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At WorkRamp LEARN Spring 2023, we brought together 10+ industry leaders from Outreach, Deel, Intercom, Guideline, and more. In our keynote sessions and panel discussions, our guests shared tips and actionable insights for People, Revenue, and Customer Success professionals to tackle challenges in 2023.
Learning is not only the growth engine; it’s the efficient growth engine in this new economy
Ted Blosser, WorkRamp’s CEO and Co-Founder, kicked things off at WorkRamp LEARN Spring with his opening keynote. Ted shared his insights on the power of learning and unveiled the Learning Cloud by WorkRamp.
As Ted shares, if you look across the tech ecosystem, productivity and efficiency are top priorities for most companies this year. And the good news is, learning enables us to do our roles more effectively.
Learning is the efficient growth engine in this new economy and can:
- Show us how to sell to more customers
- Help us improve customer satisfaction
But, there’s a problem with learning: complexity. “Companies have way too many options and tools to deliver learning programs,” Ted says. “Organizations use separate HR systems, content providers, sales tools, and customer and partner education platforms. Combined, all of these options lead to more operational complexity and higher costs.”
So, how can we improve learning across organizations while reducing complexity and providing maximum productivity?
The solution? The Learning Cloud: the all-in-one learning platform for all of your employee and customer learning needs.
The Learning Cloud combines Employee Learning to improve performance, upskill employees, and increase revenue, and Customer Learning to supercharge customer education and increase customer satisfaction.
“Together, they provide the most comprehensive learning platform on the market,” Ted says. “Today, we’re excited to officially roll out the Learning Cloud and transform the learning world forever.”
Ted also shared three major enhancements that will be rolling out over the coming months:
- Self-serve content from a library of thousands of courses. Give learners the ability to develop their skills and grow their careers
- New WorkRamp Content offering focused on compliance. This allows you to keep every employee in compliance throughout the year
- Learning Cloud Assist. AI will fundamentally change how learning is delivered and consumed by employees and customers. Learning Cloud Assist will augment how content creators develop content to improve the content you’re creating and lead to improved learning outcomes
Learn more in our product tour (below) or check out the video to see the Learning Cloud in action.
Inside the Learning Cloud
After the unveiling of our solution for employee and customer learning, Erin Paugh, WorkRamp’s Director of Solutions Engineering, offered a product tour to give you a closer look at the capabilities of the platform.
First, learn about the features of the Employee Learning Cloud.
“Our goal is to make it extremely clear to the learner what they need to accomplish within the platform,” Erin says. For example, in the Learning Cloud, L&D teams and learners can:
- See assigned trainings, events they want to attend, and their progress in learning paths and guides
- Use different training options, including building block/eLearning and training guides, which can be built directly within WorkRamp and can be a combination of content, information, tips and tricks, videos, and also knowledge checks, and quiz questions
- Upload SCORM files directly
- Access prebuilt content for skill development, leadership training, compliance, and more
- Create challenges that introduce a use case or scenario learners need to complete
- Use Zoom and calendar integrations to get reminders about training without needing to go into the LMS
- Create learning paths or sequential trainings learners need to complete
The Customer Learning Cloud offers several features and benefits for customers and partners, including:
- Create a training site (academy) or training content branded with your company’s images, banners, fonts, and more
- Learners can explore different training collections, see course outlines, and track their progress
- Create certifications and badges that users can share on their LinkedIn profiles
- Set up learning events. These can be sessions users register for or on-demand training
Erin also offered a closer look at the Admin Console to show how to manage settings and training content for learners.
- Manage and organize training content in a central location
- Adjust user access and permissions
- Build training content directly within WorkRamp or use prebuilt content from subject matter experts
- Create assignment automations based on users’ actions, and automate which other training they’re assigned
- Robust reporting options. See who has completed what, access the dashboard for managers, visualizations for administrators, and generate reports with the report builder
Want to see how the Learning Cloud can help you offer effective training for employees, customers, and partners? Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.
It’s more critical to ensure learners know where to find the answers than to have the answers from the get-go
Customer education is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s crucial to speed up time to value for customers.
In her panel, CustEd: The Power Tool to Scale CS Efforts & Build Customer Loyalty, Amy Elenius, Manager of Customer Education, Gorgias shares how CS teams can be more efficient and effective and create resources to benefit users.
Amy stresses the importance of creating the same high-quality experience without needing one-to-one engagement for CSMs. Part of this is understanding which one-to-one functions you’re trying to replicate, using data to determine where users are experiencing friction and blockers to product adoption, and helping them find the answers and resources to remove these issues.
These insights help you understand how to move the needle to make the biggest change. When it comes to designing resources for customers, Amy recommends:
- Use accessible language
- Cater to as many learning styles as possible
- Have examples of all use cases
- Microlearning; keep things short and relevant
- Don’t get hung up on learners’ retaining the knowledge only from a lesson; instead, think about teaching them to find the answers themselves
In these times, we need to do whatever it takes to help our customers
In their session, Go Under the Hood With Chief Customer Officers, Dan Darcy, Chief Customer Officer, Qualified, and Christine Rimer, Chief Customer Officer, Guideline, share their top priorities to create and maintain high-quality customer experience.
