Training Figures That Speak for Themselves

Kenny Henderson

How can one reduce induction time and substantially lower attrition rates for new recruits? Home entertainment giant Sky found answers to these questions in its new e-learning programme “Get Up to Speed”. The customised, on-the-job training portal, designed by Brightwave, helps new recruits to quickly orientate themselves in their still-unfamiliar working environment, thus leading to estimated annual savings of about £700,000. Kenny Henderson, Sky’s Head of Talent Development Operations, will present the tool at OEB.


OEB: How should an e-learning solution be designed in order to reflect your company’s spirit and culture?
Kenny Henderson: Any e-learning experience at Sky should fully embody our values of being fun, inviting, irrepressible and tuned in. As a leading global media company, we have high production values and a tech-savvy workforce with high expectations of the brand. It’s essential that a Sky e-learning solution be driven by a strong imaginative treatment, with the ability really to engage our learners. The ‘Get up to Speed’ pre-induction portal does just this by immersing new joiners in Sky culture, quality and customer service from the outset. It directly relates to our corporate strategy of making more people fans of Sky by creating early-stage passion and customer engagement.


OEB: What prompted you to choose a cloud learning solution? What are the main advantages of this learning approach compared to others?
Kenny Henderson: Cloud learning or the online learning portal approach was the perfect option for this project. It allows new joiners to log on from anywhere and at any time. The key factors are the opportunity for them to start learning before they join and to have easy access to it
It empowers and motivates new joiners not only to complete the learning content, but also to build their confidence and competence from day one at Sky. Continuous access to the portal helps to deliver a consistent and sustainable experience for all new starters, supporting and motivating them through and beyond the induction period.


OEB: Who is the tool designed for? What topics do you address?
Kenny Henderson: The focus of this portal is to create an online access point for all Sky new customer-service starters. There is now a rollout planned throughout Sky, as other departments have seen the intrinsic impact on business KPIs, such as customer service, productivity, quality, and performance. ‘Get up to Speed’ launched with eleven especially selected and developed e-learning courses to help embed the new starter in Sky culture, products, and practice from day one. This includes critical areas such as an existing induction course, health and safety, brand-new product knowledge and sales training to help new joiners.


One feature that has been really successful with our contact-centre employees is the Leaderboard Challenge. This area of the portal draws scores from learner activity from within certain modules and presents them as a shared league table, visible to all new starters. When learners achieve 100% in a ‘Leaderboard Challenge’ product knowledge quiz, they earn a number of points, which is shown on their scoreboard in the navigation bar. If they want to build up the points, they are free to do the quiz again and again – as many times as they like, in fact. The repetition helps the new starters to consolidate knowledge and genuinely improves recall when required on the job


OEB: At what point do your “newbies” start to work with it, for how long and how often will they be trained?
Kenny Henderson: From anywhere up to a month before their start date until the point that they actually join Sky. A nice touch is the “Countdown to Sky” clock, which counts down the number of days, hours, minutes and even seconds before each new joiner starts. This helps to build anticipation and is a useful spur to complete content before they start.


OEB: What are your main aims regarding individual performance, and how is the tool designed to fit in your employees’ daily routine?
Kenny Henderson: The main target for this project was clear. We needed to accelerate the time-to-target performance for new contact-centre staff. The e-learning solution, therefore, links directly to learning and business needs, and it also forms part of Sky’s employee-engagement strategy. Employees are encouraged to use the portal not only as a pre-induction tool, but also as a reference point throughout their first six months at Sky.


OEB: Has the implementation of Brightwave proved to be a good investment, economically speaking?
Kenny Henderson: Most definitely. One of the key objectives for introducing the ‘Get up to Speed’ portal was to reduce on-the-job training time. This goal was met within three months of the launch and amounts to 8062 training days saved. And with an expected 2000 new starters per year, annual savings are over £700,000.


Furthermore, whilst reducing training costs, the portal has also accelerated the time-to- target performance, with a 25 per cent reduction in induction time for new starters. This amounts to saving at least seven days for every new start, and those who have completed the portal have exceeded the overall sales conversion rate of 38 per cent in week one, representing an increase in sales conversions for new-starts of 4.2 per cent. The portal has also had a positive effect on employee attrition figures: In Leeds, the average contact-centre attrition rate has hovered around 4 per cent, whereas the average attrition for the portal new-starts is 2.4 per cent – a reduction of 1.6 per cent.


The award-winning ‘Get up to Speed’ portal has enabled us to redefine and streamline the on-boarding process for new-starts, representing a saving of 37.5 training hours for every new-start – 3112 hours for the pilot alone. The portal has ensured that every new-start is now competent at least one week earlier, which represents a significant saving. It has fundamentally changed our current induction and has helped us to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the learning experience.


OEB: Thank you very much for your time, Mr Henderson!


Kenny Henderson, Sky’s Head of Talent Development Operations, will present the tool in the session “Recession – An Open Door for Learning Innovation?” on Thursday, December 3rd, 14:15 – 15:45.

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