How This Australian Mine is Using LinkedIn Learning to Help Its Employees Realize Their Full Potential
February 24, 2019
Roy Hill is a world-class integrated iron ore mining, rail and port operation located in western Australia. In August 2018, company leadership brought LinkedIn Learning to its approximately 2,000 employees as part of a plan to maximize both employee and company potential.
The response has been tremendous. In five short months, employees have viewed more than 2,500 LinkedIn Learning courses.
Giles Lenz, Roy Hill’s general manager of organizational effectiveness and improvement, took some time recently to reflect on why Roy Hill chose LinkedIn Learning, how it has helped and what a smashing success it has been for the company.
Q. Why was there a need for online learning at Roy Hill in the first place?
Lenz: Roy Hill’s vision is to be a high-performing iron ore business where people contribute and realize their full potential.
We want to be:
- A knowledge-based organization centered around innovative thinking.
- A great place to work where our people are engaged in the business, committed to achieve and actively contribute to the company’s success.
- An organization that attracts and retains people who are the best in their field.
Enabling employees (and potentially their families) by providing flexible access to training for both professional development and personal interests supports the creation of this culture. LinkedIn Learning provides the tools for our employees to diversify their skill sets, seek insights for curious minds and acts as a conduit to gain skills and knowledge as and when employees need to.
Q. Why LinkedIn Learning, over the other options out there?
Lenz: There are many training platforms available, though it is access to the sheer number of high quality courses that has made the difference for Roy Hill. Our organization has such a diverse workforce, with the additional challenge of a significant remote workforce using fly-in-fly-out rosters, that this solution offers flexibility for all our staff, regardless of location.
Because LinkedIn Learning is embedded into an employee’s professional profile, it also enables curated learning opportunities from previous work experiences, which I know has been really attractive for our professional users. By completing a LinkedIn Learning course, our employees are effectively building their own brand, as the completed LinkedIn Learning training can then be transferred over to their LinkedIn professional profile.
Q. How did you get buy-in from the Leadership Team at Roy Hill? What was your pitch?
Lenz: In a complex, changing and competitive industry such as mining and resources, the value of providing our people with access to just-in-time learning solutions ensures that Roy Hill employees can embrace the rapid technological, creative and business changes that a VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) environment presents.
As a knowledge-based organization, the Roy Hill Leadership Team is continually seeking ways to deliver on our value of THINK - acknowledging it not only as a cornerstone of how we operate, but an opportunity to remain competitive. LinkedIn Learning places Roy Hill at the cutting edge of the learning and development space, complementing our existing professional development pathways enabling Roy Hill to truly deliver on its commitment, ‘to enable employees to reach their full potential’.
Q. When did you buy LinkedIn Learning? Did you do a pilot or was it all-in right away? How many licenses do you have now? If all employees don't have a license, how did you decide who got licenses?
Lenz: We signed the agreement with LinkedIn Learning in August 2018, however we had been working closely with Darren Coghlan from early February 2018. We knew we would require a business case to our leadership team to support the expenditure and Darren met with us both in person and via video conference (we’re based in Perth) to provide us with information and assistance to support us.
Jan Bayliss was appointed to us as our Customer Service manager who, once the business case was approved, worked with us on our roll out plan. We started with some early communication to our staff in the form of a ‘teaser’ campaign, ahead of a planned launch in late September across all our sites — at our Mine, Port Hedland and back in Perth at our Headquarters and Remote Operations Centre (ROC).
A number of training personnel were on site to support the launch, with Jan from LinkedIn Learning joining us too. Employees had the option to sign up via an email alert, however it was the face-to-face encouragement, spending time across the business speaking to people about the program and what they could get out of it that made the difference. The turnout to the launch morning teas across all sites was fantastic, with members from the Training Team on hand for support. Roy Hill purchased 2,000 licenses, one for each staff member. In the first three months we have had more than 50 percent of the workforce join up.
Q. How did you market LinkedIn Learning once you did buy it? What was the most effective method?
Lenz: We have positioned LinkedIn Learning as an extension to our organization’s Career Enrichment Program. Following the initial launch, our Career Enrichment Advisor, Nat Taylor, has been actively involved in attending pre-start and return-to-work meetings across all sites to ensure employees are aware of, and have access to, the LinkedIn Learning portal. We also have more details on the Career Enrichment and Intranet pages.
Q. What's been the employee reaction to LinkedIn Learning?
Lenz: All our employees — from shop floor to the corporate office — have been very enthusiastic about having access to LinkedIn Learning, from both a professional and a personal development perspective. One of our leaders has been able to use LinkedIn Learning to help with modifying data within Excel spreadsheets at work, and then downloaded guitar lessons to learn when he got back to the mine camp at night. Our employees have also been using LinkedIn Learning to improve their knowledge on school subjects their kids are learning, better enabling them to help their kids with their homework.
Q. Finally, how has LinkedIn Learning helped the business overall?
Lenz: LinkedIn Learning has delivered on its promise to support Roy Hill’s vision ‘to be a high performing iron ore business where people contribute and realize their full potential’. Most importantly, we want to be a growth organization that inspires a curious employee mindset, where staff engage in learning ‘not because you have to, but because you want to’. We encourage our staff to pursue learning opportunities for any reason – be it work or personal. This is because a curious person, for whatever reason, is more open to learning new things, engaging across the business, and eventually collaborating in innovative ways to actively contribute to the company’s success.
LinkedIn Learning has helped us close the skills gap between desktop and soft skill and energize a culture for learning across the business. We borrowed a great tagline that has been used by another of LinkedIn Learning’s clients that resonated strongly with us: JUST in TIME, JUST ENOUGH and JUST for ME. That message has been a huge success engaging our employees as well.
Post updated on April 9, 2019.