outside of California. So it was a very dispersed population in some large concentrated facilities, like our factories in China, Malaysia, Scotland, Maine, Texas, California. But we also had smaller regional sales and regional design offices. And we had hundreds of employees working in remote offices or even from home. So one of our challenges, and I think it was illustrated in the chart that you showed earlier, going from smaller companies to larger companies, is that over time, as companies grow and the populations expand around the world, then you start to see that companies have the difficulty of reaching those employees either for communication purposes or training purposes or whatever. And that's when many companies start to expand their portfolio of training solutions or communications solutions to include video and other vehicles. So yeah, that's a little bit about my background. Great. 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Of the 8,000 employees we had, about 1,000 of those people worked in sales and marketing. And so many of those folks were never in the office for very long, so they didn't have time to sit at their desks and watch videos or go to meetings in their small offices. So reaching those employees and keeping them connected with the company was becoming a major challenge for us. I think the other thing was trying to find the perfect time to speak to everybody was almost impossible because we were spread across so many time zones. So there never really was a perfect time to have a single meeting where we could get employees from all around the world to dial in to a call or dive into a video call or anything. So time zone's a big issue for us. All of that meant that we had increasing difficulties reaching all of our audiences around the world in a timely fashion with the same message. So our messages became more and more truncated and distributed, and we had to rely on regional managers to deliver these corporate messages. And often times, it could take up to a month from when a message was initially delivered in headquarters to when it is finally heard perhaps in a design center in Bangalore or something. So reaching all of our audiences in a timely fashion became more and more difficult. I think the other thing was over time, we found that our employees had a distinct preference for very short, focused messages. Not only was their time away from work very valuable, they couldn't take time out to stop eating with customers, they couldn't take time out of if they worked in a factory to stop the production line. So over time, we found employees having a specific preference for short and focused succinct messages. And I think that plays well to video as well. And dealing with multiple languages and then people who have funny accents like mine, that became very difficult. And while we did not do this at the time, it would have been helpful to have captioning techniques in our video capabilities as well. And that's something that VidCaster can chat a little bit about either on this call or afterwards. And then finally getting information to people when it is most needed became a challenge. So for instance, at some of our quarterly communication meetings, we would have people like our VP of sales stand up and talk about a new product release and give some talking points to the sales force as part of that. Sales people like to have that kind of information at their fingertips whenever they were going to go into a sales call, so being able to review video materials immediately before going in to visit with a customer became very useful for them. So those were some of the challenges that we faced at the time. If you want to flip the file there, Erik. These were some of the things that we tried to do and some of the lessons that I learned or the things I learned as a result using video as part of our communications and our culture building process. Firstly, by being able to loop employees in all around the world in a more timely fashion-- and I could go out to our offices in Japan or China or Germany or Estonia or Finland or whatever. And employees all around the world would tell me that they felt that they were more in the loop because of our communication efforts and our efforts to communicate timely and important information to them. And video was a key component of being able to do that. They also felt a lot more appreciated and felt more connected to the company because they were hearing the same message as their brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. So they didn't feel like they were part of a remote outpost of the corporation. Most certainly our video communications helped to build a more cohesive culture inside the company. There were oftentimes when we would be rolling out corporate initiatives with lots of examples and we would try to loop in various factories or design centers or even employees in different parts of the world with examples of that corporate strategy as a way to reinforce it and personalize it for employees. So I would say that our video communication strategy really helped to build a more cohesive culture in the company. Certainly our employees valued the ability to hear these corporate messages in a more succinct and focused manner. And certainly they liked getting that information when they needed it rather than when it was convenient for us to deliver that information. And then I think one of the other lessons that I learned was that some of the videos or the messages that we send out to our employees were never really perfect. Managers would stumble over their presentations or they would fumble their words. I had one manager in particular who was always mixing his metaphors. He would say things like, you need to close the barn door before the chicken coop opens up. So he just always fumbled these little things and he tried to be funny, but it became even more funny by making such a mess of it. I would say that employees really valued the authenticity of those messages and the timeliness that they were delivered much more so than the production value. So I know