Case Study

Agile Transformation Management: Simplified Employee Experience

How Transforming the Digital Journey Affects Growth and Development

The People and Culture team at Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA), improves the employee development programs to better enable their teams with future-ready skills through complete, transparent corporate alignment.

The Objective

Transforming the employee experience from the traditional passive, structured, task-oriented activity to an experience that is goal-oriented and future-ready requires intentional, strategic design. Employing the flexibility of the Bridge Employee Development platform, REIWA is creating an employee-first framework to effectively deliver on:

  • Effective future-ready performance review program: Facilitating valuable employee-manager connections so performance reviews align to personal and corporate objectives. 
  • Actionable data-driven pathways for employee development: Surfacing insightful data to help guide the agile digital journey for better employee development and engagement.
  • Relevant, on-demand learning opportunities: Enabling learning and development that is meaningful, purpose-driven, and accommodates for impactful results because modules are plentiful and deliberate.      

Transforming the Employee Experience: REIWA’s Journey

As a member-owned organization, the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) represents over 1,100 agencies and more than 90% of operating real estate agents in Western Australia. The stewardship for the learning, development and engagement falls to Amanda Hardwick, EM People and Culture, who over two years ago embarked on a mission to transform the employee experience at REIWA. As a progressive, future-ready organization poised in every other facet of their operation to address the needs of their customers and employees, REIWA excelled; however, when it came to the employee experience related to performance reviews, learning, and the digital journey, Hardwick and her team had to find a solution that would enable a centralized, one-stop shop for all content, engagement, and development options for their employees and agents. 

 

While other providers offered over-engineered models, Bridge allowed the REIWA team to leverage their needs without requiring a rigid framework “Bridge caught my eye because of the simplicity of the user interface and the fact that we were on a very flexible approach to performance reviews. I was looking for something that that could really marry up with the way that I envisioned REIWA managing reviews inside our organization.”        

 

A PLATFORM DESIGNED FOR FUTURE READY ORGANIZATIONS

  • Designing end-to-end experiences impacting outcomes: “We are on a digital transformation journey where we are becoming more and more of a technology company than we a membership and advocacy organization. From my perspective, it's really about scaling for the future,” says Hardwick about how Bridge has been strategically implemented to fit into the design of REIWA’s vision of the future. 
  • Focusing on connections, not roadblocks : “It's a really positive change for us internally. What Bridge allows is an accessible point to capture conversations, whether formal or more informal, so when the time comes to have those conversations the points of reference have been documented and can be easily referenced.  As a manager I don’t have to worry about pulling out the template from months ago as a recap. Through Bridge, you can add and document everything on-the-fly or when you complete a goal. It just becomes something that’s an everyday practice.” 

 

TRANSPARENT ALIGNMENT: EVERY STAKEHOLDER, GOAL, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

  • Creating accessible perspective into the organization: “As we begin our journey, what I can say is that I have successfully been able to capture all of our execs’ and their team goals and align those to our organizational goals. Eventually, as we get further into our use, we will hope to be able to see that link through from our teams’ purpose and story to what we're trying to achieve as an organization.”
  • Nurturing an employee development mindset: “Through LinkedIn Learning, for example, we’re able to provide 7,000 - 8,000 courses. It's amazing. Because we haven't had an LMS before, learning and development has always been about going on an external course. Now everyone has access to content and can spend time - even 15 minutes - learning something new or reinforcing an existing skill. With microlearning, whether that’s 10-15-20 minutes, employees now can access learning on-the-go.” 

Impact & Feedback: Tracking Success

As REIWA starts their journey in digitally transforming their employees’ experience in growth, development and purpose-driven engagement, Hardwick and the team anticipates leverages Bridge in numerous ways: 

 

DEVELOPING TEAMS AND EMPLOYEES

  • Building an organization-wide culture of growth: “Bridge highlights the importance to our staff that we do take training and development seriously. That's why we want to be able to serve them the content they need it, when they need it.” 

COACHING MANAGERS TO BE EFFECTIVE 

  • Removing barriers for managers to connect with their teams: “We are supporting seven business units across the organization and some more formal engagements and others, not so much.  Regardless, Bridge removed the manual overhead to manage those reviews. Previously, we were missing information, it required quite a bit of dedicated manual management and often, there was missing data. With Bridge, we anticipate strong adoption through this program because we are removing quite a lot of the manual overhead.” 

ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS 

  • Data that highlights opportunities for improvement: “Although a bit early to definitively comment, however, I'm really positive that there's going to be a lot of data that helps me to understand if, for example, we might need to refocus people strategy in a specific group, or if an approach is becoming an issue for us somewhere else or if we’re misaligned elsewhere, etc.”

DRIVING BUSINESS IMPACTS              

  • Challenging existing skills for future-ready growth: “For us, it’s particularly important to as we start to look at roles that are changing at REIWA.  We need to evaluate what those roles mean, how they impact and drive better outcomes for the business. Future-ready learning and development across the organization is just bridging the gap between where we are now and where we want to be in the next year to two years.”

Make sure to check back often as we update REIWA’s story with new employee highlights and data points of success as they continue on their journey of transformation!

 

To learn more about how REIWA is leveraging the Bridge Employee Development platform, please contact us at [email protected] or 877.576.5364.

Case Study

Leadership Behaviors: When Employee Development Becomes a Mindset

How a Drive to Transform the Culture from a Compliance-Heavy Training Program Resulted in an Employee Engagement Framework

The Objective

As the Organizational and Talent Development teams at Chemical Bank faced another shift in culture due to an acquisition, they wanted to ensure that redesigning their employee development wasn’t another exercise in futility but rather a more strategic, well-designed program focused on delivering an effective tool for employees, a guide for managers to use to become better managers, and a powerful, scalable solution the organization could leverage to foster leadership behaviors in every employee, agnostic of role or business unit. That solution was Bridge.

With Bridge, Chemical Bank was looking to effectively deliver on the following strategic objectives:

  • Re-design their existing Leadership Development program: Transform a previously outmoded program to better identify high-potential leaders and provide them with opportunities to improve skills and pathways to new jobs
  • Develop a culture initiative to strengthen employees connection: As cultures from acquisitions merge together, ensure that employees remain aligned to key driving objectives of the organization
  • Refresh the tenant of employee development: Connecting components of an effective development program together to ensure long-term success: consistent employee communication, effective development plans, connecting employees with managers and mentors, connecting skills to practice.

Chemical Bank’s Approach

ChemU, Chemical Bank’s branded Bridge instance, provides a one-stop shop for all content, programs, checkpoints, live trainings, and employee development options for their 3500 employees across 200+ locations in the Midwest.

What initially started as a replacement for their antiquated learning management system was quickly overshadowed by Bridge, “We were coming up on a core banking system conversion and we needed a new LMS that was actually going to function for our end users. Instead of a system designed for just compliance training, written by lawyers on a platform that's not built for the end user. Plus it needed to give us all the capabilities that we needed: ease of use, easy implementation, robustness of functionality. We got exactly what we needed, plus more, with Bridge,” says Chris Olson, VP, Manager of Organizational Development.

As Chris looked to expand how Bridge could be leveraged within Chemical Bank, he partnered with Alex Morgan, VP, Talent Development to strategically address the broader initiative of employee development through deeper engagement in ChemU.

A Tool Designed for Employee Success

  • Designing learning that creates connections between skills with practice: “Our biggest thing with getting [the employee development] programs up and running when delivering what we promise and having something available that employees can access easily. Something that's actually helping them build the skill set, instead of just taking a bunch of e-learning courses and then calling it a day. But actually getting that skills practice,” says Morgan.
  • Connecting, tracking, scaling: “I think Bridge is really helping us take that next step in employee development because it's scalable. The ability to track it all is huge because prior to Bridge, all the stuff we are doing in Bridge was done on paper. If employees had questions, there was no where they could follow up because it was all just document on paper and pushed out in phases.”
  • Building and strengthening leadership behaviors: “We're actually moving away from calling them competencies and moving toward calling them leadership behaviors. Because leadership behaviors apply to every role. It’s more like values that we have as an organizational perspective on our people. And once we have that, we establish that within each individual business-line and define what proficiency in those behaviors looks like in each business-line.”

