Oriflame Wanted A Learning Platform that Fit Its Agile, Accessible and Active Company Culture

February 1, 2019

See Oriflame's experience with LinkedIn Learning.

Agile. Entrepreneurial. Young.

Those adjectives come up often when talking with employees at Oriflame, a global direct-selling cosmetics company. Founded in 1967 in Sweden, the organization prides itself on enabling people to fulfil their dreams. And for this you need curiosity and constant development – a big reason they’ve had 5+ decades of success.

So, when the time came to bring an online learning platform into the company for its 7,000 employees, those in charge knew they wanted a platform that fit their character: agile, accessible and active.

“Previously, we produced our own learning,” said Elena Aylott, Senior Director Global Employee Experience. “It was mainly classroom training or e-learning focused on compliance training and company policies. It is difficult to create a classroom training that answers to all employee’s needs, as we are so different in our knowledge base and also our learning style. Often, we ended up with half-empty classes. And SharePoint-based e-learning was really cumbersome to use, with a separate login and a lot of steps, and not mobile. The whole approach just didn’t fit our culture.”

The lack of available and interesting learning options were reasons cited by employees in exit interviews and employee surveys. As managers and human resource staffers spoke with employees, it became clear that their young, ambitious staff wanted more out of their employer.

“Learning and development were key to them,” Aylott said.

In Search of a Learning Platform to Meet All the Company’s Needs

Oriflame needed learning for marketing, sales, management, legal – all departments. And it needed it under one roof, since the employees are spread across 60 countries and speak multiple languages. There was no budget to produce content in-house, Elena said, so they began to research options.

LinkedIn Learning offered a huge variety of high-quality content that was already curated,” she said. “LinkedIn is already known to our employees, and through the platform, you can upgrade your personal LinkedIn profile. All of this made it very attractive for us.”

They needed to control the costs and providing all the courses for all the departments through one provider did just that, Elena added.

About 20 months ago, the company launched a LinkedIn Learning pilot program with 120 licenses in three markets: Central Europe, Stockholm, and Africa. Celine Saindrenan, a Global Talent Development Specialist at the company, oversaw the test run.

It was low-key, with no incentives or requirements attached, she said, an approach that underscored the company’s emphasis on entrepreneurialism within its workforce. “We wanted to see how it went without too much communication from us,” Saindrenan explained. “We wanted to see if they would use it even though we weren’t pushing it.”

“This was going to be a big investment,” Elena added. “We needed to be able to build a case, and we wanted to know the level of interest. If we didn’t push it, would they still use it?”

They did. There was a 90 percent usage rate among the 120 volunteers in the program, and at the end of the test period, 100 percent of participants said they wanted Oriflame to continue to offer LinkedIn Learning.

Ramping Up To 1,000 Licenses with an #AlwaysCurious Marketing Campaign

In June 2018, Oriflame expanded from 120 to 1,000 licenses. Jenny Andersson, Senior Manager Internal Communications, was in charge of the marketing campaign that went along with the launch.

“We created a concept that would tell the story of why learning was important,” she said. “We wanted to make employees realize and understand why constant learning is important for self-improvement and skills development in this ever-changing future of work.”

Once again, the company didn’t require anybody to take a course. Instead, Jenny and her team created a marketing campaign entitled #AlwaysCurious, with its goal to inspire employees to embrace learning.

“We needed to tell a story,” Jenny said. “We created a series of scenarios that showed the future of people who are constantly developing themselves through learning, who have a learning ‘habit’.”

For launch, Jenny created a marketing toolkit for the company’s different regions to use to promote LinkedIn Learning. It included a timeline for rollout and promotion, examples of the scenarios to demonstrate curiosity and success, and a roadmap that included activities and collateral to support every stage of the learning lifecycle from pre-launch to launch to onboarding to ongoing engagement. The toolkit provided an exhaustive list of materials ranging from email marketing to graphics to posters.

Included in this marketing push was a “movie premiere” about LinkedIn Learning that included popcorn and prizes for the company’s top three learners. The point was to reward those who showed intense motivation to learn and get others excited about the program.

The top learner recognized at the event was Aleksandra Lukasevica, a Global Portfolio Manager. Aleksandra didn’t even know there was a prize; she simply fell in love with the platform.

“I was so excited when they brought us LinkedIn Learning,” she said. “I thought, this will help answer my questions and close some gaps. And it’s so easy and accessible to use.”

‘Democratizing’ Learning Equals 90 Percent Activation in 3 Months

Of the 1,000 available licenses within the company, 909 were activated within three months. And nearly two-thirds of those learners log in each month.

Cornelia Greko is a Design Director Packaging & Art Work who oversees a team of 12 people. She uses LinkedIn Learning:

  • For individuals: In which the employee decides which courses he/she is interested in further growth within their role and within the company. Cornelia encourages all members of her team to build individual learning plans for themselves.
  • For the team: In which, Cornelia creates a learning path to improve the overall team’s performance. These courses can include team building, presentation skills, etc. The team watches these courses together and discusses. Cornelia has also been known to give them a pop quiz afterward.

Because her team works on packaging, design and artwork, she used to often get requests for training in 3D, animation, filters, etc. With LinkedIn Learning, the team simply accesses what they need to better their skills for the job at hand. “I love to see their thirst for knowledge fulfilled and how they learn and grow,” Cornelia said.

Elena thinks the fact that no one within the company was “required” to learn is a key to the success of the program from the start.

“We are an entrepreneurial company, and we move at the speed of light,” she said. “This creates a natural urgency to get new ideas and new thoughts rolling. Between now and 2020, 35 percent of the skills we need here will change, and the company needs to equip its people to keep up. We have to give them the new tools. LinkedIn Learning caters to that need.”

Offering a learning platform to anyone who wants it, Elena said, “is democratizing learning. We are a company where people can come to act on their dreams. If I give you the opportunity to act on those dreams, I believe you will commit to me. Everyone wants to improve and move up. LinkedIn Learning helps to take them to their dream and gives us the extra push we need to win.”

Employees used the platform largely in their off-hours, and almost entirely on the mobile app. “We allow work time for learning, but what we saw was they were so into it that they were happy to use it in their free time as well, morning, evenings, weekends, on their commute and at home,” Celine said.

Celine said one manager who was building a new team created a “group initiative,” and included LinkedIn Learning in their weekly meetings. They studied team dynamics online and were able to come together as a team quickly because they had created common ground with the courses.

The campaign also aligned with the company’s “Spirit” value. “Curiosity is a big part of our professionalism,” Jenny said. “Our company culture is built by true entrepreneurs who are committed to doing what it takes to succeed and deliver great results.”

Post updated on April 9, 2019.