The All Aboard Prequel 

In a twist on the Learning Uncut ‘What Happened Next’ episodes previously published, where we  follow up on what happened with a solution that a guest shared in an earlier episode today’s story is about ‘What Happened Before’ – a prequel if you like.  In episode 47 I spoke with Julian Davis and Naomi Waldron about the Queensland Rail All Aboard program.  All Aboard was recognised as the best induction and onboarding program in the Australian Institute of Training and Development’s 2019 Excellence Awards.  After publishing episode 57 I saw Sharni Nowland, today’s guest, comment on LinkedIn.  I reached out to her and discovered that she drove the development of the business case that led to the redesign of the All Aboard program.

When we spoke I realised that Sharni had successfully addressed challenges that many other learning professionals face in their organisation.  The first of these is the way that learning solutions which address compliance requirements can evolve over time and, despite the best intentions of the solution designers, end up cumbersome and unengaging.  The need for sound organisational-wide governance of mandatory training is clear but is often lacking in organisations.  The second challenge is delivering eLearning to regions with poor intent connection.  Finally, how to build a compelling  business case for a learning program.

In this episode Sharni discusses how she and her colleagues tackled these challenges.  Hear about the need for change, how the business case was developed using stakeholder input and data analysis, and the selecting and building a relationship with a partner to develop the program.  Keep listening to the end for Sharni’s tips on building a case for change.

Episode Highlights

– Why a face-to-face onboarding workshop became unsustainable, and what was lost when it was replaced with eLearning supplemented with manager guidance for onboarding

– Understanding how long it is really taking people to complete eLearning and the practical considerations such as rostering and internet issues

– Being careful with the range of learning programs designated as mandatory, and the need for organisational wide governance over compliance programs

– The need to challenge content owner requests for mandatory training – “Sharni says no!”

– Just because people are completing compliance training doesn’t mean they actually know what to when they need to – “Do we evacuate now or just get ready to evacuate?”

– The importance of ensuring that onboarding conveys to new starters that they have joined a good organisation

– Getting out into the workplace to understand operational complexities and what day-to-day work looks like for frontline staff

– Using feedback, anecdotes and data to build a compelling business case for a learning solution

– If you have a gut instinct that something needs to be changed back yourself and pave the way.

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What Happened Next (or Before!) Episodes

Case studies are often present the status of a solution at a point in time.  In the spirit of keeping it real, Learning Uncut follows up with guests on what happened with their solution over time.  We present the sequel.  In a twist on this, our episode with Sharni Nowland is a prequel – looking at the backstory to a previously published episode.  Keep an eye out for the What Happened Next episodes and be sure to listen to the previous episode for the full story.  Here’s a list of all of them published to date:

– Episode 43 Nicole White – sequel to episode 2 Podcasts for Learning

– Episode 43 Denise Meyerson – sequel to episode 4 Rethinking Learning for Customer Service

– Episode 43 Emma Weber – sequel to episode 7 Learning Transfer Bot

– Episode 44 Arun Pradhan – sequel to episode 18 Developing Continuous Learning: The Making of Learn2Learn

– Episode 52 Jem Mills and Bianca Zingus – sequel to episode 13 Co-Create Change with Experiential and Social Learning

– Episode 53 Sharni Nowland – prequel to episode 47 All Aboard for Engaging eLearning


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