Anchoring Manager-Employee Connection

  • Channeling great managers to become great leaders: “We see Bridge as a system that will allow our managers to be more effective, by providing them tools and guidance to help them become better coaches and leaders. As we continue to build out our comprehensive organization-wide employee development program, the ability to track conversations and use the 1:1 agenda so both manager and employee are consistently on the same page is one of the many reasons we are drawn to Bridge. Using Bridge would allow us to remove the busy admin work from managers and enable meaningful conversations between mangers’ and their teams. I think that’s huge.”
  • Cyclical feedback - make the great, even better: “Conversations and feedback are not one-sided. Employees submit something to their manager and vice versa - it’s a guidance process, a how-to guide to performance, career, conversations, and so forth. And the idea is that they get better and better at it through osmosis. But, Bridge is there as a safety net for them if they need it. We could all benefit from the amount of change that we've experienced and to better navigate and address topics with certain employees in real-time is critical, across the board.”

Performance management made for the future of work

  • 360 reviews - combating employee turnover: Olson remarks that as a future initiative, Chemical Bank hopes to revamp the employee performance review process, moving away from the traditional annual performance reviews/rating. “We want to help accelerate our managers’ ability to provide effective feedback. Managers spend about three hours per each employee review on an annual basis and remembering all that an individual has accomplished over the course of a year proves to be quite difficult. The more direct reports a manager has, the more difficult this becomes. At this large scale there is the propensity for details to go unchecked, simply due to the sheer volume. Introducing an upgraded and more progressive performance review process will allow employees to receive more frequent feedback. We aspire to move to a quarterly schedule with a simpler version of the review itself, followed by 1:1 conversations between the manager and employee to discuss feedback and a plan for development. Once we revamp this process it will help drive our annual merit and bonus increases. By doing something like this through Bridge, it would allow us to provide meaningful and actionable feedback and streamline the employee development experience, which is ultimately our goal!”

How Chemical Bank Measured Success

By leveraging Bridge across the organization, Morgan and Olson have improved their strategic planning and execution across multiple different initiatives in a relatively short amount of time. With the support of the Bridge Customer Success team, the Organizational and Talent Development teams at Chemical Bank, a subsidiary of TCF, have been able to achieve some remarkable results:

Applying knowledge to practice

  • Non-officer, required course early completion rate: 80%+
  • Non-officer, optional course completion rate: 83%+
  • Officer, required course early completion rate: 93%
  • Assigned live course training completion: 100%

Culture Initiative’s positive impact on employee turnover

  • Initial pilot with Credit Team
    • Implementation of new Leadership Development Program, housed in Bridge, reduced turnover rate by 20% within one year 
      • 2017: Under legacy Leadership Development Program turnover percentage was reported at 37%
      • 2018: Transition to sunset the legacy Leadership Development Program turnover percentage reported at 23.94% 
      • 2019: New Leadership Development program up and running with active career paths and participating employees, 3.28% YTD turnover 
  • Engaging deeper employees: Incorporating rich media formats 
    • Leveraged Bridge Studio to share “Culture and Customer Experience Initiative” video highest engagement in optional company-wide communication in effective message sharing with employee base
      • 854 views
      • 44 positive comments, praising video and culture initiative 
      • 54 video up-votes
    • Organizational and Talent Development teams able to track views, comments, engagement metrics compared to legacy mp4 file sharing via email 
      • Initial pilot feature in an eLearning course enabling employees to provide feedback on culture survey, interact and discuss with peers 
      • Net new functionality for Chemical Bank – allowing for better employee engagement 
    • Easily accessible “Organizational Culture” library of employee resources
      • Consolidating 38+ eLearning courses, communication videos, and resources tagged in the Learning Library
        • Legacy process relied on employees to store and search for emails related culture
      • Through Bridge Studio’s closed caption feature, employees with accessibility requirements are able to consume videos at the same rate and frequency without the legacy requirement of having to read a pdf script of the video 

To learn more about how Chemical Bank is leveraging the Bridge Employee Development platform, please contact us at 877-576-5634.

