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How We Created a Culture of Self-Directed Learning

By May 26, 2023May 27th, 2023Blog

I’m excited to share how we have transformed our learning and development processes and culture. At Bristlecone, we have always been entrepreneurial, encouraging our employees to focus on self-learning and driving their career paths. Our commitment to L&D has been recognized with multiple awards in 2023, including the Economic Times Gold Award for ‘excellence in creating a culture of continuous learning and upskilling’ and the National HRD Network People First Ace Awards. We also won the Cornerstone APJ RAVE Award in the ‘learning experience’ category for our exceptional learning and talent strategy.

Philosophy of Learning

At Bristlecone, our philosophy is that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish, he feeds himself for a lifetime. This philosophy has fueled our approach to creating learning programs and encouraging our employees to learn.

In alignment with Bristlecone’s culture of ‘staying relevant, empowerment, responsibility and ownership,’ we align all training to employees’ individual technical, functional and behavioral goals. Employees scan the organization’s expectations of them and identify their skill gaps to choose the competencies that will help them meet their goals, which are specific to each level. This alignment enables the company to reach the 5th level of Kirkpatrick’s training evaluation model through a role-based, meta-competency learning framework aligned to goals. Meta-competencies empower individuals to acquire other competencies to help them achieve their goals, generating a return on investment for the business.

Meta-Competency Learning Pathways and Journey

We curated level-based technical, functional and behavioral pathways and journeys that have gained over 20,000 searches. These pathways and journeys can develop organization-wide competencies in effective communication, leadership skills, project management and digital competencies. Learning is tied back to employees’ goals during performance evaluation. We also developed pre- and post-measurement smartcards for all pathways and journeys.

Why EdCast?

Before adopting EdCast, we requested feedback from our workforce about the employee experience. Career growth was an area highlighted for improvement, and so we set to work. We wanted to build a learning culture that consisted of a healthy mixture of both self-directed learning and mandatory training. We also wanted the employee journey to align with individuals’ goals and the Bristlecone meta-competency framework. We created that framework to map out the different levels of work, the corresponding work output, the behavioral objectives, and the competencies required to meet these goals.

We needed a platform that could provide employees access to personalized content that helps the workforce hone their skills. The platform must also provide learning in the flow of work, promoting the self-led learning culture that’s so core to Bristlecone’s entrepreneurial philosophy. With this in mind, we turned to EdCast. After the initial pilot in July 2022 – with a 15% adoption rate and an extremely positive reception – we quickly rolled out the platform to the broader company. The current adoption rate is 75%.

With EdCast, we have given our employees ownership of their own learning and development, creating a self-reliant journey. EdCast has been the key to aligning employees to their goals.

The Results

Employee Learning Skyrocketed

Learning engagement rapidly increased, with the number of employees using the platform for multiple days rising from 60.63% to 73.76% between September 2022 and February 2023. The venue boasts 8,500 consumption hours, an impressive 4x the headcount of Bristlecone’s workforce, amounting to at least five hours of learning per person. Monthly average users are at 64%, with the content completion percentage at 68%.

Learn Anything, Anywhere

EdCast’s Microsoft Teams integration makes learning materials immediately accessible, both on employee laptops and on the go. We have observed that 20%-30% of employee learning occurs on mobile devices, indicating how we have empowered our employees to learn from wherever they want. Learning even rose over the year-end holiday season with 25,751 course completions, showing continued employee initiative to learn.

Personalized Learning

We used EdCast to curate content aligned with our in-depth meta-competency for every level of work. This provides employees with highly personalized learning journeys depending on their interests and jobs. The approach has shown clear value to employees, with 1,912 learners engaging in multiple days of active engagement. With EdCast, we also introduced ‘nudges,’ encouraging employees to finish courses they had started and continue learning.

Learning Becomes Part of the Day-to-Day

In November 2022, we blocked out 10 minutes at 10 AM every day so employees could fully concentrate on their learning in bite-sized chunks. Through our ‘My Day Friday’ initiative, we encourage employees not to schedule meetings after 1 PM on Fridays and use this time to learn and grow. We also created campaigns such as kNoWember, a month-long learning fest, and community-based learning to promote peer-to-peer learning, such as Slack groups.

Gamified Approach and Credit-Based Framework

We leveraged EdCast to gamify learning with points, badges and leaderboards, personalizing experiences further and driving even greater self-led engagement. We have a learning credit framework that recognizes top learners with an intrinsic and extrinsic reward system of credit points they can exchange at the marketplace.

At Bristlecone, we are proud of the culture of self-directed learning that we have created and the positive impact it has had on our employees. We believe that investing in our employees’ growth and development is not only good for them but also good for our business.

Head of Talent Development

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