Christine explains that while some things have shifted due to changes in the market, other things, like anchoring on the customer experience, have and should remain constant.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is anchoring on that customer experience, where folks feel confident at every stage of the journey,” she says. “What changed mid-last year, is how we double down on delivering a world-class customer experience in an operationally efficient way.”
What this means for her team at Guideline is understanding:
- When and why do people contact us?
- How can we better anticipate this?
- How can we improve that workflow through automations, systems, and better knowledge management for contacts that come to us?
Dan echoes the importance of ensuring customers have what they need to succeed despite headwinds.
“We are focused on doubling down on success for our customers,” he says. “It’s about giving that bear hug to your customers because times are going to be tough. We must ensure we’re a true partner and that our customers get through this time.”
The biggest challenge for people teams in 2023: All the Things
People teams are facing many new challenges, forcing teams to evolve.
But what is the biggest challenge for organizations? According to L. David Kingsley, Chief People Officer, Intercom, it’s all the things–it seems to be an endless lift.
During his keynote session, Leadership Insights for People Teams in 2023, he shared advice for navigating the economic headwinds destabilizing companies and cultures, forcing business leaders to make tough decisions.
“Leaders are feeling those growing pains, the strain that’s happening, and having to make tough decisions,” he says. “But for that group of employees who remain, how do we focus on making sure they stay engaged and ensure we’re continuing to develop them as professionals?”
There must also be a balance of investment levels, and just as an organization has customer voices front and center, the same must be true for employees.
“In our world, the customers are the employees,” he says. “That level of investment should match or mirror the customer demand signal. Most of our companies are people businesses and rely on human capital to move the ball forward.”
So what are actionable approaches people teams can take? “We must avoid the temptation to run the same plays we did 1 to 3 years ago,” David says. “We need to take a clean-sheet approach.”
For the Intercom team, this is all about personalization. “The name of the game, now more than ever, is personalization,” he says. “Employees want personalization and self-direction. They want to feel like they’re one of one. They want a tailored Netflix queue of L&D opportunities, whether it’s recorded content, live content, or mentoring.” The organizations that provide personalized, customizable content are the ones that are going to win.
When you focus on delighting customers, good things happen
Being customer-focused is essential for organizations, regardless of your product or service. In a sneak peek of an upcoming LEARN Podcast episode, John Schoenstein, CRO, Sprout Social, shared learnings from his career on customer centricity and effective leadership.
John started his career at Oracle and still uses many lessons he learned early on.
“Starting as an SDR and working my way up through the leadership ranks, you learn a lot of discipline and structure,” he says. “How to organize a sales team, build a go-to-market, and work with customers. Oracle ingrained in me the importance of customer-centricity and ensuring you’re focused on delighting the customer. “When you focus on delighting customers, good things happen. You end up building trust with those customers, and they can often become long-term customers.”
John also shared his approach to leadership, which starts with observing others.
“I’ve tried to observe great leaders and emulate them,” he says. “My leadership approach is aligned with a book called Multipliers. As a leader, you can have a multiplying effect around you, bringing the best out of your team. Hiring the best talent and helping them reach their full potential. It requires clear communication. You’re going to challenge these folks and push them further than what feels comfortable. Because you can do more than you think, sometimes you just need to hear that from someone else.”
Read more: What is Leadership Development and Why is it Important?
Get more insights from John and other industry experts on the LEARN Podcast and check us out on Apple or Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe and review!
Collecting the right data is essential to ensure you’re providing the value and the resources your customers need
In their panel discussion, The One Thing You Must Do to Help Your Customers Thrive This Year, Chauncy Cay Ford and Jennifer Foster, Director of Customer Enablement and Product Learning and Development Specialist, Quantum Metric shared their tips to create effective training and resources to set customers up for success.
For Chauncy, it all starts with data to ensure you create resources that provide customer value. “Data is important, and we have a lot of it,” she says. “My first hire was an analyst because I wanted to make sure we were building what our customers needed and what would move product adoption further. To level up, we had to make sure we were providing value and could measure that success.”
But beyond collecting data, it’s also vital to continue to iterate and update content to create a lasting impact. “That’s not where the journey ends,” Chauncy shares. “We must continuously prove value, pivot, and build what’s important. We have great ideas, but it’s proving those with data.”
Jennifer also stresses the importance of ongoing, evolving content creation. “The content building doesn’t stop,” she says. “But trying to get to a point where we can partner with experts and empower them to steer it since they work directly with customers, so they’re building impactful content.”
Remember, your customer education materials won’t always be the same depending on customers’ needs. You can have different types of resources, teaching methods or modalities, ways to access the content, and more.
“It’s important that we’re not asking customers to go further from the point where they are,” Chauncy says. “We started putting some of that training interactively in our product and figuring out that blend and where to put things. It’s not always a course or an article. Sometimes it’s an interactive tutorial because nobody learns the same way.”
