Remember when you last joined a company? How did you feel? What did you care about?
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) plays a critical role in the health system of the state of Victoria in Australia and is responsible for meeting the health needs of Victorian locals.
They deliver policies, programs and services that support and enhance the health and wellbeing of all of Victoria, Australia, and represent a large and complex state department showcasing leading service and innovation across the health sector.
With over 11,000 employees across four operational divisions, they oversee and coordinate the delivery and funding of services and initiatives across 17 areas of the state.
Creating one unified onboarding experience
When the department first approached imc with their needs for orientation, it became clear that policy, compliance and general information had become their core focus.
The department was in need of a digital orientation experience for all new and existing employees. A unique and innovative solution that actively began to establish and recognise a greater vision of their employee experience lifecycle and culture as a whole. But the department is a large and complex organisation that has the challenge of hosting a very dynamic and diverse audience that works across multiple sectors.
A core challenge imc had to achieve was to bring these diverse users together through one unified onboarding experience.
What an employee experiences as they should be joining a new organisation should be personalised, compelling, and memorable. Onboardings, orientations and inductions represent three of the most significant opportunities to provide a human-centred approach to an employee’s experience.
When done well, they get new hires up and running smoothly and can empower your people to think, act and see your company as one which delivers exceptional service.
At imc, we have felt privileged to have the opportunity of co-designing with over 50 employees across the department to deliver something meaningful: a core staple of their employee experience.
Co-designing to bring people together
By co-designing directly with the people imc was designing for, the team at imc could address a lot of the needs and challenges the department was experiencing more directly.
When taking the time to communicate with them, the team could quickly unlock insights that lead to success. They asked people to develop several personas of what “great” looked for them. Then these insights were used to define the common factors and principles of success through their eyes.
So imc discovered that they could align department employees more effectively by providing an experience that enabled them to explore the culture openly. The key to success was to empower their ability to guide themselves to find information and support when needed.
From the workshop insights, the team applied a co-designed content strategy to deliver a meaningful experience for employees.
A fully-realised digital experience for employees
The result of this was a 20-minute mobile-first orientation experience for the department. Using a chatbot style interactions, the learner is greeted and guided by characters of the department in a conversational format and narrative. They are asked questions and provided with micro-sized content as they progress through their learning experience.
imc included multiple elements of personalisation, such as stories from the people we were designed for. That way, it felt like an experienced they owned.
The project won the Platinum award in the category Best Design Thinking Talent Strategy in the 2020 LearnX awards. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Working side by side with end-users
By co-designing directly with the people we were designing for, we could address a lot of the needs and challenges the department was experiencing more directly.
When we take the time to communicate with the people we are designing for, we can quickly unlock insights that lead to success. We asked people to develop several personas of what “great” looked for them. We then used these insights to define the common factors and principles of success through their eyes.
We discovered that we could align department employees more effectively by providing an experience that enabled them to explore the culture openly. The key to success was to empower their ability to guide themselves to find information and support when needed.
From the insights we gathered from our workshops we applied a co-designed content strategy to deliver a meaningful experience for employees.
A comprehensive onboarding and learning experience
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a fund established within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as an operating entity of the financial mechanism to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.
The GCF is based in Incheon, South Korea, and has raised USD 10.3 billion equivalent in pledges from 49 countries.
A collective vision for new starters
The Green Climate Fund desired to deliver a comprehensive onboarding and induction program that provides a sound understanding of GCF's climate focus, shared values, governance, policies and practices. This would be underpinned by a newly formed learning experience framework and strategy for its realisation and deployment.
To achieve this vision, imc set out on a co-creative 5-week journey to discover, define, translate and align up to 20-hours of proposed learning to not only deliver on its requirements but to further provide the ideal experience for a new starter.
This was achieved by connecting everything back to the organisation's greater ecosystem of all things learning, development, knowledge management, change and performance.
Along the way, imc discovered a holistic framework for learning, developed a multi-pathway curriculum framework and learning strategy, while further defining the overarching narrative and experience to be shared by all new starters.
Making sense of diversity and complexity
To design such a large scale orientation solution, there was a large process of consolidating, defining and uniting many factors of content and experience. We had to consider that with every new starter who joins the Green Climate Fund, there is a different story to tell.
Therefore, we had to understand their perspectives and identify the universal needs shared by many of these new starters, such as setting up a new life far away from home. Additionally, across GCF, there are over 80 languages combined with an incredibly complex subject matter concerning climate and financial science that needs to have its learning performance analysed correctly.
The Learning Experience Framework
imc took the time to acquire a vast collection of research insights and begin a process of sense-making. Through this, the seemingly disconnected begins to take on new forms of service and experience.
This is precisely what happened as we began to explore the three emerging modes of education, exposure and experience. To validate the path we found ourselves on, we mapped what expert participants said we needed, against what end users said they desired, to have the ideal orientation experience.
Where we landed was at the beginning of a robust Learning Experience Framework; capable of not only driving all aspects of the orientation project in question but across the entirety of GCF with strategic foresight.
