This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Technology for People” category
The What, How and Why of Performance Planning
story-led learning to transform attitudes and actions in performance management
Our project met two needs: people struggled with aspects of performance planning, and the performance management process itself was changing. We created realistic characters facing recognisable challenges and developed a suite of story-led interactive videos covering the what, the how and the why of performance planning. We considered longevity, avoiding specifics that would date the content, and ensured the characters represented a range of roles and work environments, achieving relevance without excessive complexity. And we built a ‘diagnostic’ tool to help users quickly and easily navigate the wealth of performance management resources available and find those most relevant to them.
Performance management is a potentially vast topic – and a centrally important one at BP. To avoid spreading the learning too thinly, we referred to an employee audit which revealed the areas people struggled with: setting priorities, applying the values and behaviours, and development needs and actions. These three areas form the core of the learning, ensuring maximum impact. The diagnostic tool streamlines the user journey (and links to supplementary topics), further enhancing the impact of the solution. Between mid-January and the end of February we have reached over 3,350 learners, and we are developing a low-bandwidth version for global reach.
We have achieved a high-impact blend of compelling scriptwriting, engaging drama and effective learning. It took a leap of faith to move away from the safety net of traditional e-learning and instead let interactive drama do the talking. Learners are intellectually engaged at key decision-making points and stop-and-think moments. All this is supported by a diagnostic tool to facilitate a quick and tailored user journey. By engaging experts in every field – script writing, film production, acting, bespoke e-learning, and the BP subject matter and business – rather than a ‘one-stop-shop’, we have delivered an immersive, memorable and behaviour-changing online learning solution.
Our initial vision was for a suite of short (5-10 minute) interactive videos, each focused on one specific learning point. Unfortunately, this became less attainable when combined with the requirement for each video to function both standalone and as part of an overarching narrative. The compromise is three core modules of 20-25 minutes, two ‘mini-modules’, and an introductory video. We also produced a trailer, to pique interest before launch, and a series of promotional materials. However, we’d undoubtedly have delivered a more effective communications campaign, designed for maximum impact and reach, had we included this in initial scoping and planning.
With this project, we have gone beyond simply incorporating scenarios and videos into the traditional e-learning format. Instead, the stories are the learning. By focusing on creating characters that people will relate to and care about, and by developing a realistic and compelling script, we have reduced the need for pages and pages of text and ensured that interactions and animations are included only where they have real impact and enhance the learning. And by producing a simple self-assessment tool, we both put the employee in control of their own learning and address the question ‘what’s in it for me?’
Stephanie Dedhar, Learning & Performance Consultant at BP.
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