James Hardie is a global leader in production of interior and exterior building products made of fibre cement. Always driven to find a better way to build, James Hardie applies a continuous improvement mindset to everything it’s people do. Headquartered in Chicago, they boast around 5000 employees globally, 1200 of those being in the APAC region.
We recently spoke with Jess Griffin, Head of Talent and Capability for James Hardie APAC, to understand the L&D challenges that we are helping them to overcome.
"Like many of the roles I’ve done in the past, I came into a fairly immature site from a learning and talent perspective,” Jess said.
“We had a really outdated version of an LMS, that was going to cost lots to reimplement properly. The list of things to achieve was pretty big and varied - general learning culture, leadership development, sales capability, compliance and EHS training.”
James Hardie’s organisational capability strategy focused on delivering in a much more scalable and sustainable way but its learning system was just not cutting it.
“I needed something that could tick all of those boxes, and also be flexible enough to deliver a pretty tailored, and completely digital assessment process on the manufacturing floor,” Jess explained.
Specifically, the manufacturing plants need to ensure and be able to demonstrate that they’ve trained and assessed people in clearly defined and documented standards. This ensures that every person returns home how they left it that morning.
With employees working across multiple sites, each location maintained training records, which meant lack of standardisation across the board. Reliant upon a paper-based management system and Excel spreadsheets, training records could not easily be produced, which in turn made it difficult to proactively identify and close capability gaps for individuals and the business.
“Once we carefully considered what was required, we identified each item by priority - so whether it was “nice to have” versus “critical.” We also indicated whether a feature was standard, versus configurable, or expected to be available in a future version. We then looked to the market for an answer,” Jess said.
It was apparent that James Hardie needed a more up-to-date solution that made it easier to maintain and track training records. And the team found that solution in Go1.
“Go1 was the product that was going to help us tick the most boxes across the capability strategy, and they had a lot of investment from some key players like Microsoft, so their investment in continually developing the product was important. It’s about being able to respond to our needs.”
Jess and the team have also been very happy with their Go1 customer experience, particularly through their Customer Success Manager (CSM) and 24/7 chat support.
“Their customer service was also a key driver. A lot of time, if you sign up for a product which is based in the US you are offered email support which means you are waiting overnight. Go1 has the most exceptional support I’ve really ever seen. You obviously have your Customer Success Manager who’s awesome, and you also have 24/7 chat support where they instantly access your system and then make you a short video on how to do the thing that you are struggling with. It’s instant and takes like 5 mins - not overnight or days which has been my previous experience.”
With regards to our manufacturing challenge, Jess and her team built a training matrix, listing out training and assessment required for roles. They then worked with their Go1 CSM to discuss options and identify any integrations that might be available to support.
Ultimately we were able to transform the paper-based assessment into an online form (using Google forms) that the plant trainer could complete on the go, on the manufacturing floor. Once the assessment is completed, an automation tool called Zapier updates the learner's training record in Go1 as 'in progress' until the assessment outcome is verified by an independent expert where their records are then once again updated to ‘competent’ or ‘not yet competent.’
This allows the James Hardie team to see in real time where their assessments are up to and what the outcomes are of those assessments.
“Once we have the assessment process worked out our next challenge was how to demonstrate to the business where the training gaps are and anticipate any needs,” Jess explained.
“Using Go1 as a central repository for the data, we build an automated dashboard in Microsoft Excel. This dashboard gives us a visual report showing any training gaps and expired or expiring accreditation.”
Through Go1, the James Hardie team are now able to proactively support, be agile and ready for audits and respond to requested information on the spot.
“It’s allowed us to do so much in such a short period of time. Looking back over the last 12 months, we have been able to design and deploy a digital plant training and assessment system and it’s now rolling out nationally across manufacturing plants in QLD, supply chain and R&D,” said Jess.
On top of completing solving the manufacturing challenge, the James Hardie team was able to significantly lift the quality, engagement and completion of compliance training, as well as deploy Regional Leadership Development and Safety Induction programs.
Jess Griffin from James Hardie’s APAC L&D team recently appeared on the Learning Uncut podcast - an L&D podcast hosted by Michelle Ockers, Learning Strategy Expert and a leading contemporary learning practitioner at the forefront of modernising learning.
Reach out to our friendly 24/7 support team to see how Go1 can help you provide compliance, professional development, and softs skills training for your staff.