Enabling more and better conversations throughout the organisation via a targeted blended learning program was considered an important lever in safeguarding our client’s substantial progress in integrating two businesses, while also strongly positioning the new organisation for future success.
Our client is a world leader in retail asset management created through the merger of two of Australia’s most established names in retail property management. After a significant transition phase to bed down the two businesses into one, the senior leadership team sought a timely solution for building employee capability in effectively conducting “conversations that matter” including handling sensitive issues and giving and receiving feedback.
What We Did
Working with agreed design principles that emphasised relevance, practical application and broad appeal to an 1,800 strong workforce, we developed a three-pronged blended learning solution including self-directed pre-work and reflection, a face-to-face workshop and a series of online modules designed as ‘micro learning moments’ with our eLearning partner The Learning Hook.
Participants were provided with curated content to begin their learning journey including the Ted Talk 10 Ways to Have a Better Conversation and the Harvard Business Review articles How to Handle Difficult Conversations at Work and How to Get the Feedback You Need. A series of self-reflection prompts were also provided to promote active engagement with the material. Participants were further provided with access to a series of short yet impactful online “Learning Bytes” of between 2-5 minutes duration, dedicated to each of the major models and frameworks referenced throughout the program. This was to ensure that as much ‘in person’ time as possible was spent on scenario-based skills practice as opposed to a ‘content download’. To promote the sustainability and flexibility of the online learning assets, the Learning Bytes were designed as standalone content overviews so that they could be reused not only as refreshers to reinforce learning at a later date but also repurposed to support new or different learning campaigns in the future.
The face-to-face “Conversations That Matter” workshop was designed as an engaging and energising one day offering (or two half day sessions) that was delivered in every major capital city by our national team of facilitators. The workshops utilised a structured conversation tool applied to a series of scenarios that represented some of the most common real life examples of ‘difficult’ conversations that regularly take place within the organisation, so that participants could actively develop and practice strategies for addressing these.
To support their learning participants also received a set of our signature learning ‘postcards’, summarising the key models, frameworks and tools underpinning the “Conversations That Matter” program. This user-friendly postcard-sized flip book supported self-reflection and note-taking as well as providing quick reference reminders to support future conversations ‘in the moment’.
The senior leadership team deemed the implementation of the “Conversations That Matter” blended learning program an overwhelming success with one key stakeholder going as far as to claim that the program had “gone viral” throughout the organisation. To illustrate, if you walk the average office floor you will see participants’ learning postcards propped up on their desk or a postcard with a relevant quote that resonates personally for the individual pinned to their wall. Furthermore, the bespoke conversation framework created to underpin the program has since become an important element of the organisation’s employee engagement strategy. The “Conversations That Matter” blended learning program is set to be offered twice a year ongoing, with employees already inquiring as to how they can pre-register.
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