Learning & Skills Council Case Study: Blended Learning for Managers


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Client Profile

Industry Sector: Public Sector
Number of employees: 3,500
Location: Nationwide

Challenge

Learning & Skills Council (LSC) had a vision that ‘ young people and adults in England have knowledge and skills matching the best in the world and are part of a truly competitive workforce’. Hardly surprising, then, that the LSC has exactly the same high aspirations for the development of its own people.

A flexible approach to management development was needed to complement the diverse range of skills and experience levels of the managers, as well as their own differing attitudes and learning styles.

Solution

During the needs analysis phase, we identified a strong demand for a flexible approach to learning, which could be personalised depending on needs, preferences and aspirations. Managers wanted to gain transferable skills –behaviours and techniques that would help them manage a wide variety of situations.

We also had to meet the LSC business requirement to ‘provide a firm foundation’ for all newly promoted and less experienced managers.  The LSC was clear that investment in any learning intervention had to yield tangible benefits for the individual participants and the organisation.

Working with the LSC Learning and Development Team, we recommended a multi-layered blended learning programme comprising 3 core modular elements: Understanding Self, Managing Individuals and Managing Teams.

Within each module, participants complete activities from a self-study pack and attend a 1-day workshop. They can also access e-learning materials from leading providers such as Ashridge and Netg and an accreditation option is included through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Smale Consulting Ltd.  Although participants follow a standard learning pathway, participants plan how they will use their time to strike the right balance between building on strengths and closing competency gaps. Every participant is given the choice of learning tools and a variety of approaches to suit their own individual objectives and learning styles.

Outcome

By March 2008, 295 participants had enrolled on this 12-month programme . Around 70% of the participants opted to complete the CMI Certificate in Management qualification too.

Immediate post-workshop participant feedback points to high levels of perceived usefulness and enjoyment, with scores from over 500 evaluation questionnaires indicating an average rating of ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’.

We then issued a more in-depth online questionnaire to all participants in the first 10 cohorts and found that:

•  Over 80% of respondents considered that the programme had been of value to themselves, the teams they worked in and the LSC as a whole
•  A similar percentage described their overall performance as being more effective
•  71% of respondents had established learning goals and a learning pathway for themselves at the outset with 53% of these already having achieved over 60% of their learning goals
•  80% of respondents said that they had developed some specific skills that were directly relevant to their job

What the Client says

“Working with a&dc we have designed a multi-layer evaluation process, which will provide us with an accurate picture of the return on our investment, as well as indicating the impact and improvement on the business”, Phil Quinn, Head of Learning & Development, LSC.