a lot of people are concerned that if I'm going to get into the business of communicating with our employees by video or training people by video, does something have to be CNN quality production? It really doesn't. That authenticity, I learned, was more important than the production value of our communications. Let me stop at that point, Erik, and see if you've got any thoughts or questions on how we addressed employee communications with video. I thought that was great. One question I may have is how did you guys know that people are watching these videos? Or what measurements did you guys take to see if people are actually watching them? Was it more of a qualitative or a quantitative approach? I have to say that we really didn't have the technology at the time we were doing this to be able to judge the number of people who were watching the videos or how much of the video they've watched. And so we relied more on post-production surveys, if you like, to get a quick thumbnail sketch of how many people had seen the message and understood it and accepted it and were able to act upon it. So we really relied more on post-event surveys than having any analytics at the time. You can boast of VidCaster's analytics platform later on. Yeah, later on. But I find it interesting that you guys found such success with video without even having those measurements in place yet. But I can only imagine you guys would have done even more if you guys were able to tell how much people were actually watching. Every time our CEO or any of our other officers traveled to the offices that we have or factories that we had around the world, employees would always express their appreciation. And they were always able to repeat back what were the corporate messages of the quarter and things like that, and that was very gratifying for our officers to hear. They at least knew that their messages were being heard and understood. And so that was very gratifying, very helpful. And by the way, it'd be a lot easier for me to get budget to do more of this stuff. That's what I was thinking. I was about to say that it seems like you had an easy buy-in once you had that feedback of people are actually watching the videos. Yeah, it was a slam dunk. Erik, let's talk about employee development. Yeah, absolutely. So I think we had many similar challenges with employee development as we had with employee communication. And that, of course, was that our audience was very dispersed. So trying to be able to roll out a large common lesson across the world was always very difficult. Like, for instance, rolling out our leadership expectations training or rolling out our compliance training or our corporate policies. Being able to roll out a big program like that across the world, it was very, very difficult as we grew and became bigger and more dispersed. We used to do lots of any classroom instructor-led training, like you showed earlier on your chart. We had lots of distributed roll outs of various training events to remote locations. We used e-learning and video quite a lot in our training. And we did a lot of both curriculum focused training, as well as more laterally, we were doing more social training, peer to peer, best practice sharing. We had lots of communities of practice across our company where we had populations of like engineers, applications engineers or design engineers or people who were expert in one technology or another like amplifiers or data converters or whatever, and so we formed these little communities of practice where inside those communities, people could blog and they could post messages and post best practice activities with each other. So we did a lot of stuff to try to overcome our global dispersion. Few other things here. A very diverse audience as well. Very diverse population. Not only in terms of nationalities and race and ethnicity and all those things, but diverse in terms of our technology capabilities and our skills and functional areas. So trying to roll out common curriculular messages for, say, our finance team around the world or our engineering teams around the world, those became bigger and bigger challenges for us. So some of those challenges were just the growing cost of reaching complete global audiences. We used to have the luxury of being able to bring groups together into our headquarters to run episodic training from time to time with various groups. But the cost of that became prohibitive, I would say. But even more difficult, just getting people to have time away from work became very difficult as well. And the logistics of just getting people all together in one place at one time for these big bang kind of training events. I would say that became more and more difficult over time. Another thing that I learned, there are generational differences and people had different learning preferences. As you mentioned in your introduction, this is the YouTube generation. People now view videos on Khan Academy. Anytime I have a problem in my garden or problem around my house or some of my musical instruments, one of the first things that I do is go to YouTube to find best practice lessons there. So that's becoming more common, I would say, for many of the employees in our organizations. To look for shorter, bite-sized, more focused training topics rather than these once in awhile, episodic, in classroom, big bang events. Let's see. Another thing that I discovered was that they're having a challenge and the people were saying, hey, you know, I need this training when I need it, not when you are able to deliver it. So for instance, if it's coming time to do performance reviews and I've got to write a whole bunch of performance reviews and do these performance review interviews, I'd really like to have the training just before those events take place rather than a few months previously when your trainer was available. Similarly, our VP of sales who would say, I'd like to be able to roll out our product training know when the product is available rather than when the instructor is available. So I'd say those were some of the challenges that