Ericsson’s learning team needed a solution that could pull together the disparate elements of the Ericsson learning technology infrastructure and at the same time align employee development with the company’s new strategic direction. Peter Sheppard, Head of Global L&D Ecosystem, tells us more about why it chose Degreed to help it achieve this.
New learning and career development
When Ericsson ushered in a new era of companywide simplicity, the goal was to position the Swedish networking and telecommunications firm to become a leader in 5G and other emerging technologies — by making it easier to be a customer, supplier or employee.
In response to this new business imperative, the Global Learning & Development team recognised that learning at Ericsson had become increasingly complex, relying on multiple platforms including an LMS, webinar tool and several content libraries. This resulted in a perplexing stew of six entry points to learning. Workers had more than 15,500 disjointed learning items and no effective way to access learning on a mobile device.
“We were lacking any form of system strategy,” said Peter Sheppard, Head of Global L&D Ecosystem. “We needed a one-stop shop.”
The learning team needed a solution that could pull together the disparate elements of the Ericsson learning technology infrastructure and at the same time align employee development with the company’s new strategic direction. L&D called this new ecosystem strategy ‘Learning Made Easy’.
Empowering people with Degreed
Working with IT and HR, the learning team searched for an LXP to bring the Learning Made Easy vision to life. After shortlisting and testing three solutions for functionality including personalisation, content curation, mobile capabilities and analytics, Ericsson chose Degreed based on those factors as well as its AI, overall user experience and implementation support.
Next, the learning team strategically piloted Degreed among its own members as well as the Ericsson IT group and the Market Area North America organisation, extending access to more than 5,000 people. IT was necessarily discerning about adding new technology to the company’s ecosystem but encouraged by how employees in all pilot groups embraced Degreed.
With a business case in hand and proof points from the pilot experience, the learning team sought approval from HR and IT for a global Ericsson launch of Degreed.
“Return on investment had to be demonstrated,” said Sheppard. “This meant surveying pilot participants and identifying clear and achievable hard and soft savings. These included reduced search times and faster development of new learning journeys.”
Once learning leaders secured final approval to rollout Degreed globally, internal champions helped people navigate the new solution while a comprehensive Marcomms campaign included videos, news articles, email communications to all employees and online onboarding sessions. Perhaps most importantly, Pathways created in Degreed focused on critical skills for each part of the business, especially 5G, to immediately begin connecting learning with strategic business priorities.
L&D drives innovation
Degreed now sits at the top of the Ericsson learning tech stack, integrating all learning content from internal and external sources. By connecting people to learning and making it easy to access, Degreed plays a key role in making learning a daily habit across the organisation. Connecting skill building to strategy with Degreed keeps Ericsson competitive and drives profitable growth.
A whopping 97% of workers and 99% of managers have active accounts — and up to 64% of the company’s people return monthly to keep learning.
Targeted and personalised learning
Teams and departments have used Degreed to successfully advance specific initiatives. For example, Degreed helped Sales L&D launch a future-focused, industry-recognised sales proficiency programme called SET2WIN. Incorporating flexible learning Pathways, it was designed to reinforce existing skills, teach new capabilities and credential people who build, apply and amplify skills. It aligned skill-building with the latest sales approaches and Ericsson solutions.
All Ericsson global solution owners have used Degreed to build learning Pathways and Plans aligned to the Ericsson portfolio. Pathways and Plans recognised as company sponsored learning are specially branded and endorsed for easier curation and navigation. In addition, compliance training has become increasingly important to upholding an environment of integrity, and all of it is now accessed via Degreed. This has led to remarkable results.
Moreover, Degreed enabled a more skills-orientated approach to learning at Ericsson. When employees log into Degreed for the first time, they select skills in relation to their jobs that they’d like to develop and can update continuously. Using this information, Degreed recommends content and Plans — including collections of items and Pathways about featured skills, themes, events and strategies created by the learning team. Degreed also encourages people to self-, peer- and manager-assess skills.
Most importantly, Degreed has enabled Ericsson to build capabilities in seven critical skill areas needed for growth, providing Plans and Pathways that help people to build skills particularly important to the company’s future. This is supported by a performance management process in which employees select four focus skills in Degreed during end-of-year wrap-up sessions with their managers. Employees view their choices through three lenses: personal performance, career aspirations and Ericsson-critical skills.
The business benefits are clear: data shows employees are increasingly focused on capabilities critical to the success of the business including 5G, AI and Machine Learning, collaboration, sales and automation.
Employees at Ericsson praise the flexibility of Degreed and its mobile app in measurably enhancing their learning experiences. It does this by connecting them to curated content and one another, enabling a vibrant community of learners and experts.
Excellent Return on Investment
With Degreed, Ericsson reduced its overall learning spend by 50% while increasing learning completions by 62% and learning hours by 24%.
Now, people who create global learning solutions do so faster, avoiding time-consuming maintenance of Microsoft SharePoint sites. And the reporting of learning completions is more comprehensive than ever because L&D has visibility into all formal learning rather than just learning completed through the company’s LMS.
In addition, Degreed has helped make classroom training more selective by increasing the use of lower-cost online content. Likewise, it’s reduced the time and budget dedicated to content creation by boosting access to available online sources.
Degreed has also accelerated the time-to-skill for employees while supporting collaborative learning, Sheppard said, noting that the platform encourages people to share new content with one another.
“Looking ahead,” Sheppard said, “Degreed will be a key partner in our journey to show that developing skills delivers business value. To achieve this, Degreed will help us understand the skills we have through analytics and credentials and enable people to develop through seamless integration with our talent marketplace. In short, Degreed will become every person’s skill coach.”
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