Case Study

Larry H. Miller Group & Bridge

One training solution for many business entities—and thousands of dispersed employees

The Larry H. Miller Group employs 11,000 people and encompasses multiple entities, including car dealerships, major- and minor-league sports teams, multiplex movie theaters, retail stores, a radio station, and more. A cornerstone of Utah’s economy, the company has been in business for 30 years, tirelessly pursuing its vision of being the best place in town to work and the best place in town to do business.

The Objective

With so many business entities and so many remote employees operating under its umbrella, Larry H. Miller Group faces a unique challenge when it comes to training: How can the company impart its overarching core values and mission while allowing each entity to retain its own brand and meet its own respective training needs? How can this extended enterprise give its entire dispersed workforce of 11,000 employees access to e-learning? And how can it adopt a new learning management system (LMS) without jamming up operations somewhere within its network?

Ben Lowell, Director of E-Learning for Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment, says he began by looking for a solution that:

  • Offered admin flexibility for meeting the needs of distinct entities
  • Was simple for admin, managers, and employees to use
  • Provided easy access to data and reporting

“Our last LMS wasn’t very intuitive,” Lowell said. “It was clunky. For a first-time user, something as simple as publishing and posting a course was very difficult. It used to take me about 30 minutes to publish a course, and if I didn’t use it very often I’d have to relearn it all over again.”

Lowell also wanted to work with an LMS team that would offer exceptional customer service and act as a business partner with LHM Group. “We were quite serious about this, because the last company was very slow at support,” Lowell stated. “We felt that excellent support was more important than having every feature on our list. Having tons of features is no good if you can’t get answers and solutions when you need them.”

The Solution

Randy Rowley, Director of Learning and Performance for Larry H. Miller Dealerships, had arranged a demo with Bridge. He and Lowell were immediately interested in the platform. Bridge’s user-friendly design and commitment to stellar customer service made an impression, and LHM Group began implementing Bridge in the summer of 2015. So far, LHM Group’s numerous entities are using the platform for various purposes—LHM Dealerships for e-learning; the Utah Jazz for onboarding, leadership training, and sales training; Megaplex Theaters for onboarding; Fanzz for onboarding and regular skill development; and the head of arena security for compliance training. Lowell’s goal is to have every new employee onboarding via Bridge by the end of 2016 and every full-time employee using the platform regularly soon afterward.

Since the organization’s entities differ greatly in size, location, and services offered, Bridge’s Sub Accounts feature has been a lifesaver. Sub Accounts allows each entity to implement its own branding and manage its own training content—entities can function autonomously when it comes to more specific training, but high-level training remains streamlined, as a central HR team is able to administer company-wide courses and communications. The feature also makes reporting much more valuable and insightful, Lowell noted, by allowing admin to track users’ progress within a more relevant context.

Lowell is pleased with Bridge’s intuitive UX, as well. “I can show managers how to post something and know they’ll get it done quickly,” he said. “From an admin standpoint, it’s very easy to make Bridge do what I want it to do. For example, I recently finished authoring a course that teaches employees how the metal detectors at the arena entrances function. I edited some video in an external software, uploaded the videos, and then added some additional content slides and about eight questions. It took me less than three hours to author the entire 10-15 minute course. Using another authoring tool, I estimate it would have taken me twice as long.”

In addition to a reduction in course production time, Lowell has seen cost savings on logistical training costs, faster efficiency for new employees, and increased revenue. For example, it would cost a fortune to travel to 20 different states and train the employees in 115 different Fanzz retail stores. Bridge allows admin to create content and standardize onboarding and training for every location remotely. And the training is working: HQ notified Fanzz via email to start placing orders online and shipping them to guests for free when an item wasn’t in stock in the store. A few stores complied, but the results were disappointing. The Fanzz training team decided to roll out a five-minute training on Bridge and asked for all stores to complete it within seven days. By the end of the month, online sales originating from stores had increased by 300%.

And that all-important customer support? “Working with the Bridge customer support team has been excellent,” Lowell said. “They’re my favorite people! It’s not about problems coming up, but how quickly your support team responds, and within seconds on a chat, I've got a response and a resolution. If they don't have the answer, they set clear expectations for when they’ll get back to me. Ultimately, Bridge is a product and a company we can be a partner with.”

