How Unit4 leveraged LinkedIn Learning to foster a rich learning culture and create an accessible learning and development programme
Placing professional and personal development front and centre
Unit4’s next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions power many of the world’s mid-market organisations, bringing together the capabilities of Financials, Procurement, Project Management, HR, and FP&A to share real-time information, and deliver greater insights to help organisations become more effective.
By combining mid-market expertise with a relentless focus on people, the company has built flexible solutions to meet customers’ unique and changing needs. With over 40 years of heritage, a presence across 59 countries, and with over 2700 colleagues, the company supports more than 5,100 customers globally across a number of sectors including professional services, nonprofit and public sector.
Central to its success has been the company’s ability to innovate and understand the markets it serves. And, to do that, its employees have stayed at the forefront of technological change.
To support this thirst for continuous development, Unit4 required a relevant learning platform which could not only meet its training needs, but also engage its employees. Therefore, it turned to LinkedIn Learning, which offers diverse training and professional learning and development courses that could be accessed by everyone.
Switching from the classroom to online learning
Unit4 has always had a professional attitude towards learning and development.
Helen Aivazian, Global People Development Manager at Unit4, explained: “At Unit4, we have fully embraced remote working and, as a result, most of our colleagues choose to work from home. Consequently, we have evolved our approach to learning to suit the preferences of our employees; some traditional classroom training has been virtualised and we’ve embraced efficient, online, modern ways of learning. We found that our L&D team was receiving many requests for specific skills training, and we had to go to different vendors for each skill. With that in mind, it made sense to bring all skills training into a single platform.”
Meeting the needs of all employees with LinkedIn Learning
Helen worked alongside Mari Cruz Dominguez, Project Coordinator in the engineering (CTO) operations team of Unit4. Together, they collaborated with Unit4’s engineering organisation to trial LinkedIn Learning, as well as other platforms. As part of these pilot schemes, they continually assessed constructive feedback to ensure they captured all requirements from colleagues.
Mari Cruz explains: “It was important to have regular conversations with our engineering team, to have their input, and for our employees to be part of the journey. Our engineering team always needs to be ahead, so it’s paramount that we equip them with the tools they need to do so.”
“It’s one reason why we piloted LinkedIn Learning with our engineering team. They have a large training requirement and popular courses accessed by the team include agile software development, C#, scrum, SQL and Azure, as well as courses that help build communication and presentation skills. Our people gave us the honest information we needed to make an informed decision.”
Helen continued: “To make operations a bit more manageable, we researched several different learning platforms and compared thousands of lists and pricing structures to understand which platform best met our needs. We concluded that LinkedIn Learning provided the most comprehensive solution for most of our people.”
Helen added: “We soon realised that the flexibility of online learning can be very effective in upskilling people.”
The team created specific Learning Paths. Again, the ability to create dedicated content was another benefit of adopting LinkedIn Learning. But there was another highly important reason.
“LinkedIn Learning is incredibly accessible,” Helen continued. “We have a number of employees who have additional needs and who use assistive technology and screen readers. We wanted to make sure that LinkedIn Learning was compatible, and it is.
“We’re working hard to improve general accessibility standards in both our organisation and in our own products so whatever we bring into the organisation also needs to meet and match our own standards.”
Enabling career progression with the right tools and training
The trial with the engineering team was successful and, as such, every employee across the whole organisation now has a LinkedIn Learning licence.
“Whilst we were trialling LinkedIn, relevancy and scalability were always in the back of our minds,” Helen explained further. “To this day, we continue to ask people what they want, and which soft and hard skills they need. In addition, we have a team of curators who create Learning Paths that engage our employees and help to meet their skills requirements.”
When new talent joins Unit4, they are immediately given access to a LinkedIn Learning licence.
Helen added: “When we are onboarding new talent, we show them what is possible and what they can do and, when we trialled LinkedIn Learning, we prepared people thoroughly to set expectations. This is why our activation rates are so high.”
