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How Vodafone Re-Designed Learning to Reap Big Results

Roberta Gogos
Feb 18 2022

It’s part III of the series and we are on a roll when it comes to talking about how workflow learning is enabling companies to ramp up performance in a demonstrable way. In part I of the series - It’s Time to Consider a New Way of Looking at the Learning Journey - we looked at why companies should move away from a majority course-led, ‘teach and train everything approach’ and how workflow learning (at work, during work - in the flow of work) can enable better performance results and greater competence of every employee. 

In part II, we tapped the knowledge of Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson, looking at the ‘5 Moments of Need’ in learning, showing how Fuse is a great enabler of learning the way people actually want to learn at work - which is (for the most part) on the job, in the flow of work. 

We’re not knocking formal training, but our post makes the point that when you design learning for active participants looking to apply it as they work, you may find you don’t need so much in the way of formal training when all is said and done. Workflow-focused, performance-first learning can literally halve time-to-competency.

Building on this theory, we’re going to show you workflow learning is helping reap big results with some examples from our longtime customer Vodafone. 

The multinational telecoms company is a perfect example of how Fuse can enable every employee’s desire and ability to learn, grow and perform quickly on the job, while also enabling continuous learning in today’s rapidly changing world. Read on to hear more about Vodafone’s L&D experiment that would prove once and for all just how powerful workflow learning is.

Vodafone: Where Workflow Learning Boosts NPS Scores Above and Beyond

In 2015, Vodafone introduced the Fuse knowledge and learning platform to 5000 new employees and global call centre agents. The company was concerned that its classroom-centric approach to learning and development was taking its advisors away from customers for too long. 

In this sense, Vodafone was a perfect use case for workflow learning. When we listen to what Bob Mosher has to say about it, the goal to reduce training time and time to competency is a prominent driver of performance-first, workflow learning: 

When you focus on performance-first, we find three remarkable things happen over and over and over. Training, on average, is reduced by half. If you shift to an applied first design approach you don't have to train everything; it's not the responsibility of the trainer to wake up every day and feel the burden of having to teach everything. 

"The more important thing is that we're in the business of competency. In performance-first design we see time-to-competency reduced on average by half because it is an enablement model. It is a journey of transfer and sustain, not a 'dump model', which is what the training-first mindset tends to be.” 

Vodafone proved a great tested example of the power of workflow learning. The company grabbed the bull by the horns and ran a full-scale A/B testing experiment in real-time with 5,000 new employees over a course of a year. 

The company split employees into two groups. One group followed the original classroom-centric model. They took courses and were 90% formally trained before starting their new positions. 

The second group of employees went straight to work on day one, spending 70% of their learning time on the job with knowledge at their fingertips through their mobile phones. 

Vodafone also did some serious testing to prove its results. At the end of the trial period, the NPS (net promoter score) for those trained with formal training was at 12 points, while those who trained 70% on the job had an NPS score of 84 points. The average for the role is 72 points. 

This means the workflow learning-enabled employees generated better NPS scores than even experienced workers, simply because they already had the knowledge in the palms of their hands.

How Fuse is Helping Vodafone Leverage The Power of Continuous Learning for Job Performance

I don’t think we need to prove the power of workflow learning as a model again and again, but amongst L&D leaders, we often find a gap in the understanding as to how technology can help. 

In our last post, we talked about How Fuse supports the 5 Moments of Need in Learning. What we also want to show you is how Fuse supports continuous workflow learning, beyond just the initial consumption of knowledge to get a task completed. 

With Fuse, Vodafone is able to track its learner’s progress and understanding. The Fuse Universal Analytics dashboard has given the company transparency into what content is working best, and what encourages the most engagement. 

For example, the company has found that recording the people known in the business as the highest performers (subject matter experts) has really helped increase engagement. Within a couple of clicks, advisors and managers can capture and post videos to their regional community, sharing tips, best practices and perfect pictures, often going viral within minutes.

As Vodafone puts it:

We now have a regular drumbeat to our communications, which are received through notifications within the Fuse app, where advisors can comment, like and share - it’s a huge contributor to the overall success and engagement of the programme.” 

It’s also a testament to how well the workflow learning model works in the day to day, long term. Far from a one-off model that only works with new employees, workflow learning has proven time and time again at Vodafone that it can have an ongoing impact on the output of learners, while Fuse provides managers with great coaching tools to have continuous conversations. 

We’re Not Done Yet! Avon Is Yet To Come

There’s one more blog in the series, and in it we are going to show you how Avon generated unheard of results by shifting its L&D strategy from a traditional to workflow learning model. Even Bob Mosher would be blown away by these results! 

In the meantime, if you’d like to have a discussion to discuss how we can help your move to workflow design to boost your learning based outcomes and performance, get in touch today.

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