Case Study

Foundation Center & Bridge

Advancing Knowledge About Philanthropy

Foundation Center offers research, education, and training programs to people everywhere who want to change the world through philanthropy. Its website and five library/learning centers in New York City, Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, and Washington, DC—as well as 450 Funding Information Network locations worldwide—provide access to information resources and educational programs for thousands of people every day. This includes free and low-fee online courses and tutorials that teach learners how to research potential funding sources, write grant proposals, and more.

The Objective

Recognizing the potential for growth in online learning, especially for international learners, Foundation Center set out to overhaul its e-learning program. In 2013, it consulted e-learning experts from Fielding Graduate University who recommended upgrading to a new learning platform that could provide:

  • Mobile access and potential for social learning
  • Easy course creation and user management
  • A clean, intuitive interface

According to Foundation Center Instructional Design Manager Caroline Herbert, the Center’s legacy learning platform was “frozen in time.” It was so complicated that after 11 years of use, Center staff were unable to update course content or access any but the most basic user data.

In order to better serve users with an expanded online curriculum—while also increasing online course revenue—Foundation Center needed a modern, easy-to-use learning platform. For Herbert, this meant “a low learning curve for course designers as well as users.”

The Solution

Based on specific recommendations from e-learning consultants, as well as affordability, Foundation Center chose Bridge in 2015. To ensure a smooth transition for users, the Center upgraded to the Bridge Premium Implementation Package, which provides on-site consulting, planning, training, and adoption services.

Following the on-site visit by Bridge consultants, Center staff were equipped with a detailed project plan to roll out Bridge in only seven weeks.

“Having Bridge representatives on-site for four days was invaluable,” said Herbert. “We were really able to fast-track our learning curve around Bridge, and they brought up issues and raised questions about our processes that may have never occurred to us. Most importantly, their presence generated buzz throughout the organization and gave our department and this project more visibility.”

In addition to making it easy for Foundation Center course designers to create, update, and edit multimedia-rich courses, Bridge also provides access to robust data about their learners, including user progress, completion rates, scores, and time spent in a course.

Since its initial Bridge launch, Foundation Center has offered two free and one fee-based course on the platform. So far, enrollment in both courses has increased and staff have received fewer user complaints and requests for help. According to Herbert, these initial results put Foundation Center on track to meet its goals for increased users and revenue.

In 2016, the Center will begin adding new courses to its online curriculum. Additionally, Herbert said she hopes to begin experimenting with blended courses, as well as opportunities for synchronous, collaborative learning.

Case Study

William Pitt and Julie B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty & Bridge

Making the Best Investments in Dispersed-Workforce Training

The late William H. Pitt opened his first real estate office in 1949 with just $6, a telephone, and his vision to build a full-service, upscale realty company serving Fairfield County, Connecticut. Today, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty serves Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York with 28 brokerages and more than 1,000 sales associates. As the largest affiliate of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand, it leverages the extensive Sotheby’s network of more than 760 offices on six continents.
Learn more at www.williampitt.com.

The Objective

When Lance Pendleton joined William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty as the director of education and training in 2015, less than 15 percent of the company’s agents and employees participated in existing training programs. Low participation was due in part to the company’s inability to mandate training for agents working as independent contractors. But even if more of these external agents opted to participate, training opportunities were limited by the ability of one trainer to reach 1,200 people in 28 offices across three states. To improve the quality, quantity, and flexibility of training programs—and to increase voluntary adoption by external agents—Pendleton’s first priority was to find a corporate learning management system (LMS) that could provide:

  • A simple, intuitive interface that wouldn’t require its own user training program
  • Mobile access, which would enable agents to complete training on the fly
  • The ability to track course completion rates for individual users

After months of what he described as a “horrific experience evaluating complicated and clunky learning platforms,” Pendleton finally found “the game changer.”

The Solution

“I was psyched to see Bridge,” said Pendleton. “My first priority was to find a training platform that was simple to use and versatile. When I presented Bridge to our CEO, COO, and a roomful of managers, they all applauded. They’d been looking for a training solution for 15 years, and there it was.”

Almost immediately, Pendleton began using Bridge to create online courses. He said it was so easy, “it felt like Moses had just parted the Red Sea for me.”