Helen continued: “People want progression in their careers. We’ve been sure to embed career progression in our learning and development programme, pointing employees in the direction of curated Learning Paths and encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning, whilst giving them the tools to do so.
“This feeds into the conversations that our management teams have with employees and which support promotion and self-improvement. To promote internal mobility, all our learning paths are open to all employees, so people can either take the initiative or be directed to upskill themselves by following role-specific paths. We’ve also made sure to make all our open roles available for employees to see and apply to, via the careers feature.”
Be curious about learning
Unit4 encourages its people to be curious and nurture a growth mindset. One of its company values is to choose curiosity and embrace challenges.
Talking about the benefits, Mari Cruz said: “One of the reasons we chose LinkedIn Learning was so that we can grow as a company. We looked at how we could upskill our employees and what actions we could take to make our talented teams even more capable.
“Therefore, it makes me so proud when I see our employees posting about their achievements and showing everyone their LinkedIn Learning certificates. We don’t force people to talk about their achievements or shout about them on the LinkedIn platform, yet they choose to do this of their own accord, demonstrating that they are engaged. We have seen that such enthusiasm and passion definitely has a multiplier effect.”
LinkedIn Learning – making learning accessible to everyone
Unit4’s trial of LinkedIn Learning has been a big success. The platform has now been rolled out across the entire organisation and all employees (2,700) have access to a LinkedIn Learning licence.
Helen concluded: “LinkedIn Learning provided us with an opportunity to offer something for everyone. Before, we would have to ask managers to nominate employees for a spot or a licence on a training course.
“Moving to an open and online solution, where everything is accessible and available, is the perfect example of equity. There’s genuinely something for everyone. People are always keen to learn a new skill, whether that’s a professional skill or something related to a hobby. We must encourage our colleagues to develop and foster a learning culture, and LinkedIn Learning enables us to do just that.”
Main Products Used:
High activation rates
All 2,700 Unit4 employees have access to LinkedIn Learning and 87% have activated licenses since launch in August 2021.
Highly active repeat learners
66% of Unit4 employees have returned to LinkedIn Learning at least twice each month
Unit4 employees have viewed 333,129 videos since launch and which totals 16,566 total hours of learning
“Since 2021, LinkedIn Learning has enabled our employees to upskill and train in line with market and business needs, as well as on a personal level, through on-demand access. They can now learn whenever they need and wherever they want.”
“LinkedIn Learning is incredibly accessible. We have a number of employees who have additional needs and who use assistive technology and screen readers. We wanted to make sure that LinkedIn Learning was compatible, and it is.”
“One of the reasons we chose LinkedIn Learning was so that we can grow as a company. We looked at how we could upskill our employees and what actions we could take to make our talented teams even more capable.”
“Easy to use, for example, while commuting! The platform fuels my professional growth, providing me with expert knowledge in business, technology, and creativity, and igniting fresh inspiration and insights to stay ahead in trending topics.”
“I have set my skills and interests to receive personalised recommendations from LinkedIn Learning. With its extensive library, it is easy to find courses that are tailored to my specific needs, at any time, ensuring that I'm always learning what is relevant and important to me. I love it!”
“From time to time, I search topics in which I'm interested and save them for later. Since I'm very curious and really believe in continuous improvement, I find the possibility of having that huge library of courses and talks as an opportunity to increase/reinforce my knowledge. I can learn at the same time as I'm practicing a new skill, open my mind to other ideas or ways to face an issue at work. I strongly recommend this learning tool as it offers content for almost all needs.”
“Ever since I found LinkedIn Learning available for me as a Unit4 employee, I have tried to take the opportunity to evolve my skill set within the relevant field of expertise. This has had a great impact, and is something I can strongly recommend!”
Unit4 believe that people-centric organizations do great things when their people can do great work. Unit4’s adaptive and intuitive software helps organisations by automating administrative tasks and providing easy access to the answers people need. Its cloud-based enterprise software - ERP, HCM, FP&A - all arise from a simple premise: Give your people the means to focus on what matters, and the people they serve will benefit.
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