Keeping Pace With the Changing Nature of Government Jobs
DEW uses Bridge to offer blended learning, help employees collaborate, and train as needed on new legislation.
Government agencies globally, like other organizations, face similar challenges confronting the workforce structure and requirements of today, while preparing their employees for the future state of work. While functioning under the watchful eyes of the public, budgetary constraints often add additional complexities to the already harrowing task of ensuring regulatory nuances are consistently followed. Additionally, with numerous vendors, seasonal contractors, remote employees, changing regulations and laws - it’s not a surprise that standardizing training and development for government agencies, regardless of affiliation, is a monumental task.
Advances in technology have altered the practical ways that employees are able to complete their work and the steep increase of “non-industrial” government workers indicate a shift in government jobs toward more creative, collaborative, and complex work. With this change shift, agencies are finding themselves creating new programs and alternate learning solutions that address the of needs of the broader employee base, regardless of geographic orientation. The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) in South Australia was faced with finding a solution that would:
* Easily scale learning and development for a broad range of employees
* Efficiently train the entire workforce on new legislator changes, on an as-needed basis
* Blended options to incorporate several learning modalities
* Effectively share insight from key sources of knowledge throughout the organization
The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has worked to conserve, sustain, and help the people of South Australia to prosper. Working across eight natural resource management regions, the Department has to sustain the learning and development for employees, vendors and contractors through every fiscal season, in every region. As legislation and regulations are updated or amended, process improvements are actualized across the Department, safety regiments are enforced and re-educated to employees and contractors; it is essential for the Talent and Development team within the People and Performance Group to ensure that all the content is not only engaging and current but accessible for remote employees, alike. “We have employees who are dispersed throughout the State including some of the most remote locations in Australia. Our corporate employees are primarily based in the capital city, we have employees who are located in our regional centres and in other parts of the State such as Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln etc. We needed a solution that everyone could use to help support our different learning interventions or methods,” explains Leanne Hext, Manager of Talent and Development within the People and Performance Group.
“We also wanted to be able to support our subject matter experts to deliver key modules of learning without having to facilitate long trips all around the state. This allows us to scale and extend foundational programs that are required for all employees. For example, our Procurement program is one that is required across the department but also requires our Procurement team to travel on one to two days trips across the state to deliver the training. With Bridge Learn, they can share their knowledge and we can extend those programs through multiple options and it frees up the experts’ time to dedicate to additional initiatives,” adds Leanne of how Bridge Learn has been able to help the Department command the sharing of experiential proficiency.
Additionally, employing Learn’s native in-app authoring, Leanne and her team support curating content “to enable up to date health and safety training to occur through Bridge; courses to raise the awareness of what constitutes inappropriate behaviour in the workplace; how to have effective performance review and development conversations between managers and employees; procurement and the code of ethics.”
DEW is at the forefront of adapting, and choosing to, create a flexible workforce that has the ability to adapt to the future of work because they are able to expedite learning and development, across regions without traditional roadblocks because of archaic learning management systems. Through the agility of Learn, DEW has been able to create “just in time” content that is employed cross-functionally. “We are able to provide online development options that support our face to face training programs in a much more streamlined and efficient way," explains Leanne.
The creation of a department-wide, centralized learning and development solution that allows for the sharing of relevant, contextual content provides significant benefits, including:
- The ability to apply resources when and where they are needed
- Increased knowledge flow across regions, departments and teams - from experts to frontline implementers - while maintaining alignment and focus on department-wide goals
- Creating personalized learning experiences that leverage collaborative communities to deliver “just in time”, relevant content and education through programs to build knowledge bases
- Promote a culture of continuous learning for all employees in the department irrespective of where they are located
- The ability to provide consistency of information
- The ability to provide targeted development courses for different audiences
“Bridge is a learning management solution that is easy to use, and easy to create content. It also allows us to change content when we need to, instead of having to pay external agencies to make those changes at a significant cost.”
As DEW continues to expand its use of Learn, they plan to inaugurate a more diagnostic approach to analytics, including expenditures related to training and development, as well as reviews on the return on investment. Additionally, automating the engagement of learners in optional learning through self-registration.
How DEW Measures Success
- Sustain broad learning options - The Organisational Development team at the Department for Environment and Water supports a largely geographically dispersed employees who need access to learning and development options. In order to sustain learning paths for their broad set of needs, DEW recognized that implementing a flexible, scalable solution would help motivate and manage employee development in a distributed environment, which emphasis communication, accountability, trust, and performance.
- This will be measured through the uptake of the development courses, particularly in the regional sites.
- Additionally, this will be measured through a review of the current vs new expenditure on learning and development in DEW.
- Connecting knowledge: DEW understands the critical role that knowledge management plays within a sustainable growth plan and as such, they have committed making knowledge gained in one area readily available throughout the rest of the department. Through efficient tagging, cross-functional promotion of relevant, applicable content, and social learning DEW has created a roadmap for a productive culture of learning.
- This will be measured through the review of the areas within the Department who have developed courses pertinent to their area of expertise
To learn more about how South Australia’s Department for Environment and Water is preparing tomorrow’s government employees to respond with technology-first, impactful learning and development with Bridge Learn, contact us at [email protected] or 877.576.5364.