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DESJARDINS SOCIAL LEARNING

Context

Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, the Desjardins Group is the largest association of credit unions in North America.

Training in Desjardins call center environments had traditionally been Instructor-led (ILT), but there was a belief that there must be a more efficient way. Whilst ILT had been successful in the past, the executive felt that the time spent away from desks and the costs connected were not the best way forward.

Desjardins chose Curatr to undertake an experiment; could social learning be used as an alternative to ILT?

Solution

A product knowledge course was created using a mixture of Articulate Storyline for rapid, bite-size content development and Curatr to deliver. Instead of spending a lot of time with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) up-front, Desjardins chose to employ the SMEs to read and respond to comments and conversation within the Social Learning framework. This gave rich, personalised feedback at the moment of need and save a huge amount of time upfront that would have otherwise been spent getting the SMEs to write down subject knowledge in E-learning form.

“We estimate cost savings of at least 50% using Curatr and Storyline.”
 – Francois Ronai, Lead Consultant, Desjardins

Outcome

The results of the experiment showed two clear advantages of the social learning approach. First there was the benefit (measured in terms of actual additional sales) from the staff being at their desks vs ILT. The cost previously measured was worked out as a function of the cost of employment but the Opportunity Cost was missed in this calculation.

The company calculated that there was a direct benefit of C$370k accrued as a result of the increased time at their desks.

Second was a real “aha” moment. Previously the training of the staff had been a bottleneck in the rolling out of new products. Put simply, products could not be updated as frequently as the business would like because of the time to develop and roll out the traditional ILT.

The speed of creation and roll out using Curatr meant that marketing could iterate products as quickly as they wanted. Where previously the company required the better part of 6 months to train staff on a new product, now they could roll out in 6 weeks. The company stated this would provide a benefit conservatively assessed at C$1M. This is the true benefit of the Curatr approach over both other E-learning approaches, and the Instructor-led Training as, taken together, the benefit of training moved from 1.5 times to over 20 times the cost.

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