From Biotech to Learning Tech
Biotechnology leader PerkinElmer is focused on innovating for a healthier world by providing customers with unique solutions to serve the diagnostics, food life sciences and applied markets. Founded in 1937 and headquartered in Waltham, Mass., PerkinElmer has about 13,000 employees serving over 180 countries, holds over 3,500 patents that have improved the quality of life for millions, and reported revenue of approximately $2.8 billion in 2018.
Given the increasing pressures and dynamics of the business environment, which was putting an even greater spotlight on the manager’s role as a key driver for the organization’s success, the company saw a need to enhance the effectiveness of the global manager population. From Akron, Ohio, to New Delhi, India, managers faced common challenges, including attracting and retaining talent, maximizing performance from a geographically and generationally diverse workforce, and improving the employee and customer experience in a complex, rapidly evolving business environment.
A New Approach to Management Training
The company responded to these challenges by surveying its global workforce to understand the current and desired states of learning. The findings indicated that learning was 95% classroom-based and mainly limited to compliance and regulatory e-learning courses.
And what did employees want? PerkinElmer zeroed in on the following design criteria:
- An engaging, interactive, impactful learning experience
- Flexible and accessible instruction for busy managers
- On-the-job opportunities to practice lessons learned
- Networking components to help managers meet and connect
- Contemporary content grounded in business relevance and context
“We made a deliberate decision to prioritize a superior learning, content authoring, and course facilitation experience.”– Jennifer Sullivan, Chief Learning Officer, PerkinElmer
As a result, the PerkinElmer Learning & Development (L&D) team developed a scalable, online-only learning program called MyPath, which focused on four development modules:
- Leading through change
- Coaching and feedback
- Communicating for impact and influence
- Data-driven decision making
The Power of a Virtual Classroom
With NovoEd as the mission-critical “hub” integrating the overall learning experience, the L&D team rolled out the MyPath program in August 2018. Initially, 85 managers from 23 countries participated in two monthlong courses divided into two-week sessions. Learning coaches were assigned to groups of 8 to 10 participants and checked in regularly to provide targeted support.
Sessions included “synchronous” elements (live online classes) as well as “asynchronous” components (assignments, discussion groups, and peer feedback). In support of asynchronous learning, the L&D team utilized videos that enabled participants to “slow play the role play” and submit their work to a learning coach, who provided written and video comments.
The NovoEd platform facilitated all learning elements – directing learners to the live virtual (synchronous) events, and guiding all asynchronous learning and assignments, discussion groups, peer feedback, and learning coach engagement. This platform became the integrator or the “glue” that enabled a seamless, highly interactive, and engaging end-to-end learning experience for our learners.
“[The NovoEd platform is] the ‘glue’ that binds together a seamless, highly interactive, and engaging end-to-end learning experience.”– Jennifer Sullivan, Chief Learning Officer, PerkinElmer
Participants were surveyed after program completion and again 60 to 90 days later. The results were overwhelmingly positive:
- 87% of learners were favorable about the content
- 84% intended to apply what they learned to their jobs
- 86% believed their learning will positively impact team engagement
For all MyPath sessions, the Net Promoter Score was at or above the industry benchmark for corporate universities. In one module, the NPS score was 60% —24 points higher than the industry average. Given the success of the first phase of the program, PerkinElmer is introducing MyPath across the company. The L&D team is designing additional content, translating course materials into eight languages and adding staff facilitators. The plan is to offer the program to 50% of company managers worldwide in the next 12 to 18 months and ultimately across the entire global management population.
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countries PerkinElmer serves