How LinkedIn Learning is Increasing Employee Engagement at BookingGo

June 3, 2019

See Booking Go's experience with LinkedIn Learning.

Andy Mellor saw an opportunity.

Two years ago, when he became Learning & Development Design Manager at BookingGo (part of the worldwide Booking Holdings family of web services, including Kayak, Priceline, OpenTable, Booking.com, and Agoda), the company was embarking on a journey to embed a learning culture.

Headquartered in Manchester, England, Mellor was charged with bringing digital learning and development to 2,000-plus employees in the UK and Spain, speaking 42 different languages and representing global diversity. Although when Mellor arrived on the job, only those in the Customer Service division and new hires at BookingGo were given access to learning.

That meant half of the company’s employees were receiving no L&D services – something that was consistently being cited in employee surveys as a pain point.

“Learning is something a business should be offering its employees,” Mellor said. “If someone has two job offers, and everything is the same except we provide amazing learning and development opportunities, that person is going to pick us. A strong L&D program means we can attract great new colleagues and retain our existing staff.

Solving this problem with in-house content alone wasn’t an option, as it was time consuming and costly to create, and often quickly became outdated. That meant looking externally.

“We knew right off that we needed to invest in a third-party provider with a library of interactive content that wouldn’t get old,” Mellor said. “We needed to acknowledge that the development of our people was central to our overall success.”

The Solution: LinkedIn Learning, a Perfect Fit For the ‘YouTube Generation’ of Learners

To build the learning culture he wanted and further engage employees, Mellor knew he needed to invest in a learning platform that people would both like and use. So, he quickly rolled out 300 Lynda.com (which is owned by LinkedIn Learning) licenses as a test program in 2017.

People liked the content Lynda.com provided. But when they heard of LinkedIn Learning, the feedback was overwhelming: let’s upgrade to that.

“We looked into it, and I thought the license model would work well, the web site was good, there was the mobile app functionality,” Mellor said. “I’m all about the user experience and this platform was all about the user.”

So in 2018, Mellor switched to LinkedIn Learning, bringing 1,000 licenses to the staff in February of that year. A big reason – the content and product experience would connect with modern learners.

“This is the YouTube generation,” Mellor said of BookingGo’s relatively young staff. “They are used to looking for what they need to know, finding it, getting what they need, and leaving. LinkedIn Learning is the YouTube of learning. They don’t have to ‘finish’ a course or a video in order to get what they need to know.”

The platform was rolled out in basically a “first-come, first-served” opportunity to obtain a license. On top of that, Mellor set parameters for license usage, under the premise of “use it or lose it.”

That created a sense of urgency among staff to opt-in and get online. The L&D team presented access to LinkedIn Learning as “a fantastic benefit, a positive factor to working here and a boost to our employee value proposition” Mellor said. “And as an administrator, the flexibility to have licenses taken, then taken back, then given out again to someone new is great.”

The Result: 95% Activation of LinkedIn Learning and A 15% Spike in Employee Engagement with L&D

Once the platform was rolled out, 95% of employees activated their license within the first six months – well above industry benchmarks. More importantly, the company conducted an employee engagement survey after the platform was rolled out.

The results exceeded expectations.

Overall, 15% more employees said they were more engaged in learning and development, with 8% more saying they are now taking ownership for their own learning.

“The 15% was the biggest improvement across our overall business engagement survey, year-over-year,” Mellor said. “I credit a lot of that to what we’ve done with LinkedIn Learning.”

“I’m really proud of that,” he added. “We basically created a learning culture from scratch.”

What does this look like, at an employee level? A perfect example is Juliana Pereira, a Portuguese Customer Advisor at BookingGo.

“If the company thinks that advancement and efficiency are extremely important to the business, it needs to invest in the employee,” she said. “One of the great advantages of LinkedIn Learning is access at any time, it makes it easy for the employees to choose the best time to take the courses online.”

“With LinkedIn Learning, I am allowed to be more proactive and efficient in my role,” Pereira added. “It helps me define and achieve my main goals. I also keep my motivation up, and it gives me more confidence in how I do my job by helping me develop and refine key skills. No one is too old to learn something new.”

Robert Szakal, a Senior Desktop Infrastructure Engineer, agreed.

“I regularly use LinkedIn Learning to better understand some of the technologies I am supporting on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “It has helped me solve issues and given me new ideas on how to implement our existing technologies in the workplace.”

Mellor said he is most proud of two things: first, that employees in engagement surveys and performance reviews were always asking for company-wide training, and BookingGo provided just that with LinkedIn Learning. Second, that the leadership team at BookingGo has fully embraced LinkedIn Learning, referring to it in company-wide Town Halls, management updates, one-on-ones and citing it in company reviews on Glassdoor.

“It’s part of our consciousness now,” he said. “And that’s helping us build the culture we want.”

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