The Learning Experience Framework is a continuous model of learning and development which embeds opportunities of meaningful experience, exposure and education to occur across all aspects and areas of the Green Climate Fund. The Learning Experience Framework grounds the education components of the orientation by providing clarity and insight into what belongs within it at an organisational level.
Our focus on orientation for education
By gaining clarity of the bigger picture, we were able to move forward more gracefully.
We began by finalising this newly discovered Learning Experience Framework, and then proceeded with an in-depth meta-analysis of all proposed digital learning topics for the Orientation.
Within the 20 hours of Digital Orientation Modules, we identified the need to focus on four core types of digital learning approaches to meet the diversity of needs we discovered throughout our research. These are:
- Scenario-based learning
- Problem-based learning, and
- FAQ and resource
Through creative and innovative design, these four approaches will create optimal coverage of all content being delivered across the 20 hours of education. The orientation for the education project is currently in discussion with GCF.
Overall, the client feedback was incredibly positive towards the professionalism and quality of performance by imc team.
Furthermore imc and the Green Climate Fund were recognised as Platinum winners in the 2021 LearnX awards. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Helping to create a scaffold for what “good performance” looks like
In June 2020, 3% of people at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice had completed a Performance Development Plan.
These plans are important because they reflect conversations between managers and the individuals in their team. The conversations are an opportunity to talk about goals, trade feedback, and create clarity on what ‘good performance’ looks like.
The need for more frequent conversations
In 2019, the NSW Government brought together the departments of Family and Community Services and Justice to form the Department of Communities and Justice.
The Department partnered with imc Australia, seeking to embed a program that supports managers to have more frequent performance conversations that are not tethered to formal reviews.
Ten DCJ employees and two imc consultants worked together to co-design a solution that focused on gaining the audience's trust, attention, and motivation and delivered them the information and supports to manage for performance confidently.
Three workshops, one for discovery, the second for analysis and the third for conceptualisation and service mapping, were conducted. They focused on aligning the team to the vision and potential to design more than an eLearning module and still stay within scope.
By considering the managers, their challenges, but also the opportunity to make a more significant impact across the organisation, the design process put the managers' needs and the organisation's requirements at the heart of the solution.
A newly merged government department
The bringing together of people, processes and technology created a unique circumstance where over twenty thousand geographically dispersed people needed to collaborate in service of the taxpaying people of NSW.
Nationally, labour market data says that social assistance industries and organisations like the NSW Department of Communities and Justice are expected to grow by 14.2% before 2025.
With more employees, the Department recognised that a performance culture that aligned their people would be business-critical.
Formal and informal learning
Launched from the DCJ LMS and intended to respond to any screen available to geographically diverse learners, this solution used three fundamental approaches:
- Acknowledge the preconceived idea that performance conversations are difficult, uncomfortable, and unnecessary.
- Include a hero who finds the confidence to have performance conversations and unintentional villains who detract from the hero’s journey.
- Simplify the call to action.
To summarise the eLearning and focus on the ‘why’, a short animation was developed to act as a lightning rod to attract managers and employees' trust, attention, and motivation.
Understanding that talking about performance can be complex; the 3-minute animation demonstrates that performance conversations are an opportunity for managers and employees to work together and discuss opportunities. The target audience for the animation is wider and designed to create interest in the broader program.
Building on Success
To be precise, 6,960 people have been given a genuine opportunity to discuss their career aspirations and goals.
The increase in Performance Development Plans proves that the performance support project that scaffolded the existing performance management responsibilities has worked to:
- impart skills needed to have performance conversations in a compelling and productive way.
- instilled managers with the confidence and motivation to engage in a performance conversation.
There are approximately 3,900 managers at DCJ, 1,035 of whom have completed the program.
This means that 4.8% of DCJ employees have created an impact on 1 in 3 of their colleagues.
imc and the Department of Communities and Justice were recognised as Gold winners in the 2021 LearnX awards. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Creating a Better Employee Experience
The Commission for Children and Young People (CCYP) is an independent statutory body that promotes improvement in policies and practices affecting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people in the state of Victoria, Australia.
Using a human-centred design approach
The CCYP desired to create a better orientation and overall employee experience for their people.
To do this, we implemented a human-centred design approach in the new hire program across its organisation.
The solution of human-centred design enables us to consider the people that we’re designing for.
So putting people at the centre is the core of everything we do.
Creating a huge disruption to the current approach
CCYP strived to make the new starter and employee experience enjoyable, nevertheless, the reality was that new starters were handed 60 pdf documents when joining and sent on their way, leaving everything to chance. Our intervention was focused on disrupting this in a big way.
For CCYP, 'experience' was defined as “an event or occurrence which leaves an impression on someone” or a “feeling and emotion”. Employee experience, much like customer experience, is the deliberate and intentional design of systems and processes that create better human outcomes.
In the context of CCYP, Employee experience is the way new starters feel and the impression that’s made on them when they join the organisation.
