E-learning empowers business transformation at HC-One

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HC-One is the UK’s 3rd largest care home operator, created as part of the rescue of the Southern Cross business. It has made learning and development a driver of business transformation as it re-engages and re-invigorates 15,000 staff. HC-One has created ‘Touch’ – an innovative blended corporate learning programme. Touch delivers a wide range of mandatory and specialist learning courses to all colleagues though e-learning, video, podcasts and other online formats, including ground-breaking courses in dementia care and dignity. Touch has transformed the workplace learning experience for HC-One staff, and is at the heart of a re-invigorated organisational culture.

Touch has had massive impact. 7 months since launch, HC-One colleagues have between them completed a staggering 140,000 e-learning courses, amounting to over 155,000 hours of learning time. A detailed evaluation of the learning experience has been completed by more than 4,000 colleagues, who give average approval ratings over 90% across a range of measures of quality and effectiveness. By dramatically reducing the direct cost of training, Touch is delivering annual ROI measured in millions of pounds, whilst driving quality improvements, reducing risk and embedding a corporate culture that strives to deliver the kindest care.

The key innovation was to use e-learning as the catalyst to target critical change management needs of recruitment, engagement and communication. The personal development and empowerment opportunities provided by Touch are enhancing recruitment and retention of staff. Creating bespoke learning content means HC-One vision and values are embedded into every aspect of a fun and engaging learning experience. And by building an online learning environment used by all colleagues as part of their everyday work, HC-One has created a powerful and direct channel for internal communication where none existed before.[/one_half_last]

A critical challenge was to engage a disillusioned workforce. Initially, it proved difficult to communicate with staff and convince them that anything would change. To overcome barriers, we created three guiding principles for Touch: To move from a culture of “training for compliance” to a culture of “training for quality and kindness”; To embed learning, rather than just provide training; To always use the most appropriate format to meet the learning need. Subsequently, every aspect of touch has been developed in alignment with these principles, and a wide-ranging communication campaign was used to engage colleagues with these ideas.

Care worker Tanya Welch says “Touch has generated great enthusiasm and is enhancing work on a daily basis”. Chai Patel, Chairman of the company says “Touch is totally aligned with everything that we are trying to do”. These responses, echoed by thousands of others across the organisation, show the power of learning and development to engage staff and promote organisational transformation. The key was an effective blend of e-learning with traditional workplace learning methods, and a focus on alignment with business needs, engagement with colleagues and comprehensive communication. When all this comes together, learning really does make the difference.[/one_half_last]

The Speaker

Alison Innes-Farquhar
Head of People Development and Engagement