Empowering a Culture Shift Through Innovative Learning and Development
Learning and Development Specialist Murray Humphrey needed to educate and empower the RetireAustralia workforce to shift towards a people-centric focus.
“We are evolving to a people- or resident-centric organization. We're moving the focus away from being an aggregator of retirement village properties and evolving into being focused on the value of our residents. That transformation requires more maturity and needs to be supported by the growth of the learning development organization,” explained Murray Humphrey, Learning and Development Specialist at RetireAustralia. “Simply put, our mission for the RALO (RetireAustralia Learning Organization) is to inculcate a learner-led culture to help our people motivate their learning to develop individual competence, and in turn, our people’s collective competence,” Mr. Humphrey stated, “which will grow RetireAustralia’s organisation development and workforce capability to be the best retirement-community owner, operator and care service provider for older Australians.”
Due to the scale of RetireAustralia, this transition would be no small feat: “RetireAustralia is an owner and operator of retirement villages within Australia. We have currently 27 retirement villages around three states of Australia. Within that infrastructure, we have over 5,000 residents...and we're growing. To service these facilities, and more importantly, our residents, we have around 450 team members,” commented Mr. Humphrey.
“There was no formal learning and developing engagement within the organization when I joined three years ago,” remarked Mr. Humphrey. “I was recruited to implement sales training within the organization. My goal was to deliver the content and maintain a training program so it could be continually updated and used. But as the focus of the organization started shifting from property to our people (residents and team members), we needed to provide more support to the organization, and broaden our focus from just sales.”
To accomplish this mission-based shift, Mr. Humphrey focused on a few key strategies:
- Leverage 70-20-10 learning to ensure engagement and retention: Core to Mr. Humphrey’s strategy was leveraging experiential learning, along with more traditional learning experiences, to ensure impactful training. “We wanted to incorporate the learning-at-work model, which is the 70-20-10, and we really needed an instrument to engage with our learners. We also needed an assessment solution, so we could document evidence of competence.” Mr. Humphrey leveraged Bridge to manage learning pathways that allowed 70-20-10 learning experiences: “Bridge provides RetireAustralia with technology to plan, implement, and assess a specific learning strategy and process. Overall Bridge provides a way to create and deliver content, monitor student participation, and assess team competency.
- Help ensure village success by developing bite-sized manager training: For Mr. Humphrey, the next big project is focused around village manager training and development. “We're in the design stage of putting the village manager development programme into Bridge, and the beautiful thing is the way we’re loading the information into the system: We’re going to drip-feed weekly small pieces of the program on a regular basis, cutting the 12-month program into bite-sized chunks designed around assessment criteria.”
How RetireAustralia Measures Success
Mr. Humphrey measures success for RetireAustralia's learning initiatives in a few ways:
- Create high levels of adoption and social learning: For Mr. Humphrey, adoption of new training and developing programs is an important KPI. “We want initially to have a 75% usage of the system. If we send out a trainee program, at this early stage we're finding that 70% of team members in that Smart Group are interacting with their fellow learning community team members, which is wonderful because they’re expanding learning from the 10% to the 20% in the learning model.”
- Encourage consistent completion: As the programs are imperative from a mandatory training perspective, Mr. Humphrey wants to ensure that training is completed as quickly as possible for team members. “For example, with any new team members coming on, I’ll be checking to ensure they complete their first five modules within seven days of starting. That will be one of the new-hire, day-one-type metrics we look at.” › Ensure team members have a great learning experience: Mr. Humphrey has a very specific measurement around training experience. “One of the benchmarks is feedback. The last question I ask is ‘Would you recommend this training to a fellow staff member: yes or no?’ I have to have a 90 percent yes rate. For my three years, I’ve had a 100% yes rate. So I'm really happy with that.”