Collins Aerospace, a unit of United Technologies Corp., is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defence industry.
This is the journey of Collins Aerospace from a lack of focus in employee engagement and thereby disinterest in learning to facilitate a culture of self-learning, continuous feedback, and increasing productivity.
A dip in the quarterly employee survey scores, alongside feedback from HR and employees on various forums, helped the top leadership identify the need to inculcate a culture of self-learning across all levels in the organization. This was also an opportunity to build a culture of innovation, ownership, and meaningful feedback. The challenge was, thus, to design learning programs that were not only relevant for employees, but also senior and middle-level managers, and could stimulate every employee to learn more than they know. The objective was to introduce new-age skills, share real-life knowledge, retain knowledge, and build a sustainable culture of self-learning.
To help everyone in the organization curate their learning journeys, the company did not opt for off-the-shelf learning programs. Different learning journeys were designed for senior leaders, mid-level managers, and employees.
- Stimulation-based programs: These were training-based programs that took place very often are based on the specific training needs identified for employees. These programs consisted of relevant and bite-sized e-learning modules, and employees could personalize their learning paths. Similarly, habit-inducing notifications were pushed based on learning patterns to sustain motivation and competition.
- Building managerial capability: Intended for mid-level managers across functions, these programs lasted between six to eight months and aimed to foster managerial effectiveness. The training programs consisted of 10 percent classroom learning, 70 percent learning through practice (projects and assignments), and 20 percent through coaching.
- Leadership capability: Two-day workshops were held for senior leaders from across the country to help them socialize the attributes of a great leader and help them percolate the self-learning culture through the entire organization. Different methodologies, like storytelling, shark-tank, and theatre-based approaches, were used to help leaders understand performance management and drive a culture of feedback.
All these programs came with their own set of obstacles. While employee and managers programs faced adaptability and motivation struggles, it was challenging to devise learning paths for diverse country leaders. Similarly, adoption to the learning platform, alongside robust review mechanisms, were some of the other impediments.
Collins Aerospace’s differentiated learning paths for its employees demonstrate that learners need to be engaged with relevant, personalized, and autonomy for learning interventions to be effective
The learning programs showed a discernible improvement in the overall engagement, learning, and productivity across the organization. Here are a few achievements:
- 96 percent of the learners liked the content and found it useful
- 95 percent felt that their confidence increased and 85 percent were able to do work of better quality
- 80 percent of the employees improved their relationship with their managers and peers
- Managers and leaders have driven a culture of feedback and self-learning across the organization, leading to significant decreases in the drop-out rates for programs
- The demand for most programs has grown, and most are now waitlisted
- The targets set for improvement in customer satisfaction, financial results, and service excellence have all been met or exceeded.
- There has been an increase in the training target by three to five percent each year
The organization will continue with its approach of curated training to develop a culture of self-learning. Collins Aerospace’s differentiated learning paths for its employees demonstrate that learners need to be engaged with relevant, personalized, and autonomy for learning interventions to be effective.