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How CityFibre built an L&D plan from scratch, supporting their rapid workforce growth

Tom Whiting
2020-07-22

CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform is building full fibre networks across the UK to transform cities and ignite a digital revolution.

With a growing number of employees, CityFibre’s L&D team has the challenge of delivering training to keep up with the pace of company growth, while remaining within  budget.

A brand new L&D team needed to deliver training to staff spread across the UK. They chose to partner with GO1 to meet the learning needs of the company.

We spoke with Rachael Barker; L&D Manager, Lucy Cornwall; Learning Experience Specialist, Hayley Pritchard; L&D Specialist and Zoe Shepherd; L&D Specialist about their transition to the platform.

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Hear from Rachael and Lucy about how they chose the tools, processes and strategies to deliver L&D for their growing team. They even onboarded their new starters at a local cinema!

The challenge

Delivering learning at scale

Before 2019 there was no Learning and Development team at CityFibre, instead training was delivered via external companies and each department arranged their own training as and when it was needed. Basic H&S training was delivered in a whole day, face to face session by Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Officers using Powerpoint slides. As the business grew, significant training gaps began to emerge. Due to the locations of employees and the sheer volume of topics to cover, face-to-face training could no longer meet their learning needs.

“We wanted to hit the ground running, so we needed to look at options to train the workforce at scale with a small L&D team,” says Rachael, L&D Manager.

Getting buy-in from senior leadership

In general, the CityFibre leadership team endorsed the new approach to employee training. However, it was essential to present a solution that showed consideration of cost efficiencies and one that could support scalability.

“We showed the leadership team a range of options and how these didn’t meet the needs from a cost and range perspective compared to GO1 that offered a huge range for less of a cost,” adds Rachael, and Lucy Cornwall, L&D Specialist at the company.

“We explained the benefits of online learning and the flexibility this offered CityFibre.”

A new team, a new reputation to build

As a new L&D team, it was crucial for Rachael, Lucy, Zoe and Hayley to build a reputation and amicable relationships with the line managers. For this to happen, the project needed to be manageable for the team to execute. Internal buy-in would allow easier adoption of future projects.

“Working smart is important. Quantity isn’t quality. People throw a lot of solutions at a problem, and you can’t pull it back once it’s out there. It was important to get it right,” says Lucy.

Finding a cost-efficient solution

The team needed to consider several criteria before deciding which solution was the most cost-effective.

Using five content providers would have significantly increased project costs.

Multiple suppliers would also have complicated how the project was rolled out and managed. Centralising content was potentially a problem.

It was also important for the team to invest in the required breadth of content styles, which could have become expensive if more content was needed later on. They needed a single solution with unlimited content access.

Addressing the breadth of content needed for every department

They needed to implement an eLearning platform that could address the learning styles of every department. The needs of site-based engineers were different to those of an office-based legal team. The solution needed to have a breadth of content types and styles to address this.

The solution

After looking at multiple content providers to try and meet the learning needs of the CityFibre staff, the team wanted to explore GO1 as a one-stop content solution. The platform would also allow them to integrate  and map content into their Absorb LMS.  They could  deal with just one supplier but have unlimited access to a library of 65,000+ learning items.

Mapping learning content for the entire business

GO1’s library of 140 providers allowed the team to curate their learning pathways and map courses to skills for each department. 

The breadth of content GO1 could offer meant that CityFibre could choose the styles to fit each job role, instead of each department having to fit into one standard method of learning.

Mitigating the risk of investment

Moving away from the costs of managing five providers to an aggregator in GO1 allowed the team to become more cost-efficient. It was easier to manage all learners in a single subscription.

Scalability

Courses that were face-to-face could now be sent to learners by email and completed on the same day.

The results

Choosing content styles for a large team with different learning needs is overwhelming, so CityFibre leant on GO1’s knowledge of their content library to map learning courses to skills.

The GO1 Customer Success team rolled out a six-month plan to support Rachael’s team to manage and identify specific challenges they wanted to address, including:

  • Increasing knowledge sharing between departments;
  • Mental health awareness to support staff;
  • Supporting rapid company growth;
  • Reducing staff turnover due to lack of succession planning;
  • Upskilling new managers.

The GO1 Customer Success team then mapped out key objectives to support team growth. Content curation can be challenging, but working with GO1 and the platform made it easy for the team to find the content they needed for launch quickly. They were also able to:

  • Create a repository of courses within the Absorb Learning Management System (LMS);
  • Create an outstanding onboarding experience for new starters;
  • Develop learning pathways to support managers and succession planning.

Speed of course creation

Content from over 140 providers allowed Rachael to deliver on-demand content for employees and line managers to support their teams. This range prevented content creation from becoming a barrier to learning.

The ability to tap into GO1’s library expedited the whole process and allowed the L&D team and the line manager to track the completion of training.

For most businesses, course curation is a long process, but GO1’s Customer Success team guided Rachael and Lucy to map courses and aid a timely project launch.

Strong adoption

The response from managers and learners was overwhelmingly positive, supported by high enrolment and course completion numbers.

More budget and time for other projects

By working with GO1 to centralise the source of their eLearning content, Rachael was able to save the costs associated with working with multiple providers and reduce future costs of having to buy more content.

Rachael was able to roll out the L&D plan quickly with GO1. The content was available on-demand, rather than having to be created internally.

Reporting

The GO1 platform can manage and track individual learners’ progress, as well as report on metrics for compliance and auditing. Rachael and the team now had visibility over what their learners were doing.

Recommendations

Rachael and Lucy also offered the following tips to other L&D/HR teams starting their journey with GO1:

  • “Be resilient - people don’t always understand the value of good content.
  • Make good use of the GO1 team and their expertise.
  • Understand your organisation’s priorities, and you will be able to engage the stakeholders.
  • Be clear on what you are trying to achieve.
  • Set clear milestones and have a plan to reach each one.
  • Link your content with other company initiatives, like Mental Health Week, to keep it relevant.
  • Know your audience and use a mix of content and types.”

We thank Rachael and the team for their time and look forward to hearing more about CityFibre’s journey with GO1, as their learning and development systems continue to flourish.

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