Learning: The Key to Bringing Out the Best in People

Episode 7 August 28, 2020 00:22:56
Learning: The Key to Bringing Out the Best in People
The Edge: A Skillsoft Podcast
Learning: The Key to Bringing Out the Best in People
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Hosted By

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

Show Notes

In these unpredictable and challenging times, learning and talent development have emerged as priorities for many organizations. At Cox Enterprises, learning has always been a core business priority and is leveraged to unlock potential in employees. Today’s guest Kelly Moyle, senior HCM consultant at Cox Enterprises, joins host Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek to discuss the democratization of learning, Cox Enterprise’s guiding principles, and fostering a culture of learning.
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to the edge, a Skillsoft podcast for learners and leaders alike to engage in thought provoking conversations and open dialogue on the topics of learning and growth in the workplace. Today's guest is Kelly Moyles senior human capital management consultant at Cox enterprises, a family of businesses that primarily drives innovation in the communications and automotive industries. But before we dig in, I want to acknowledge the Cox enterprises team who just last week won gold in Brandon Hall groups, excellence in human capital management awards for best use of mobile learning. Congratulations on this incredibly well-deserved accolade to you and the entire team at Cox Kelly. Speaker 2 00:00:49 Well, thank you so much, Michelle. Yeah, it was really a great surprise that we won that award. It was excellent. Speaker 1 00:00:56 Oh, that's wonderful. It is a pleasure to have you here today. And I think we're going to talk a little bit about mobility and mobile usage in a moment. Um, but I want to thank you and your colleagues for being such valued partners. We are thrilled that Skillsoft and SumTotal have played such a vital role in the launch and evolution of learn at Cox and are so proud to see this program gain the recognition as a best in class model for delivering a consumer grade experience and democratizing learning across the organization. Now, before we talk about learn at Cox, um, you know, I want to start by talking about Cox enterprises, north star, right? Empower people today to build a better future for the next generation. It's so incredible to see a brand not only stand up for, but truly live its guiding principles every day. And I think this is even more important in today's world in which we find ourselves. Kim, can you talk a little bit more about Cox's guiding principles and how they influence you and your team's passion purpose and, and, and the goals that you've set for yourself? Speaker 2 00:02:01 Certainly, yeah. Cox is really, truly one of the great organizations out there. I'm Alex Taylor, the president and CEO of Cox. He worked with, uh, visionary thinkers, Simon Sinek to develop what we, that, that vision and ROI, right, empower people today to build a better future for the next generation. It's so powerful for a company that's actually a fourth generation family owned business with almost 50,000 employees to continue to evolve and innovate, right? So that, that why our nurse, our north star right, inspires our company's purpose, how we do business today and then how we shape that tomorrow. So along with that, why our house, which I I've, I enjoy these, there are a lot of fun, right? Do the right thing, always lead by example, bring out the best in everyone, make a little music and do that all in the spirit of Cox. So my team supports the entire organization by enabling the platform. Speaker 2 00:02:58 We mentioned some total and the content that's Skillsoft content that's available to all of our employees, right? If I think about how our guiding principles influence the passion that I bring to work and what my team does is that the, the learning that we support is critical to the organization, right? Learning enables the business and we are empowering RMP our people every day by supporting programs that help develop leadership competencies, those critical business skills, safety training, that's so important to enabling the business, to even function. And in this current climate where there's this massive necessary cultural shift, right? Enabling that very important inclusion and diversity training. So our team does that by we're, we're being fluid, we're responding to the business need and helping tailor solutions in addition to being proactive and informing the business of what's available in both that platform in that current. Speaker 1 00:03:53 Yeah, I think that's fantastic. And you know, I, I, when you, when you mentioned sort of the, those qualities that the elements of your guiding principles, the one that spoke most strongly to me is bring out the best in everyone because at Skillsoft, one of our core beliefs is that every person has the potential to be amazing. So I feel like those, um, there's not Speaker 2 00:04:12 Aligned. Right, Speaker 1 00:04:13 Right. They're very aligned. And, and, you know, I think it's because learning has such immense power in helping people unlock their own potential, enabling them to grow and thrive, even in again, difficult climates. I think the challenge, particularly for an organization like Hawks, you've got 50,000 geographically dispersed employees. Many of them are located in field. You know, that the challenge really is how do you deploy a learning program that is democratized, that is accessible by all. Can you tell us a little bit about learn at Cox and, and the transformation of this program to provide that equal access, to training and learning opportunities for all employees, even those who might not have access to a traditional computer or laptop. Speaker 2 00:05:00 Yeah, absolutely. Um, I'd like to dive into what that bring out the best in everyone means. And some of this is, is like, is, is corporate speak