World’s biggest sandwich maker embraces new learning-on-the-go culture
Global learning consultancy OnTrack International has helped to design engaging ‘learning-on-the-go’ tools and materials for an award winning line manager development programme at Greencore, the international convenience food manufacturer and the world’s biggest sandwich maker.
“Our 2,500 line managers are the face of Greencore for our colleagues and they set the tone for our culture,” said Natalie Rogers, Greencore’s Leadership Development Manager. “We’d previously sent them on classroom courses for development but we wanted to shake things up and reinvent what it means to ‘learn’ at Greencore. Our vision was bold. We wanted to create a programme that was like nothing we had seen before. To land in our business, it had to be amazing.
Underpinned by the 70:20:10 learning philosophy, Greencore’s programme scooped the CIPD People Management Awards 2018 for “Best L&D initiative – Private Sector”.
“To set the foundations for success, we started by defining what great management looks like at Greencore and how our organisation is structured,” said Natalie Rogers. “Then we designed and created a new, self-led, blended learning programme which offers our managers choices. They can decide for themselves what they need or want to learn and how they want to learn it. All of the learning is aligned with what we expect of them in their role. We then scoped and custom-built a learning platform to host our content and provide us with valuable insights and engagement data.”
Managers undertake a self-assessment of their capabilities and the results enable them to customise and tailor their subsequent learning journey. Digital learning-on-the-go tools are then provided via the learning platform. These learner-centric materials include videos, infographics, ‘how to’ guides, workbooks, workshops and activities. They show managers how to undertake 95 core management tasks, such as driving an area of improvement, celebrating team success, giving feedback to a team member and hosting a customer visit. The platform also enables Greencore to develop data-driven content, which is used to ensure that the ongoing needs of managers are met.
“We realised that, in the past, many development initiatives hadn’t worked in our business because they weren’t ‘ours’,” said Natalie Rogers. “We therefore wanted to create our own learning content. This was a deliberate strategy to ensure that the learning would resonate with our people. So we write all of our learning materials and we also script, storyboard and produce our videos. The fact that all of our learning materials are bespoke to our organisation has a hugely positive impact. Everything is consistent, it feels authentic and our people want to engage with the learning.”
OnTrack was approached by Greencore to help create its 410 learning-on-the-go resources, covering the 95 management tasks.
“Our vision was clear but we needed help to create a consistent brand for the programme,” said Natalie Rogers. “We didn’t want boring, vanilla, old fashioned learning resources; we wanted them to look and feel amazing. We approached OnTrack and they helped us to build a brand identity for our programme that people can connect with. OnTrack’s designers and animators bring our learning assets to life. They have the creativity and professionalism to add the pizzazz that really makes a difference.”
Greencore’s managers can access any of the learning-on-the-go resources 24/7 from any online or web-enabled device. “Our learning tools give our managers a level of freedom and choice that they’ve never had before,” said Natalie Rogers. “These materials ensure that learning is engaging for our managers and they encourage and equip them to learn the job, on-the-job. Our managers can choose what they focus on, so each of their learning journeys is unique and tailored to what that individual needs or wants.”
OnTrack Measured Results
Feedback shows Greencore’s innovative approach has increased the skills and confidence of its managers – and benefited the business.
“Our managers like the fact that they can access appropriate, job-relevant and Greencore-specific learning resources just-in-time, when they need them,” said Natalie Rogers. “Across the business, this programme has not only helped us to create a learning-on-the-go culture, it has improved our level of engagement and reduced attrition. It’s really been a business transformation, not just another HR initiative. Because our learning content is all specific to Greencore, it resonates with our people and that makes it even more engaging and memorable.”
Greencore’s innovative approach to line manager development, not only won the “Best L&D initiative – Private Sector” at the CIPD People Management Awards, it has been shortlisted for “Excellence in the design of learning content – UK commercial sector” at the Learning Technologies Awards 2018, and in the best Learning & Development strategy category of the 2018 HR Excellence awards. Patrick Coveney, Greencore CEO, said: “This innovative programme recognises the importance of our 2,500 managers. Developing them has created a profound and positive change in our business and we see that difference every day.”
Lead Development Partner at OnTrack International, said: “Like their counterparts in other industries, L&D teams in manufacturing companies need to develop the capabilities and potential of their existing and future leaders, with relevant, memorable and culturally-sensitive learning. That said, manufacturing has its own idiosyncrasies, so designing and delivering effective learning in this sector is a very different challenge. Greencore deserves great credit for their innovative thinking, their vision and for creating a core learning curriculum that’s delivered via a blend of resources and directly relates to their specific environment. We’re very proud to have helped them to successfully change their learning culture.”