Why The Nature Conservancy Has Such High Usage of Lynda.com: "It Comes Down to Relevance"

August 31, 2017

The Nature Conservancy has incredible eLearning usage, far higher than the industry average.

Since purchasing the product three years ago, The Nature Conservancy’s employees have used Lynda.com at a far higher rate than the market average.

In 2017 alone, 86 percent of The Nature Conservancy employees with Lynda.com licenses have used Lynda.com. More impressively, this year the average time a Nature Conservancy employee spends each time they log into Lynda.com is more than 40 minutes!

How does The Nature Conservancy, the leading conservation organization with nearly 4,000 employees across all corners of the globe, drive such impressive results?

“It comes down to relevance,” The Nature Conservancy Manager of Design and Delivery Bridgett Horn said. “If you can match a course with the need of an employee, they are going to use it.”

Todd Slater, The Nature Conservancy’s Technology Learning Center’s Program Director, agreed. “We never had this philosophy that if you build it, they will magically come. That’s never been our mantra. We do everything we can to spread the word, and that means recommending the right courses at the right time.”

How The Nature Conservancy keeps courses relevant

The Nature Conservancy has nearly 4,000 employees impacting conservation across 72 countries and all 50 states. Being a non-profit, resources are limited, and developing global employees via in-person trainings is expensive. Hence, they’ve relied more and more on digital solutions over the years.

Lynda.com is part of their offering, although they offer other eLearning options as well, including content they make themselves. Obviously, Horn and Slater’s goal is for employees to take advantage of this eLearning content, so they can better develop their skills.

To accomplish that, The Nature Conservancy markets their eLearning offerings through a variety of means. But the most effective has been to tie eLearning courses to the direct needs employees face.

Here are just a few examples of their L&D team doing exactly that:

  • Recently, The Nature Conservancy transitioned to Skype for Business for their employees to better collaborate. Lynda.com has courses on Skype for Business – hence, Horn advertised Skype for Business courses to employees, so they could better use the collaboration service. It worked, as Skype for Business courses became among the most popular ones on Lynda.com within the organization. This allowed employees to learn the software quickly on their own.
  • A few years ago, there was a similar experience when The Nature Conservancy upgraded to Microsoft as its email and calendar provider. Again, Horn advertised courses that taught the Microsoft Office Suite, which proved popular and made the transition far more manageable.
  • This year, the Nature Conservancy conducted an engagement survey. Using the results, they curated a list of eLearning courses that taught those skills identified as gaps and advertised it to employees. Again, this caused usage to spike, as it was fitting the need many employees expressed.

The takeaway

The Nature Conservancy is hardly the only organization that’s found success with relevancy. Two companies we profiled that also have incredible usage – MicroStrategy and Pegasus Logistics Group – both echoed similar mantras: relevancy is king.

There are business reasons to doing this, too. By recommending eLearning content that’s directly related to an acute business need, you improve the change management process at your organization. That makes your organization run smoother and helps you show how learning can provide immediate and real business results.

The bottom line is everyone aspires to learn, but employees are often bogged down by other tasks to get to it. If you can recommend a course that addresses an immediate business need, the employee is much more likely to watch the course.

If the employee gets benefit out of the course, they are more likely to look at your eLearning offerings again to learn a new skill. Ideally, if the eLearning content is strong, you’ll turn a one-off event into an employee becoming a lifelong learner.

*Image from The Nature Conservancy

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