Global Head of Talent & Learning at Fortune 500 technology company with 55,000 employees worldwide
What We Did
Aligned leaders on strategy and roll out plan for a new career development philosophy, messaging, and tools and resources
Developed content and launched internal website designed around the employee experience in four months
Design Thinking Workshop Aligns Global Leaders on Vision for Learning and Career Development at Fortune 500 Company
The Global Head of Talent & Learning at a Fortune 500 technology company had a new vision for career development. He wanted to encourage employees to grow their career within the company and offer tools and resources for managers and employees to have more effective career development conversations. Initially, he reached out to Blue Beyond to develop a toolkit for employees.
Around the same time, it was brought to light that another team had plans to launch an internal website focused on learning. Since learning is a big part of developing a career, we knew we needed to help the organization communicate and align on what they were both hoping to achieve and start working together toward a common goal.
After working with project managers through several iterations of a career and learning website, we unfortunately still ran into roadblocks that stemmed from siloed thinking, lack of alignment from leaders, and lack of access to key decision-makers. It was time for a new approach.
WHAT WE DID
We designed and facilitated a two-day workshop with the goal of aligning leaders on a purpose, vision, and philosophy for learning and career development at the company. The entire Talent and Learning organization leadership team — which included leaders from around the world responsible for performance management, learning, employee communications, talent management and more — came together and were fully committed to getting this done.
Design Thinking Workshop
The two-day workshop focused on creating a compelling and inspiring career development experience for employees.
- Understanding the user experience. Day one focused on encouraging leaders to think strategically about the user experience. Through design thinking exercises and employee personas, leaders learned to empathize with employees’ unique needs, interests, and concerns. By understanding what matters to them most, we were able to create an organizing framework for the career development experience and the “ecosystem” of available offerings in a way that’s intuitive to employees. Then we developed the narrative necessary to help shift employee mindsets, change behaviors, and inspire them to engage in growing their careers at the company.
- Bringing the vision and employee experience to life. With the organizing framework and narrative in place, day two focused on working together to design the architecture for the career development and learning website in a way that made it easy for employees to take advantage of the many resources, tools, and opportunities available to own and drive their career growth.
With the workshop as our jumping off point, and all stakeholders fully engaged, we had the action plan, timeline, and momentum we needed. We collaborated with the leadership team and “tiger teams” within the Talent and Learning organization to create tools and resources. We held focus groups with people from all levels and locations around the globe to get feedback on the site architecture, messaging, and content. We also did a soft launch to all of HR to incorporate their feedback. Four months after the workshop, we launched the new career development website to global employees.
Tools We Developed
- Self Reflection Questionnaire to help employees think through where they want to go next in their career and what steps they can take and resources they can lean on within company to get there
- Meaningful Conversation Guide to enable employees to have more productive conversations with their manager
- Peer Conversation Guide to encourage employees to reach out to colleagues in other departments or functions to learn about other career opportunities within the company with tips and templates to help facilitate these discussions
- Tip sheet on how to ask for and give feedback
By engaging leaders in a focused process, we launched a thoughtfully planned website centered around the employee experience. We also partnered with the internal communications team to launch the site and roll out a communications strategy that included equipping managers with tools to support their employees in career development conversations.
The new career development and learning website is gaining attention from leaders outside of HR, including the CEO, who plans to share his career story on the site—a sure sign that people are paying attention! Employees are engaging with the offerings and learning new ways to grow their career within the company.
While many talent leaders may look first to a web developer for help with a new website, we believe in a more holistic approach. Bringing stakeholders together, designing with the employee experience in mind, and aligning on a strategy and philosophy everyone can get behind was key for this team. Leaders saw that this was bigger than HR and realized the impact it meant for the future of the company.