At Vision Critical, Employees Mold LinkedIn Learning to Fit Their Needs

August 27, 2018

VisionCritical's experience with LinkedIn Learning.

Krisinda Westman, director of human resources at Vision Critical, was hoping employees would embrace LinkedIn Learning when the HR team rolled it out to entire the organization this year.

Those hopes have been exceeded.

“It’s been a great addition,” Westman said. “I knew LinkedIn Learning offered a lot of what we were looking to provide for our employees, but I didn’t expect to see some of the ways teams would respond.”

She gave two specific examples – one, an employee who told her how he spent his off-time watching LinkedIn Learning courses. A second, an engineering team that spontaneously created a study group, where they watch LinkedIn Learning courses on their own each week and get together every Monday to talk through what they learned.

“Because our technology is cutting edge, we are using a lot of brand new technology,” Software Engineer Michael Nguyen said, who co-created the study group with QA Engineer Tatiana Karavaynaya. “That requires a lot of learning on our part, and before we had LinkedIn Learning, we had to just figure out ways to learn it on our own. Now, it’s added a lot more structure to our learning, and we are able to learn new technologies faster.”

“It’s like I have two jobs,” Solutions Architect Erfan Farhikhteh said, who spends his off-time watching learning courses. “During the day I solve company problems, and at night I go home and get educated on what’s new, and how it can affect what we do. This is why I love LinkedIn Learning. I can search for the material I need, download it on the mobile app and then watch the videos at night while I am eating dinner or hanging on the couch.”

Why Vision Critical Chose LinkedIn Learning: The Content, the Metrics and the Ease of Use

Vision Critical is a customer intelligence software company based out of Vancouver, Canada. In 2017, they surveyed their own employees, which revealed a hunger for more professional and personal growth opportunities.

Knowing they needed to meet that need to continue to engage their talent and to continue to attract top talent, they considered several learning platforms. LinkedIn Learning was an easy choice, as the quality of its 13,000 courses, its accessibility and the metrics it provided made it stand out.

“There was clearly a lot of thought and rigor put into who was teaching LinkedIn Learning’s courses, and that was a lot of what we wanted,” Westman said. “Also the analytics, the reporting, would allow me to share results with the executive team and at our town halls. It was user-friendly - the single sign-on meant that it was all right there and so easy for everyone to access.”

How Vision Critical Rolled Out LinkedIn Learning: Start Small and Grow, While Creating Learning Paths That Address Pain Points

Originally, Vision Critical piloted LinkedIn Learning with 50 employees. They were asked to take courses relevant to their jobs and report back on the quality, relevance and ease of use.

“The feedback was very positive and the usage was 100 percent,” Westman said, prompting Vision Critical to broaden the access to 300 licenses in January 2018.

In this phase, Westman and her team created learning paths within LinkedIn Learning that would help her accomplish two of her own goals - to expose the staff to concepts and practices that would improve the overall atmosphere at the company and make Vision Critical an even better place to work.

Called VC Business Fundamentals, the five hours of learning are broken down into two sections: Business Sense and Showing Up In the Workplace. Business Sense includes courses on developing business acumen and phone, email and texting etiquette, for example. Showing Up In the Workplace covers topics ranging from interpersonal communication to how to effectively engage with colleagues.

“It’s a great way to reinforce the Vision Critical message and provide mindfulness and awareness of habits we all have, and how they show up in the workplace,” Westman said. “It can be easy for these ‘soft skills’ to get lost.”

There are already plans in the works to create more learning paths, including one tied to an existing mentoring program. Managers are being asked what paths they would like to see created for their teams.

“We wanted to present learning as an everyday practice,” she said. “We have posters up that say ‘Learn While You Lunch’ and we provide tips on how to schedule learning. We don’t want it to just sit in HR ad have it feel like it’s just an HR program.”

The Results: 100% Activation, Positive Feedback – and Tangible Outcomes

Since every employee received a LinkedIn Learning license in May, Westman said they have seen 100 percent activation and received “solid feedback, including from managers who say they are seeing tangible results from the courses in what their teams are doing.

A perfect example of those “tangible results” is Farhikhteh, who works on the business technology and business systems group, but frequently works with cross-functional partners like marketing and sales. LinkedIn Learning has helped him better understand their language and prioritize their needs, which has led to stronger collaboration.

“I’m not in sales, I’m not a customer success manager,” he said. “But I need to know how these different roles function and the concepts behind what they do in order to help them most effectively. LinkedIn Learning does that for me.”