In the APRR group, values of openness, diversity, equal opportunity and resistance to all forms of discrimination are expressed via three major commitments. “We are eager to reinforce diversity and equal opportunity when we recruit new staff, to guarantee this equality throughout the working life of our staff members, and to ensure that people who are underperforming keep their jobs,” explains training manager Salvatore Santoro. The company has signed several agreements focusing on these goals. “In 2011, we communicated on the objectives of the Group to create the necessary conditions for developing diversity and equal opportunity. In this context, we underlined our willingness to help each of our employees to access training programs to help them maintain their skills levels and employability. We thought carefully about how to empower them to take ownership of their own careers. On-line training seemed the right way to ensure fairness in terms of access to training for all”, says Salvatore Santoro.
A multidisciplinary project team to ensure involvement
Now convinced that on-line training was the right response, APRR approached CrossKnowledge with an ambitious goal in mind: to deploy, in just a few weeks, a training and awareness-raising portal devoted to diversity and equal opportunity. “We want to train all our managers on these issues so that they could then pass the message on to their teams”, says Salvatore Santoro. A project team made up of stakeholders from different departments (human resources, public relations, IT) and a few managers (themselves future learners) – worked together on defining the editorial approach for the portal. In addition to the benefits of working in project mode with a multidisciplinary team, this strategy was also a way of ensuring the involvement of managers, which was vital to the success of the initiative when the portal was officially launched. “During implementation, feedback from these managers was very useful. By sharing their views, they helped us to fine-tune our training content”.
Enhancing awareness using inspirational training media
After just a few weeks of implementation, the portal was launched! It features not only internal resources such as the group’s diversity policy, its corporate charter, and the in-house magazine, but also a training suite. “As the idea was not to present the same information as the group’s Intranet, CrossKnowledge helped us to create a specific training path devoted to diversity and equal opportunity”, says Salvatore Santoro. The program begins with a fun questionnaire allowing managers to assess their level of knowledge about diversity and to create their own personal training path based on content from the CrossKnowledge catalogue. To encourage the target audience of 400 learners to log on to the portal, APRR has put the emphasis on offering a range of attractive training tools: videocasts, quizzes, course summaries and action tips form an important part of the program. “Whether they’re mandatory or optional, our training modules are short and take up relatively little of our managers’ time,” explains Salvatore Santoro.
Satisfaction levels that live up to the challenge
APRR didn’t have to wait long to measure managers’ satisfaction levels. Just one day after the awareness and training portal was launched, over 40% of the learners had logged on and half the managers had self-assessed their knowledge of diversity and equality. “The results we’ve obtained are positive. On-line training, which represents a break with traditional training methods, has been particularly well received by our learners. The benefits lie in its ability to offer flexible training content adapted to the needs and learning speeds of each individual”, says Salvatore Santoro. The experience has also allowed APRR to bring together a multidisciplinary in-house team focusing on an innovative tool, and to give concrete form to a subject that is often dealt with in theoretical terms. With this success under its belt, the APRR group has already extended its on-line training to include new topics, and intends to continue in this direction.