we faced in training. And let's talk about how we used video to deploy some of those solutions. So one of the things then is video is a valuable element of your employee development portfolio. It doesn't have to be the one and only tool that you use for delivering employee development messages to your employees. But it is certainly a valuable component of that employee development portfolio. There are some topics that still warrant a big bang on-premise event. Sales meetings have more than just the purpose of training people on how to be better salespeople while giving them new product information. It's also a large team building event. You really can't do a lot of team building by video. That's still a topic which requires everyone to be in the one place at the one time to build the camaraderie. Similarly, there are times when you want maybe your top management team around the world to come together so that they're hearing messages directly from the mouth of the CEO and they're having that shared experience. So there are still some topics which warrant a big bang, on-premise roll out. But I say video is a nice way to complement some of the training delivery that doesn't require that kind of episodic event. I would say we were able to complete some of our worldwide program roll outs at a fraction of the previous cost by being able to deploy video. It was certainly much more convenient for our instructors and for our students to be deploying lessons by video, and by e-learning as well, I have to say, than through in-classroom events. As I mentioned before, some employees just prefer more short and focused lesson plans. And employees are getting information when they need it rather than when the instructor was available. I would say video is a great peer to peer learning tool. I'll give you an example. In our factories around the world, we employed these ultra clean rooms for manufacturing our products. And so each of our technicians had to put on these clean suits. And it often took them 20 minutes to go in to get ready before they could go into the manufacturing facility to go and repair the piece of equipment. And sometimes they would get all that gear on and go in and sit down in front of the piece of equipment only to find a problem they'd never seen before. Now in the days when I was doing this, those technicians then had to leave the [INAUDIBLE] and get de-robed and disrobed, and then email their colleagues to see if anyone had ever seen a problem like this before. How much easier is it to just take a little five minute video on your iPhone post it out to your community apprentice and get people's advice contemporaneously while the guy's still there in front of the machine? So I'd say video is a perfect tool for that peer to peer social learning. And I'd say another lesson was employees were very, very forgiving of production quality, particularly when a lesson was delivered by one of their own, like a peer or some kind of in-house expert, or somebody that they truly valued or were inspired by. So once again, authenticity and timeliness, much more important than production value. So let me pause at that point, Erik, and see if you've got any thoughts. Yeah, I mean, I guess some of the questions I have are probably related to the previous section. Employee development's super important to be able to assess engagement and also understanding of the material. Did you guys with your video have any type of metrics that you guys measured for seeing if employees were understanding the content? Or did you guys have that kind of separate, away from video? No, we didn't quite have that capability at that point, Erik. I would say that we used many of the same metrics as other people on your call probably used. We tracked the number of people trained and the cost of training. We did some pre-testing and post-testing of students as well. And some technical areas, we would go in after the training event to survey the application of those new skills. We did that with managers at first. But we didn't have very sophisticated analytics at the time. I would say video is perfect for any kind of knowledge transfer issue. New policies or new products, are compliance issues met? I know that even in your platform you have the ability to embed questions and surveys and things as part of your video training. That would have been perfect when I was doing this. So any kind of knowledge transfer is really ideal for video. Absolutely. It sounds like video, although a core component of the training at National Semiconductor, it was still isolated from all the data that was being collected throughout the training initiatives. It was. So let's get on. I'm conscious of time here, so let's move on here. In terms of employee acquisition and on-boarding, I'm going to summarize by saying that we used video more for the on-boarding part of the process than for actually acquiring talent. Just click again there, Erik. Yeah, many of our new employees would that tell me frequently of the poor experience they had as a new hire, particularly if they were in a smaller country at a more remote location. They really felt like second class employees from day one until we were able to start introducing some more contemporaneous video content to welcome them to the company. So I'd say that we really missed a critical opportunity to engage employees early on by not truly utilizing video in this part of our human resources practice. But I'd say the other thing is we had not gotten to the point of considering how to use video to tell our corporate message or talk about our corporate brand to potential employees and turn those potential employees into candidates. Kind of similar to a lead generation processor for marketeers, we had not gone through that process. And I now know of a couple companies who are in the early stages of using video to tell their company story and promulgate their brand and generate more interest among candidates. And then use the VidCaster solution to draw those candidates into their recruiting system. So I would say we were underdeveloped in terms of using