In addition to developing the company’s first onboarding program for employees, he created a learning path for new agents. This series of online courses will free office administrators from the painstaking process of explaining company policies and procedures to each new agent. More importantly, it will provide a formal yet flexible way to enable knowledge transfer, which will get agents up to speed faster and make them more accountable.

Pendleton estimates the company’s new online training program will save 40–60 hours of annual training time for each agent. To further maximize his time during one-on-one and in-class sessions, he plans to implement a blended learning approach—using Bridge to create online course sections for learners to complete in advance.

According to Pendleton, “Our goal is to have our adoption rate at 30 percent by the end of 2016. Unlike most other corporate training structures, we can’t mandate training. We can only offer it and hope they take it. With Bridge, we can offer it, track it, and most importantly, adapt it to meet the different needs of each office—something we couldn’t do with competing systems.”

Case Study

Cardon Outreach & Bridge

Empowering Subject Matter Experts, Creating Efficiencies

With 1,300 employees in 44 states, Cardon Outreach is a leading national provider of revenue cycle management services. The company has been in business for more than 20 years, delivering health-care finance solutions to more than 650 hospitals through their integrated-service lines, single-technology platform, and patient-centered advocacy.

The Objective

Cardon Outreach, a MedData company, was on a mission to bring standardized, consistent training solutions to its geographically dispersed workforce. Stephen Evans, Director of Training and Development, was tasked with implementing these solutions in a timely manner while staying up to date on the organization’s ever-changing needs.

Evans’ team was using an LMS they’d inherited and with which they were extremely unhappy. As the end of their contract with this LMS grew near, they began researching alternatives online. Evans says they wanted an LMS that was “modern, powerfully simple, and easy to use, from a learner’s perspective as well as an administrator's.” They also had a few features in mind, including:

  • Intuitive course-authoring tools
  • Simple reporting tools
  • Simple content delivery
  • A responsive platform

Cardon Outreach demoed several learning management systems, but all signs pointed to Bridge. “A course authoring tool was extremely important to us,” says Evans. “We utilize a subject-matter-expert (SME) model of training delivery, meaning we rely heavily on SMEs to create and deliver training materials. Bridge offered the most convenient and easy-to-use authoring solution for our SMEs.” The administrative and reporting tools also resonated with Cardon Outreach’s “powerfully simple” mantra, and the pricetag agreed with the organization’s training and development budget.

The Solution

Cardon Outreach began implementing Bridge in April of 2016. Several of the organization’s SMEs were able to come to the Bridge office for hands-on training, and Evans reports that “implementation has been fabulous. This isn’t the first LMS I’ve worked on, and this has been by far the easiest implementation I’ve experienced. The Bridge team has been a great support.”

While Bridge is still fairly new to Cardon Outreach, several benefits have already presented themselves. For one, prior to Bridge, Evans and two instructional designers were creating all the courses required to train 1,300 employees. The courses covered everything from state-specific operating guidelines and insurance basics to internal processes and proprietary software to customer service skills and HR compliance. Thanks to Bridge’s easy course authoring, 15+ SMEs are now able to create and distribute courses, freeing up tons of time for Evans to focus on other areas, including overall learning-experience improvement, career development, knowledge management, and social collaboration.

Evans has also found that course creators are able to develop and deliver training much more quickly, which reduces the project backlog significantly. Cardon Outreach is on track to save hundreds of hours a year on course development. They also anticipate saving time on administrative issues such as password resets—for basic compliance training, Evans was previously spending about half of his work week just trying to get people into the system. In terms of system costs alone, Cardon Outreach anticipates saving approximately $30K over the next three years.

Other clear benefits are the reporting efficiencies and clear, digestible dashboard. “It used to take hours to get data out of our previous system. Now I can get that same data instantaneously,” Evans says. He’s also hopeful that the platform will help reduce turnover—more training materials mean more employees have the tools to succeed, and managers can now create simple, quick assessments and send them out to employees to gauge information retention. Additionally, Evans predicts that the organization’s training approach will shift to a more mobile-friendly environment. Cardon Outreach is already focusing on simple training approaches such as three- to four-minute videos supplemented with text and images, and Bridge’s device-agnostic platform will ensure that employees have access to learning materials whenever they need them, wherever they are.