You don’t build multiple products; you solve multiple problems. Products are the vehicles to solve users’ problems
In his keynote session, LEARN With Manny Medina, the Outreach CEO, and Co-Founder, shared his advice and experience on category creation, managing organizational debt, building productive teams, and more.
Manny shared his learnings for companies looking to expand and acquire investors. “Every company looks to go from a single product to multiple products,” he says. “But then you realize you don’t build multiple products; you solve multiple problems. Products are the vehicles to solve users’ problems. Multiple products don’t mean anything; users want the problem to be solved. So, starting from the end, what does success look like for the customer? And work from there.”
Manny also shared actionable insights to drive productivity and create high-performing teams. “Productivity is the result of the work you do to align and empower people to do what they need to,” he says. “You need a mindset, a skillset, and a toolset to drive productivity. First, make sure your goals are clear. Everyone in the organization demands direction, structure, and accountability. That means we have to be very predictable and more efficient. Once you do that, you give employees a sense of direction that allows us to fulfill our big goals.”
Everyone has a role in the learning process
Creating effective learning resources is essential to empower team members and help employees upskill and reskill. But, beyond developing resources, it’s vital to encourage participation and learner engagement.
In her panel, 5 Ways L&D Can Impact Employee Productivity, Andrea Burow, Learning and Development Partner, Knowledge Services, shares her team’s strategies to boost learner engagement and effectiveness.
“Innovation and transformation are so important, and getting learners involved from the get-go is vital,” Andrea says. “Even before we launched Knowledge Services University (KSU), we got learners involved. We created a survey and took it a step further and asked employees to vet the content.”
Helping team members feel more involved in the process leads to greater adoption of learning materials and resources.
Knowledge Services also has a podcast called the “Know it Alls,” and they encourage involvement from all of their teams. “We have different co-hosts from different teams, so it gets them involved,” Andrea says. “We’ve done some fun things like creating playlists that focus around something seasonal or something driven by the teams themselves.”
Some examples include seasonal and holiday playlists for stress management and playlists focused on team dynamics and understanding how to work together more effectively.
Andrea stresses that everyone must get involved in the learning process and that managers and team leaders must mirror what it looks like to be a good learner and get engaged.
Based on her success with KSU, Andrea shares five takeaways for creating effective learning programs and boosting engagement:
- Collaboration is key. You want learners to be part of the journey. They’re going to show you where you need to go
- Building a framework to launch a vision. KSU worked for us, but it created a platform where we could stay on brand and be consistent in our messaging. This helps you maintain that flow
- The more you can cross platforms and create shared learning experiences, the better. Creating those drivers where we can have crossover between our LMS and other platforms
- Making content/programs repeatable. Making sure we don’t lose the expertise that we have is crucial. We know our knowledge and insights are with our people. We want to capture that and share that
- Be creative and have fun with it. We’ve had ice cream socials. We recognize people along the way, and we’ve had top learners. There are so many ways to celebrate and be creative, making it more fun and easier for people to engage
All HR leaders deserve an award; the last 3 to 4 years have been crazy
We’ve talked about the headwinds and challenges that organizations are currently facing, but the truth is, the last 3 to 4 years have been full of changes. From the start of the pandemic to the Great Resignation and quiet quitting to the recent shift to an employers’ market, HR leaders have had to learn to adapt, be agile, and put their people first.
In his keynote session, LEARN With Alex Bouaziz, the CEO and Co-Founder, Deel shares how the role of HR is changing.
“All HR leaders deserve a huge award; it’s been crazy over the last 3 to 4 years,” he says. “The number of significant events that companies went through show how doubling or tripling down your investment in your HR team and giving them the power within the company to take care of your team is the most important thing.”
In addition to investing in HR, Alex stresses that People and Finance teams must work together to help your organization during challenging times.
“People and Finance are the real leaders of a company,” he says. “Your people and finance teams are the real machines that make the company work. That’s the glue of your company.”
Many organizations have adopted remote-first or hybrid working models in the post-pandemic world. However, Alex shares that these organizations must adopt a trust-first attitude focused on output.
“I default to trust people first,” he says. “You need to trust people that they’ll work hard, do their job, and be very focused on their output. I assume people always have the best interest of the company and themselves. This model enables people to operate. They give their best selves.”
The learning doesn’t stop here. Get more pro tips and expert advice from our speakers; check out the on-demand replays of WorkRamp LEARN Spring.
- What is Employee Training? How to Build the Ultimate Employee Training & Development Program June 9, 2023
- How to Use an LMS for Customer Education: Driving Success Through Training & Support June 7, 2023
- Podcast Recap: LEARN with Randy Seidl June 6, 2023
- Do These 6 Things to Increase Customer Loyalty June 5, 2023
- What is an LMS? A Guide to Learning Management Systems June 4, 2023
Subscribe to the LEARN Newsletter.
Maile Timon is WorkRamp’s Content Strategist. She has over 10 years of experience in content marketing and SEO and has written for several publications and industries, including B2B, marketing, lifestyle, health, and more. When she’s not writing or developing content strategies, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her family.
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