Toy maker Famosa builds an effective and happy workforce thanks to distance learning

"We expect to see that over 90% of our employees will have improved their levels of competency."

Antonio Fernandez AGUADO

Human Resources Director, Famosa

Famosa

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Toy maker Famosa builds an effective and happy workforce thanks to distance learning

Sector

Consumer goods

Uitdaging

Ensuring well-being and engagement NL

Famosa is Spain’s leading toy company. It is a traditional toy company with world-renowned brands and products which it works hard to keep fresh and appealing through constant innovation. Building on a history that dates back more than half a century, and having acquired other sector players such as Feber and Play by Play, Famosa has gone from its origins as a traditional local toy maker to become a major international company with a presence in more than 95 countries.
Famosa is committed to international expansion and has embarked on an ambitious growth strategy in the Americas. It has set up a factory in Mexico and has its sights trained on the US market. Despite its big ambitions, Famosa does not employ thousands of people. There are 750 employees in total. Of these 450 are in Spain and the remaining 300 are spread around the globe.

“We are not a very big company in terms of numbers of employees and we are very dispersed. We needed structured training that was easy to access and that offered high level content,” says Antonio Fernandez Aguado, Human Resources Director at Famosa.

The company deployed CrossKnowledge Learning Suite, as it found this was the best solution to meet all its needs. “When we evaluated potential suppliers of e-Learning platforms, CrossKnowledge was the only platform that offered simple access to high level content. Other platforms did not have the multilingual international support that CrossKnowledge offers and some of the competitor platforms seemed overly complicated. The CrossKnowledge content is structured and dynamic – just what we were looking for,” says Fernandez Aguado. To meet all their needs, Famosa’s e-Learning solution is delivered in Spanish, English, French and Chinese.

Global communications key

The learning and development team invested a huge effort into its communications strategy for e–Learning so that employees around the world were kept informed about the learning solution. Antonio Fernandez Aguado realized early on that the acceptance and uptake of the benefits of the solution with each country manager in person. This focus on communication has resulted in a successful global deployment. “The solution has been well accepted across the world,” says Antonio Fernandez Aguado. Famosa rolled out CrossKnowledge Learning Suite to 200 employees in the first instance and planned to extend this to 400 other employees within a year. The e-Learning solution would be available to all employees that used a computer in their day-to-day work.

In the first phase of the project, the company focused on training its employees in eight competencies that it has identified. Each competency comprises a number of associated behaviors that Famosa is keen to see its employees display.

Team building

Team building is a particular area of focus. Famosa has gone through a number of structural changes and changes of ownership in the past decade. This has led to a culture of top-down management. Now the company wants to encourage employees to focus on teamwork within their own departments. It is also concentrating on developing customer-orientation and encouraging employees to use their initiative more.

In future, Famosa is looking at how it might extend the CrossKnowledge Learning Suite to staff in shop floor manufacturing roles, who don’t have access to computers in their job. At present, they receive traditional classroom-based training on the quality and health and safety aspects of their role. Famosa may also look to offer shared PCs in the workplace that would enable these workers to access the e-Learning modules, or it may make the modules available for operators to access from home, possibly via mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops.

The company plans to expand the e-Learning content. Once it has embedded the training to support its competency model, in future it would like to add modules focusing on the technology, marketing, finance and strategy aspects of the business.

Famosa plans to carry out a formal evaluation of the effectiveness of its e-Learning solution. “We expect to see that over 90% of our employees will have improved their levels of competency,” says Antonio Fernandez Aguado. “People are happy with the content.”

Happiness is a vital commodity at Famosa. The company’s motto is that “When children play they are happier”. It is proud to explain on its website that “We have been making happiness in the form of toys for 55 years in over 90 countries which is why we are specialist in distributing smiles”. As it builds an effective and happy workforce it looks set to distribute many more smiles.

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