Aboitiz Equity Ventures is part of Aboitiz Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines with business interests spanning the power, banking, food, real estate, infrastructure and construction industries.
With digital transformation impacting almost every facet of its business, Aboitiz firmly believes that digital learning and development (L&D) is a necessary evolution. Its employees, however, have a deep-rooted preference for in- person, classroom-based learning that has made the shift to digital learning a major challenge for the organisation. Since 2016, it has tried to introduce digital learning twice but both attempts failed to gain traction. Not ready to give up, Aboitiz pushed ahead with LinkedIn Learning in January 2020. This time, it worked like a charm.
Ruby Jaucian, Vice President of Human Resources, agrees that the timing was uncanny but she also believes there was more than one success factor at play.
“Considering that 98% of our L&D programmes were delivered in-person, COVID-19 definitely helped push our employees to give digital learning a chance, simply because it was either that or no learning at all. But digital learning also had to prove its worth. If it wasn’t effective or engaging, employees wouldn’t go back for more, the way they do now,” she said.
In fact, Aboitiz is seeing more self-directed learner behaviour now as employees go beyond recommended courses on LinkedIn Learning to search and learn out of interest.
Even though Aboitiz had introduced LinkedIn Learning before COVID-19 struck, it only had 100 licences. Given that the organisation’s earlier attempts at digital learning had come up short, the HR team designed this to be a pilot programme to test the effectiveness of LinkedIn Learning, groom a cohort of digital learning advocates, and strengthen its business case to its leadership.
For the pilot cohort of 100 users, HR had already mapped the core programmes to LinkedIn Learning courses, so that they could seamlessly transition their learning online. HR also curated and recommended relevant content to its learners to help them spend their time on the platform in more purposeful ways, and developed a recognition strategy to celebrate the top LinkedIn Learning users.
As part of Aboitiz’s L&D response to the pandemic, the team quickly translated some of its in-person training into online sessions via Zoom for the broader workforce. It also leveraged the courses that LinkedIn Learning had unlocked for free, especially those around virtual leadership, remote work and mental resilience, and recommended these to employees. In addition to supporting employees’ learning needs, this had the added advantage of exposing more of them to LinkedIn Learning. Building on this, HR organised virtual LinkedIn Learning sessions for the cohort to share their experience with colleagues.
While all of this was happening, the HR team was generating reports from LinkedIn Learning and running satisfaction surveys to understand learner sentiment. The combination of high platform usage data and enthusiastic feedback from the pilot cohort enabled HR to secure leadership buy-in for digital learning.
It didn’t take long before HR began receiving requests from various business units about acquiring LinkedIn Learning licences for their teams too. Aboitiz has since extended this to 300 licences by the end of 2020 and increased to 1,800 licenses in 2021.