Considering the people we are designing for
This project was developed with a Human-Centred Design approach.
Human-Centred Design is a way of working and being that exists beyond a project or methodology. The world around us is changing rapidly, and the human-centric approach prepares us to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity.
Using Human-Centred Design methods helps us to understand human values and latent needs, so we are able to create people experiences that are meaningful and resilient.
Through this approach, we were able to shape a workplace experience where people want to be, one that responds understands, and values the perspectives and needs of those we aim to empower.
Delivered on time and on budget
This project delivered on what it set out to do on both time and budget.
Not only did we meet our original objectives, but imc successfully managed to implement the majority of strategic findings throughout the organisation.
After we delivered the initial concept, imc developed a 20-minute orientation module, implemented our innovative Trello solution as induction hubs, and further refined the organisations perspective on learning-centred employee experience for the future.
imc and CCYP were recognised as Gold winners at the 2021 LearnX awards, in the category Best Talent Strategy: Employee Experience. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Upscaling an organisation’s LMS in the time of crisis
The Department of Health plays a critical role in the health system of the state of Victoria in Australia and is responsible for meeting the health needs of Victorian locals.
Capability-building a new response unit in record time
With the rise of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia in March 2020, the Department had a sudden, urgent need to upscale their learning management system (LMS) to accelerate the transfer of knowledge to a COVID-19 task force.
The speedy nature of the national emergency created many major challenges, which included recruiting new staff, implementing various new systems, the rapid development of new learning content, training an influx of newly recruited staff members, and the ongoing challenge of developing processes for combatting an unknown and quickly evolving virus that was threatening the health of Victoria.
Dealing with many unknowns
The major challenge facing the implementation of new training content was the scale of which COVID-19 was evolving throughout Victoria in 2020. This then lead to the up-scaling of the Department’s COVID-19 response group, who also had to pivot away from face-to-face training to consuming their mandatory compliance training and other important information via a largely online environment.
Building the COVID19LMS in several days
The Department’s solution was to work with their existing LMS vendor imc to develop an additional system (referred to as the “COVID19LMS.”)
The LMS was set up and ready to use in several days to assist with the rapid response to COVID-19. It was set up to accommodate a rapidly expanding workforce who were in need of individualised training through a role-based learning pathway.
A successful system that is still in use today
The successful delivery of COVID19LMS enabled the Department staff to access and complete their compliance training, in rapid response to the unfolding pandemic.
After onboarding the initial COVID-19 response team onto the system in March 2020, the Department has continued using the LMS for compliance training and it continues to provide a critical service for the Department to this very day!
imc and the Department of Health Victoria were recognised as Gold winners in the 2021 LearnX awards, in the category Best pandemic response: Compliance Training. The international award program honours innovative and creative projects in the fields of learning and design every year.
Delivering an impactful driving experience
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) is a Victorian Government-owned organisation whose role is to promote road safety, support those who have been injured on Victorian roads and help them get their lives back on track.
An ageing program that was failing to engage its audience
In the 1990’s, the TAC launched DriveSmart, a computer-based simulation training tool designed to support learner drivers develop skills for safe driving.
The program was originally delivered on CD-ROM, and then transitioned to an online resource in 2014. However, as the program aged, so too did its effectiveness in engaging an audience that had grown up in the age of gaming.
Even though the research within the program withstood the test of time, the tool was now outdated for a Gen Z audience who have come to expect a good user experience, interactivity, and mobile accessibility, which are necessary factors to deliver an impactful learning experience for this up-and-coming generation.
Rebuilding content from the ground-up
The major challenge of the project was to build a new system that was primarily aimed at a Gen Z audience. Therefore, the platform had to be fully mobile-optimised, with intuitive UI, a custom interface, and be accessible to all participants.
To effectively connect with the intended audience, the development of new content had to include realistic learning scenarios, gamification elements, interactivity and feedback and had to be embedded in research.
A portal with media-rich content
Our solution was the implementation of the imc Learning Suite, as the front end portal (website) for the TAC.
This portal was combined with a mobile-first interactive video format which was designed in a way that was easy-to-use, playful and mobile-optimised.
There were gamification elements included within the development of content such as badges, storytelling and driving games which enabled the learner drivers to build up their driving knowledge. They also had the ability to share badges on social media to share the safe driving message with their peers.
New video footage of driving conditions and risks were filmed for the scenarios. The videos were to be adapted into interactive scenarios by imc. These scenarios were designed to resonate with real-world examples that a young driver might experience whilst driving and be exposed to common dangers on the road.
A successful transition to mobile-first
The project was delivered on time, on budget and in its initial launch phase in March 2019, where over 8,000 users had been onboarded.
The successful redesign of the DriveSmart program has resulted in management who are very satisfied with the modernisation of the website and the mobile-first platform.
There has been a lot of positive word of mouth from the program’s users. The consensus within the community is that the bright colours and design of the website are very engaging, and it seems that users are more open to absorbing the information because of the way that the scenarios have been designed.