actually, but it's really powerful. I think so everyone has unique talents and abilities that they bring to work. And we want to recognize and cultivate those abilities because that helps not only the individuals we work alongside, but it helps Cox retain that strong motivated workforce. And for Cox, I have to add that that doesn't mean that strictly it's our work talents and abilities Cox really recognizes the individual as a whole. And that that whole self contributes to the success of the organization, not just that work self. So if we talk about how we're learning Cox fits into that, um, our LMS was implemented about three years ago and, uh, brought together all of our divisional learning teams and seven different LMS is down to one into one platform. Speaker 2 00:05:51 And our vision, there was, uh, to create connections that amplify our Cox collective genius. So since then we've been constantly evolving and constantly improving. Um, and that next gen, that learner Cox mobile app project follows on the heels of this next gen learner experience that we launched in January 19 and what we did with that as we, uh, redesigned our platform or our desktop platform. So it had an intelligent, uh, personalized landing page. And then we integrated that, um, media rich engaging Percipio content, and all of it had that focus on the learner, but we still had another step to go. So we knew that we know that people are using their mobile phones more than any other device, and they expect organizations to bribe them with technology that's as good as what they use every day. Right? So to further our employee development, the learn at Cox program needed to go mobile, to be anywhere, anytime learning and put that learning right in the Palm of their hands, literally make it accessible. So we so many employees in the field, uh, across various technicians and retail stores that don't have ready access to a computer. It was critical to have that seamless access to the same training and learning opportunities as their corporate colleagues. So what we did was we took that personalized next gen project, and we made it, we made it mobile for everyone, Speaker 1 00:07:17 And I think that's fantastic. And I want it, I want to come back to something you said, because it struck me this notion of the whole person. I think there's so much synergy between, um, Cox and Skillsoft. We, we recently redid our brand. And one of the things that we learned, we found these three aha moments that I think are really interesting. You know, we've always led with learning and that's great, but the biggest revelation, I think to us was that it's about people, right? It's about the people who are learning and the people who make a difference and learning matters because of the impact it can have in people's lives. That's number one, number two, we learned that we have to connect with their whole person. Um, so people aren't just customers or employees, they're complex, they're highly emotional and they've got their own perspectives, values, and interests. And then the third thing that I think ties as well, is that learning, isn't just an action. It's a mindset, right? So there's gotta be this personal commitment to the continuous journey of learning. And it's clear to me that Cox has been able to foster a culture of learning and embed development into the fabric of your organization. In that way, maybe you can talk a little bit about the impact that you've been able to have on the business as a whole. Speaker 2 00:08:28 Sure, absolutely. So we've had, um, numbers wise, right? Significant amount of w w if we're speaking directly to this mobile app project, right. Significant numbers of employees access the mobile app and then interact with it, we're measuring all of those. And so that culture of learning in that beddedness it's so it's, I would think it was aggressive to say that we've achieved that pinnacle of the culture of learning, but what, from what I've seen, Cox is so much further along than other organizations in creating it. And some of our business lines are very degrees of that culture and embeddedness, but right, that work's never done, it's constantly evolving. You're constantly responding to the business theme, constantly responding to that person, that whole person, and what do they need at that at that particular time? So our mobile functionality has really made a significant difference. So we are thinking mobile first with content and the functionality and, and that access. Speaker 2 00:09:21 So our code of conduct training that we launched last year, it had to be mobile first. That was the key to the project launch because we had to reach all of those people, um, flexibility. So now our, our, in our stores, our Cox solution stores, our, um, employees can use iPads instead of having to tie up a store point of sale system, or, um, in our auctions, they're not tied to hardware kiosks, right? That the learning is much more flexible and suited to the business needs. So where we are, we're trying to weed that culture of learning throughout the every day. And then, um, most impactful of all is that we were able to, um, with our field technicians, save, say the company almost $1.2 million, because they didn't, they had to have a laptop for learning before and now they didn't, but they didn't use it for anything else. And now they own, we could, they could use the company issued tablet or phone that they already had. So, um, yeah, that culture of learning we're working on it, we're, we're moving towards it, but it's, it's, it's definitely an evolving process and something you're working on all the time. Speaker 1 00:10:26 That's really interesting because you talk about, um, mobile first and we, we look, we know that you think it's something like one in five American adults report that they access the internet by a smartphone only, which means that we're already heading into a mobile first or even mobile only world potentially. Right. Um, and so it's one thing to get the content and to get the learning into a