video for employee acquisition. So it was introduced very late to the function. I think it could serve a much more powerful tool in promulgating the company's vision and attracting new employees to the company. So let's go to the next slide there, Erik. Yeah, so before we talk about how do you get started, I'd just like to frame this as like not everyone on this call is going to be part of a 10,000 person or 5,000 person company. So when we discuss kind of how to get started, can we frame it in the way that like, how you can approach training for a 100 person company in the same way as a 5,000 person company? Yeah, absolutely. I would say that, in fact, my first experiences with video were when I worked for National Semiconductor in Europe. And we were a much smaller part of that large company with [INAUDIBLE]. We had maybe 600 employees, but again, spread across umpteen European countries. Different languages, different countries, different skill sets. And my lesson was start small, have a pilot with the support of clients. And I had a client who was our general manager for Europe, a guy called Pat [INAUDIBLE]. He was very patient with me. He was very keen to engage employees across the region and make sure that people were committed to the company. And so he was very keen to experiment with video, just as I was. He knew that we had a challenge in reaching these increasingly dispersed and mobile employees, and so he was keen to experiment with video. By the way, I would tell you we started off with a little video camera of me filming and him sitting in a chair with a big plant stuck right behind his head and he looked like an idiot. But it was really amateurish. And I had one of my hooks standing behind me with a flip chart with the talking points on the flip chart. And so as we're making this video, you can hear the flip chart turning. That's how amateurish it was. And he would laugh and giggle throughout the video. And we just sent that out, and we sent it out in CDs. And I've got to tell you-- our employees were just thrilled. They just loved these videos. So start small, take a supportive client, have fun with it. Sell the program's success more on how to reach a dispersed and mobile audience, how to save them time. How to focus on short, focused, high impact messages. Delivering the content when the employee needs the information. And use real people in the video, like sales director talking to his sales force. What an ideal opportunity for him to reach out and touch every single salesperson with the same message? And then use it to enable your employees to train on their time and on their preferred device, and share their lessons with their colleagues. So those would be my thoughts for getting started. That's great. I had a question, but I think we're about to answer it in the next slides. I may have a preview of this presentation, so. Yeah, so can you just kind of discuss what are the three takeaways and just maybe give an anecdote for each? So if I had to leave your audience with any message, one of those messages would be authenticity. Face to face communication, face to face training is ideal, but it becomes increasingly impractical as your company grows. Video is the next best solution. But remember, speaker credibility is a lot more valuable than austere quality, production value. It's much more impactful to have individuals from your company who've got credibility and enthusiasm speaking authentically with personal examples. So I can't overestimate how important that is for getting impact. I'd say timeliness is always helpful to be able to deliver your training needs when they are needed, but these days, I'd say budget constraints and employee preferences mean that training really has got to be delivered more in these small, bite-sized components, but at the time when the employee needs it. So any CHRO is going to tell you that that means more to them than anything else when it comes to delivering training to employees. Effectiveness and timeliness. And measurement. No matter how small or large, it's always great if you're able to demonstrate your proof value with numbers. I didn't have that capability before. I know that VidCaster solution really does have the ability to track user attention as well as the portions of video that users are focused on and repeat view. And you also have the ability to embed tests and surveys and questions in videos and captioning in videos. So being able to capture all the analytics is ideal for proving out the effectiveness of your video solution. So measurement, very, very critical as well. I'm conscious of the time here, so let me open it up and see if there are any questions from the audience before we let people go. Yeah, I think we have time for just one so everyone can get back to their work day. But the question I have is what were the key metrics you had for training? Maybe I'll expand on this question for the person. What did you bring to the CEO to prove that this was being successful for all your training? Yeah, so you know, firstly, you start off with what are the corporation's strategic goals, and where does your training topic fit into that? So you always want to make sure that your training topics were aligned with what the corporation was trying to accomplish. So for instance, with a technical thing, it might have been the faster adoption of new products. And so some of the things that I would take to my CEO as metrics would be before and after statistics on what was the rate of adoption of our new products prior to the training that we did, and what was the rate of adoption afterwards? So try to prove out the effect of the training there. But above and beyond that, it would just be how many of the target audience did we manage to train? How long did it take us to get through the target audience from beginning to end? And what did it cost us to be able to complete the training of that audience? Those were the metrics that we used. But I'd say the ones that my CEO was most interested in was what was the effect of the training. So what were the results pre-test and post-test.