TL;DR: To train a highly distributed workforce, Sojern and LifeLabs offer in-person and virtual workshops with standardized tools and vocabulary, customized to local cultures.
Skill-building for a distributed workforce
When the Sojern People Team reached out to LifeLabs in 2016, they had 200 employees working across six offices. The company was growing fast and needed to equip their managers and employees with essential leadership and communication skills, while also meeting demand for personal development opportunities. Sojern needed a scalable solution that could keep up with their rapid growth and support skill-building for a highly distributed team.
Virtual training + on-site events
We decided on a two-pronged strategy:
1. In-person workshops for their largest offices and for the company’s annual global conference
2. Virtual workshops for smaller offices and remote employees
Their program consists of CORE management skills (including Coaching, Feedback, Prioritization, Effective 1-1s, Strategic Thinking, Meetings Mastery, People Development, and Leading Change), inclusive leadership skills (Behaviors of Inclusion and Leading a Distributed Team), and all-staff enrichment workshops (on topics like Career Growth, People Reading, and 10+ others).
High scores across all formats
We continue to work together 3 years (and 300+ new employees) later. Across all offices, in-person and virtually, workshops earn excellent scores. See data below from 730 responses, with 96% of participants agreeing the content was useful, 95% that the workshop was engaging, and 99% rating their facilitator as knowledgeable.
Since the program launched, Sojern has also had an increase in their (already very high) manager effectiveness scores and feedback effectiveness scores – two of their biggest drivers of employee engagement.
Consistency is a must
For this distributed strategy to succeed, it is critical to achieve the perfect degree of consistency across all offices and platforms. So, we tailor workshops to align with local office culture but keep the core of the content standardized so employees across the globe can quickly develop shared vocabulary, tools, and expectations for performance. It is also essential to have consistently high quality across all offices and formats so no employee group feels overlooked or underserved. Whether an employee is in Omaha, Dubai, or virtual, the message is clear: Sojern is investing in the growth and learning of every member of the team.