mobile device in a way that is consumable. But then you've got to really shift learner behavior because we're kind of used to sitting in front of a monitor and taking right. These traditional standard courses. So how do you pivot and adapt to the changes that are necessary and learn a behavior so that you can still continuously drive that consumption. That is so important, particularly as you think about areas of training like safety, which you know, is paramount. Speaker 2 00:11:16 Sure, absolutely. So our, um, the, the marketing campaign, so we went through with this project. It was a huge effort with, uh, testing and technology, but we also had huge change management and that involves some marketing of the campaign, right. To drive that consumption to drive adoption. Um, and the related, uh, tagline was at Cox. We care about your learning and development, and we want you to own your own career journey, even on the go, if you think about it, there's nothing more apropos than on the go right now, right. Everything is on the go. Um, so as we drive our, the enterprise wide learning programs, then support those division led programs. Um, we've always been focused on the learner. So I don't think even in this, these times their needs haven't changed, but definitely the volume of that consumption might have changed. We are seeing definitely an uptick in, um, learners using or learning. Speaker 2 00:12:11 Right. Um, and we had to, right now, we needed to pivot some of that. The content that we provide is insane, but we had to pivot some of the programs and provide them in a slightly different way. So we have the content, we have the platform, and it's just a matter of, does the learner take the content from a Dex desktop in the office or remotely by a laptop, tablet or phone from home. So we've had to be, especially in, in, in the, you know, the COVID-19 world, what was really important was being fluid. So, okay. This is supposed to be ILT. Well, we can support that via VILT in our platform. And okay, now you've onboarded and you need to take training, but now you're, you, you don't have that company issued laptop right away. It's on its way. So now we do like mobile to the rescue. Um, one of our biggest successes through, through what we're going through right now through the pandemic was that our Cox communications division was able to quickly pivot and provide five weeks of, uh, customer care onboarding training that was, um, in-person to mobile for their new hires. So it's huge. We were, we were ready for what was coming because we had already implemented this mobile platform. Speaker 1 00:13:26 Yeah. I think that's fantastic. And maybe we can touch on the pandemic. It's kind of hard and, um, in today's world, not to, uh, right. Not to talk about it cause we're through, I mean, incredibly disruptive, unpredictable and challenging times. We don't know what's ahead. And you know, the thing that I've noticed perhaps in the past few months is how, how resilient people are. Um, you know, almost immediately upon the outset of work from home, um, we know that learning and career development emerged as perhaps one of the biggest priorities for organizations to help their employees, um, to help their managers, whether it is to figure out how to adapt to a virtual work environment, whether it's how to manage teams remotely, uh, or through adverse circumstances, whether it's acquiring those future proof skills, particularly at a time when people are, are, are seeing the opportunity and need to re-skill. So, so tell me a little bit more, how Cox team members have taken perhaps more interest in learning during this pandemic and what they've done as a result. Speaker 2 00:14:39 Sure. We, like I said, we definitely saw a tick in the consumption of learning. Right? Absolutely. Um, but a lot of that, the content was interesting. It was relating to how do I effectively manage our work remotely. We had a lot of employees that had really hadn't done that before. My, my team did, we were, uh, we were already working remotely, but some had just they're used to going into the office every day. So that content we offered related to managing and working through the pandemic was especially pop popular. So some examples of that as our cut cuts communications had been highlighting, uh, topics related to security and safety, but they swapped that out for promoting content with related to business continuity or leading virtual teams, right. To get them used to how to work remotely and maintain that pro productivity during the pandemic. Right. Cox auto, um, because they came to back to work a little bit sooner than some of the rest of our folks in our Manheim auction sites, they put some extensive effort, very extensive effort into creating curriculums related to COVID safety and coping, um, utilizing that enterprise wide content that we already had available. Speaker 1 00:15:53 You know, I think that's, I think that's fantastic. And, and you know, one of the things somebody asked me is, you know, what does the future hold for learning and talent development? Of course, you know, that's, I think everybody's asking themselves that question. And one of the things I I know is, is probably so critical for all of us to think about is how can we be more agile? How can we adapt to changing circumstances? Because I think that's what we're seeing here is just this massive shift. I don't think any of us, I know none of us would have predicted that we would be operating in the environment, working from home in the way that we are. And so that's not something, you know, you, you can't tell somebody what the next challenge is going to be. What you can teach them, how to do is adapt. You can teach them to be resilient. You can teach them to be agile. So as you think about, you know, that question, you you've got 50,000 Cox enterprise employees, um, and you are working hard to bring out the best in everyone as central pillars across your organization. What does the future hold for you as you seek to foster talent development, as