This is true if the company is working to gain global economies of scale with a consumer product, such as laundry detergent, while ensuring local acceptance of the product, where even the fragrance might impact success. It also works if the company is concerned about establishing a global approach to coaching and evaluating employee performance, while at the same time building flexibility into the processes and capabilities of the performance counselors who allow for and encourage local adoption.
Another global challenge is the ever-increasing need for speed-to-competency on critical strategic issues. The pressure on global companies to keep their employees on the cutting edge of knowledge, skills and resources is unrelenting. How can a global workforce be reached quickly, efficiently and effectively? If a global target is set, how can local flexibility be embedded so that the recommended approach is accepted and implemented? How can behavioral changes be achieved via e-learning? Can e-learning support best practice and peer exchange? What role can live e-learning play in achieving these goals?
The recent experience of Deloitte Consulting in the design and launch of a new Performance Counseling program provides a solid example of a global company:
- Setting a global learning curriculum, behavioral targets and specific recommended approaches for best-in-class counselors.
- Embedding local flexibility to support differences in delivery approaches and local adjustments to accommodate cultural norms.
- Providing speed to competency by on-boarding 100 trainers in 40 countries to deliver four face-to-face workshops for the counselors in their locality.
Live e-learning specifically enabled Deloitte to:
- Promote availability of the curriculum.
- Conduct virtual train-the-trainer sessions to quickly on-board facilitators from the internal human resources and professional development communities.
- Address the challenge of setting global standards for best-in-class counseling, while providing the important peer dialogue and exchange that supported local trainers in the adaptation of content to local needs.
Over the course of four weeks, 100 trainers in 40 countries located in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and India were prepared during live e-learning sessions to deliver four different workshops to their colleagues. In the blended model of learning for the Performance Counseling curriculum, a deliberate choice was made to present topics in a workshop setting that focused on behavioral change and that benefited from practice application with peer dialogue, exchange and feedback.
What were the results of the live e-learning train-the-trainer workshops?
- The integration of the human resources and professional development communities on the importance of the overall Performance Counseling curriculum and their shared understanding of the global targets for counselors and for those working with them.
- The speedy availability of a critical mass of trainers in each region to deliver learning on important behavioral capabilities to the counselors, fostering the desired global performance culture.
- Specific dialogue and exchange in each region or country on how to adapt the workshop materials to local cultural needs and requirements.
- In regions with geographically dispersed practitioners, some chose to use live e-learning to reach their counselors efficiently and effectively, based on the trainers’ increased comfort in using the platform for learning.
Nick van Dam is chief learning officer for Deloitte Consulting and has held a variety of global learning and human resources development roles throughout his career in different countries. He is author of “The E-Learning Fieldbook,” which will be published by McGraw-Hill in September 2003. For more information, e-mail Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org.