Go1 and ABC Technologies: Moving from transactional to transformational learning

We'll share how Go1 helped ABC Technologies evolve from transactional to transformational learning, by increasing engagement and course completions.
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Danielle Stewart, Director, Brand and Advocacy

ABC Companies (not to be confused with the American or Australian ABC TV channels) is a business that sells, leases, and services motor coach buses and also distributes parts. The company serves enterprise customers of all sizes, including small businesses, transportation companies, and those like Disney and Google which maintain their own fleets. 

We spoke to Karla Rainer, ABC Companies’ Director of HR, to get the inside scoop on their learning transformation since partnering with Go1, including higher levels of learner engagement, improved course completion rates, and a shift from transactional to transformational training. 

Since joining the company in July of 2018, Karla has striven to improve the employee culture at ABC. After starting life as a small, family-owned business, ABC companies grew quickly, and it wasn’t immune to the challenges that often plague organizations in early growth phases. “Now, we're really trying to focus on culture and employee engagement,” she said.

A user-friendly platform for all

Karla was hired when ABC moved their payroll and HR from Minnesota to Florida during a period of restructuring. Until then, the company had one designated Training Manager, whose entire job was dedicated to working with the learning management system (LMS). When Karla and the rest of the team signed on, that responsibility was transferred to them.

The system they inherited was outdated and severely lacking, but nevertheless it was used for everything from annual compliance training to technician-specific mechanical learning paths. 

Reporting was sub-par as well—HR would have to pull a manual report to let managers know which employees needed reminders—and there was no manager self-service to speak of. With 730 employees already at the organization, this was quickly becoming impossible to handle manually. 

On top of these logistical challenges, the system simply failed to meet ABC’s learning and development (L&D) needs, both in terms of technical training and compliance training.

So, they began searching for a platform that could replace the current, outdated system. The decision-making team consisted of Karla and then-director Sandy Jones, and final approval sat with the CFO. The pair looked into a few different companies, though Karla was entrusted with identifying the system that would be most usable for ABC’s employees.

The top priority was finding a provider that could offer a user-friendly platform. Karla notes that while a significant portion of ABC’s workforce might be mechanically inclined, the population isn’t necessarily tech-savvy. Ultimately, this process led to them partnering with Go1, with fantastic results. 

Embracing an educational ecosystem

After choosing to partner with Go1, Karla said Go1’s collaboration was critical during the onboarding and implementation process. “The files that were extracted from the previous system were just atrocious. It was very, very tough administrative-wise,” she said, adding that she “can’t thank enough the customer service rep we had when we first started.”

ABC now has its new-hire orientation, compliance training, and a number of other training programs hosted in Go1, though the company continues to use a separate, dedicated platform for safety training. They have achieved the long-sought consistency in messaging, using Go1 to ensure that employees in all locations receive the same information from ABC, instead of relying on individual local HR reps to convey messages as accurately as possible (a whisper-down-the-lane approach, which introduces room for human error no matter how meticulously participants attempt to repeat information).

Go1 offers self-service reporting as well: managers can log in and see which employees have completed training and which still need to.

Though it falls outside her purview, Karla notes that ABC is also using Go1 for customer training, which supports clients’ technicians in servicing and maintaining their ABC products. This usage falls under a customer-facing training manager, but Karla knows it’s been successful there, too. “Not only has this been a great resource to get our employees engaged, it’s been a great resource to get our customers engaged as well,” she said. 

“Not only has this been a great resource to get our employees engaged, it’s been a great resource to get our customers engaged as well.

Ultimately, Go1’s dedication to customer service has allowed ABC to realize both internal and external business impacts with minimal hassle. “Even to this day, we have this designated customer service rep that we can always reach out to, and we don’t have that with a lot of our other platforms. It’s definitely a big deal for our side of things,” Karla added. 

Top-of-class engagement levels

To anyone considering Go1, Karla says her advice would be “that they should do it right away.” She has no complaints: “My experience from day one has been great.”

To anyone considering Go1, Karla says her advice would be “that they should do it right away.” She has no complaints: “My experience from day one has been great.”

Karla also shared some of the metrics she and her team use to prove the ongoing value of the solution. Not surprisingly, engagement is number one. “Our engagement is higher now than it's ever been,” she says. Data shows that some 83% of training modules are completed, and Karla reports that “it was nothing even close to that before.”

Now that Go1 has lifted the administrative burden the old system placed on Karla and her team, they have more time and energy available for higher-level and more strategic work. “We’ve gone through a lot of restructuring and changes within our department since we’ve started. So it was tough, and then throw COVID in there, it made everything else even more tough.”

“Our engagement is higher now than it's ever been.

What’s more, Go1 has effectively eliminated the “help desk” style calls to Karla and her team—they used to field five to 10 a day, or more during training seasons, but that number has been reduced to zero. Calls, emails, and, at the Florida location, walk-ins with simple, avoidable technical questions were a daily occurrence. “Between Go1, the benefits portal, and the payroll portal, I barely have any visitors now. Before that I had a line out the door of somebody needing something.” Though none of these individual requests for technical assistance were particularly time-consuming, they certainly added up, and it’s reasonable to assume that they would only have grown to take more time as the company employs more people.

What’s next? 

Though they have plenty to be pleased with already with their Go1 implementation, ABC expects to continue evolving with the vendor’s support. “There's still so much more I want to do with Go1 and so many more ideas—it’s just finding the time to get everything you want done,” Karla enthused. 

High on the list of priorities for next steps are plans to compile a new manager training program, a business need Karla and her team were able to identify thanks to their capacity to focus on the bigger picture. ABC likes to promote from within, but while “a lot of these managers might be great at the specific job they’re doing that got them noticed for a promotion, being a manager or having people report to you is a whole other ballgame.”

Karla wants to provide tools to help these new managers succeed. “We need to make sure that they can keep their promotion; we don’t want to just throw them to the wolves with no tools of what to do next.” Training and skill-building on topics such as difficult conversations, harassment or discrimination issues, and even email etiquette will help equip these new managers for the demands of leadership. “We want to be sure that at least we’re giving them the basic tools to succeed in their next role. So that is my next project.”

The partnership between Go1 and ABC has already brought substantial value, not only by boosting employee engagement but also by reducing the administrative burden on Karla and her team. Eliminating the onus of running a “help desk” elevated HR to a position as a strategic contributor to the organization, one that now has the ability and capacity to explore ways to get even more value out of the investment. 

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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