you work to empower and enable growth for all Cox employees? Speaker 2 00:17:03 You know, I, I don't think our vision and what we've been working towards really changes. We have, you know, we we've already been mobile. We're, we're making our content available. We're still working with our employees the same way we have before. Um, so some of the things that we were had already been working on are going to continue to do is, um, we're making sure that we are reframing and promoting learner learning as an enabler of work for the business. It's not an interruption, it's not a painful, right, it's this. And it helps enable the business. And we're double clicking into what that means and how we spread that message across the organization, technology wise. Um, again, same thing. We have the foundation, we have the platform, we have the content we're still going to where we need to get to that engagement. That's something that we were trying to do before the pandemic, and we're going to continue to do that. Speaker 2 00:17:57 So, um, we're going to, like, that includes all the other things that make up the rest of the learning ecosystem. Are we doing crowdsourcing, um, augmented and virtual reality, we're on our roadmap. So how do we bring that in, you know, augmented, you can do virtual reality. There's a little bit of an issue with headsets and touching things now. Right. So how do we, how do we make that happen? But it's still on the roadmap micro and adaptive learning. Um, and then Ms. Teams has just been, um, a rock star throughout this. So the uptick in the use and the collaboration on that platform. So how can we leverage that with learning? So that's a new thing. That's come on board, but the rest of that engagement piece, we've already been working on it. And then, um, that impetus for the, the, the, for the discussion was the learn at Cox mobile app, right? Speaker 2 00:18:47 And so we're continuing down that road to right, uh, increase adoption for the content we have there, the audio books, any new content providers that we may bring on board with something that, you know, something different. Um, and then also one of the huge things, a huge nugget that we're trying to get to is to fully understand why people take elective learning and how do you drive that, bringing out the best in people, moving the needle on that culture of learning. So it's not just, I'm required to take this, but like what drives people to take to go in and just independently learning. Speaker 1 00:19:22 So can I just share with you my absolute love for Microsoft teams right now? Um, I don't want this to be a commercial, but Speaker 2 00:19:31 You're crushing Speaker 1 00:19:32 On them crushing on it because it has, it has been a game changer during this pandemic. You know, I I've always relied on, um, these kinds of these kinds of, of communications tools far more than email, but at a time now, it's amazing. And I have to tell you a funny story. So my husband who never worked remotely, like he was in the office every single day. So of course they shut down his office and he says to me, they're rolling out this thing called teams. Do you know how to use it? Or do you, I'm like, do I have a course for you? Um, but you know, I think it's interesting because we've all had to learn how to work a little bit differently, but I think that there have been some tools that have been absolutely amazing and, you know, so grateful that we have access to the types of technology. Speaker 1 00:20:22 Now, w I worry a little bit about digital fatigue that's for another day, another conversation, but, you know, Kelly, as we, as we, as we close out today, and by the way, I really enjoyed this. So thank you so much for joining me. I think it would be helpful for, you know, if there's advice that you would give your peers, particularly in the learning and development field, who might be looking to expand their programs, democratize learning truly in their organizations to establish it as a continuous and critical journey. What advice would you give your peers? Speaker 2 00:20:55 Well, when, you know, when we talk about that democratization of learning, um, that means opportunities for learning and development and advancement and that skill building for everybody in the organization. I have seen organizations where it is, it is limited to very few, but making it available to everybody and creating that culture of learning. As I said several times, right? Constant almost it's a daily evolution of the learning organization, responding to the daily challenge, changes in the business and how do we make, what does our organization need to know, need to learn to be able to succeed, but doing it right in that authentic way. And so if we, when, when, when, you know, when you talk about authenticity as a learning and development professional, I need to respond to that. Why in the organization that started this conversation, right? Or the decisions that I'm making, am I empowering people today to build that better future for the next generation? So that's how we do it at Cox. And I think that would be the advice, right. Um, making it available for everyone, staying fluid, driving, continuing to drive towards that culture of learning and then being authentic about it. Speaker 1 00:22:08 I love that. I love that. And I think that's a great place to end this. I really want to thank Kelly Moyle, senior human capital management consultant at Cox enterprises. I mean, and just an amazing conversation. And congratulations, I'd like to acknowledge the Cox enterprises team for their amazing win. Um, in gold in Brandon Hall, whole groups excellence in human capital management awards for best use of mobile learning. We know that's just been such a game changer for you. Um, congratulations to you, Kelly, and the entire team. And thanks so much for joining me today on the edge. Speaker 2 00:22:43 Thank you, Michelle. Thanks. Uh, thanks to you and Skillsoft for having us appreciate it.

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