Fusing the Future – Technology and Learning at Lifetime Training By Phil Whitehouse
About Lifetime Training
Established in 1995, Lifetime Training’s founding principle was to support individuals and businesses to improve performance through the delivery of outstanding training programmes. Now, its learner numbers stand at more than 20,000 per year across a variety of roles and a range of business sectors.
The Challenge: Growing up but Staying Social
During the last five years, Lifetime Training has grown significantly and diversified from a Company that was originally established in one industry training sector to one that now operates across five distinct areas. As a result of these changes, Lifetime Training faced a number of challenges that significant growth can often bring, including communication methods that were no longer fit for the size of the organisation and Learning & Development programmes that were inefficient and outdated.
When the Company was first established, face-to-face communications across all levels of the organisation were an everyday occurrence and it was much easier to ensure that everyone worked together as one. Due to the business’s exponential growth, these methods became unsustainable and the business started to lose touch with its own employees!
Learning Development not Fit for the Future
Lifetime’s On-boarding and People Development programmes had centred on training delivery at Bristol’s Head Office. Staff attended two or three-day training sessions, requiring overnight stays in hotels.
This traditional approach using classroom environments is seen as inflexible and costly by employers and does not engage with the learner at point of need. A radical approach was required to on-board new staff quickly and efficiently to ensure they could deliver for the business and feel valued as a member of staff from the outset. Having been enthused about the organisation on week one of their induction programme, the shift to remote working in a regional team frequently led people to disengage with business processes and working procedures, and in some cases, leave.
The Solution - Fusing a Concept
Lifetime Training identified a need to improve their Learning and Development offer for staff, and focused on adopting the 70:20:10 learning principles for all programmes. The approach aligned with programmes and learners perfectly but they needed a platform to support and deliver this new approach, helping to change thebusiness culture from one of “Teach & Tell”to one of “Learn & Share”.
The Company engaged with Fuse Universal to shape its thoughts and ideas into a reality resulting in the creation of the Lifetime Fuse Pilot – a social & collaborative learning platform.
Proving the Concept – Lifetime Training Fuse Pilot
The Lifetime Fuse Onboarding Pilot was implemented and tested over a four-month period. Results indicated that the adoption of a social and collaborative learning model not only improved the effectiveness of our teams in the field but also helped to deliver business impact and cost saving. All of this offered a strong case for the business to integrate Fuse deeper in the organisation.
Fuse Communication - The One-Stop Shop
Following the success of the learning pilot, Fuse has been adopted as the single collaborative learning and communication platform for Lifetime: a one-stop social learning environment where everything needed to do the job is just three clicks away.
Lifetime Fuse is now the internal community homepage that’s mobile device compatible enabling teams to access it on the go. A wealth of knowledge resources, Company information and “How To’s” are stored on the platform to keep teams updated at all times.
Communities for each business sector, and department, provide every user with the right knowledge in the right format at the right time. All business communications are delivered in line with the Fuse Communication Strategy where communications are categorised according to level and importance, global or sector specific. Urgent communications are also delivered by the Fuse Featured Newsreel to ensure no one misses important updates.
A culture where people can seek out information when they need it is rapidly developing in Lifetime Training and an inbox of long emails with large attachments are a thing of the past. Six sector homepages and eight key communities help categorise resources and information dependent on job role and each community has a Communications Ambassador behind it, making sure that forum discussions and information sharing continue.