Conway Corporation Sees Increased Engagement with Blended-Learning Approach
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Conway Corporation is a utilities provider in Conway, Arkansas that provides electric, water, wastewater, video, internet, voice and security services. With an extremely diverse workforce, from hourly customer service employees to linemen, sewer plant workers, and usual in-office business functions, Conway Corporation had a wide array of training needs to fulfill.
Kyndall Brown, Customer Experience Coordinator for Conway Corporation, joined the team in 2018. She knew from previous experience that HSI content would help meet their various training needs. At that time, Conway Corporation only offered HSI training to their customer service team, “but I knew that [HSI] could grow with us,” explained Brown.
Fast forward to 2021, and Conway Corporation has broadened their assortment of HSI content to include HSI’s entire Business Skills and Workplace Compliance libraries, accessible to all departments.
A Blended-Learning Approach
Kyndall’s first experience with HSI content at Conway Corporation came while developing a new customer service training program that was proactive, planned, and adaptive to the needs of the department. HSI content helped to accompany their monthly in-person and online customer service training curriculum. It resulted in better customer service experiences and a more positive mindset towards training.
After experiencing initial success with their customer service training program, Conway Corporation started incorporating HSI training videos in a blended capacity in additional departmental training programs. Safety teams were using HSI videos in their assigned monthly training, and HR began using the videos for new hire orientation topics like anti-harassment, discrimination, and more. “Departments would launch a month-long training module at the beginning of the month, and the basis of that module would be HSI content followed by an instructor-led workshop to build on concepts and find opportunities for application,” Brown said.
Training topics extended beyond each department’s traditional training needs. For example, “our customer service team is currently working through the Creativity series,” says Brown. “They watch one module a month, and then have a group workshop where they apply the skills they learned in the creativity videos to a customer service experience. Using a broader range of topics to train employees can help foster creative problem solving and an out-of-the-box approach."
After launching HSI training content, Conway Corporation began to see an increase in employee engagement levels, especially when it came to self-directed learning. “At the end of 2019, we had 34 unique users and 382 completed courses; by the end of 2020, we had 140 unique users and 1670 completed courses,” said Brown. “My favorite part is that many of those course completions were not assigned -- they were from employees engaging with the content on their own.” Buy-in to self-directed learning can often be difficult to acquire on leadership teams at many companies, but the officer team at Conway Corporation was fully supportive of employees taking the initiative to learn in a self-guided fashion and independently develop their skills.
Employees are also engaging with content in a fashion to help them meet SMART goals that they set for themselves at the beginning of the year. “It’s up to the employee on what they want to work on,” says Brown. “Many of them set goals of viewing specific HSI training series to apply towards their larger annual goals.”
The Right Length for a Busy Schedule
HSI’s microlearning format proved to be an advantage for Conway Corporation over other eLearning offerings. “Our employees are often engaged with customers, or are working in time-sensitive situations, so they don’t have a lot of extra time for training,” Brown explained. The microlearning format makes it easy for Conway Corporation’s employees to engage quickly and easily with content they might not otherwise do.
For employees that didn’t have a desktop computer to take training on, Conway Corporation provided iPads to help them complete training outside of an office environment.“We have employees who will literally pull over into a parking lot and take a course while waiting on their next call,” Brown said.
Since Conway Corporation has embraced HSI content in both an assigned and self-directed fashion, they have seen an improved customer service experience and a newfound drive from employees to improve their skills in a self-directed fashion. Their learning and development team continues to grow as they find more ways to utilize HSI content in their training curriculum, and employees have bought into training with newfound excitement.
Summary of Success
- Employee buy-in to training has fostered more engagement than ever before
- Customer service experiences have improved as a result of incorporating HSI training into curriculum
- Blended-learning approach to training has allowed employees to independently build their skills
- What started as training for just customer service team has expanded to a seat for everyone in the company