Onboarding Program Award for Rogers Revv
Learn2 and Rogers received the Best Internal Talent Development Program Award for the Rogers REVV sales and service onboarding program by the Institute for Performance and Learning – a professional association focused on training, learning and performance in the workplace.
More about this Award-Winning Onboarding Program
Read the case study to learn about this high impact employee orientation board game that improved sales capability and reduced the overall new employee orientation timeline.
“Our focus was to transform our customer service department’s culture to be more customer centric. The Learn2 experience allowed our managers to quickly recognize the importance of effective communication. It provided them with the communication tools required to achieve greater results in their staff. Learn2 helped increase their ability to plan, prepare and deliver powerful and inspirational communications. They are now able, and more importantly willing, to communicate the value Rogers represents to their customers rather than focusing on price. Learn2’s communication expertise gave us the opportunity to implement new strategies and procedures that improved customer service . The positive results speak for themselves!” – Lise Cote, Rogers Communications Inc.
The Business Objectives and Learning Outcomes
The “Wireless 101” onboarding course delivered by Rogers to new in-store sales representatives evolved and matured with the wireless industry. In its original format, the onboarding process was a 2-3 day classroom learning experience loaded with dense technical and product information. As the requirement to onboard more staff, Wireless 101 became a 1 day session led by an internal facilitator trainer using traditional delivery methods and accompanied by a Participant Guide.
Rogers Wireless set out to revitalize the classroom training delivered for retail sales associates. The strategy mapped out by the Rogers National Sales and Service Training management team identified the need for “a more effective and interactive way for Rogers retail and dealer sales reps to learn the Rogers Wireless fundamentals.”
The objective of the re-design of Wireless 101 was “to provide engaging and well-designed interactive classroom training experiences for new representatives during their first few months on the job, ensuring knowledge and skill transfer back to the workplace.”
Rogers’ vision was to re-invent Wireless 101 as part of an overall sales training strategy which includes online, classroom courses and certification programs in the areas of orientation, product knowledge and sales skills. Wireless 101 was boldly chosen as the starting point to see this vision come to life and have a direct and measurable impact on over 3,000 sales reps annually.
Learn2 was chosen by Rogers as a partner to collaborate on the re-design of the program. The creativity and quality of Learn2’s immersive training experience put the Learn2 team head and shoulders above the other experiential learning and design companies in the Rogers RFP process.
Under an aggressive project timeline, the Rogers and Learn2 teams combined to set early direction for the redesign. The learning objectives were to:
1. immerse the learners in business-relevant, context-rich, defined situations
2. shift the ownership for learning from the facilitator to the participants
3. deliver concrete learning through application
The driving force behind a successful re-design and launch was the business objective:
1. to have a direct impact on performance
2. to ramp up retail reps faster and better
3. increase sales and improve customer satisfaction scores.
The re-invented talent development program is called Wireless Fast Track and it aligns with Rogers multi-pronged national talent development strategy. The early success of the onboarding program led to the re-branding of the Rogers Fast Track Learning Management System. Embedded in the Wireless Fast Track onboarding system is the immersive learning tool called REVV. Wireless Fast Track is available in both English and French and is a required course in the first level of the Rogers Retail and Dealer In-store Sales Certification programs.
Wireless Fast Track and REVV build a learning framework with a relevant performance context by creating and reinforcing “realistic” learning activities and application exercises. The design is immersive; all of the team & participant materials, resources and activities reflect the participants’ in-store realities.
Rogers Wireless recognized that the onboarding priorities of its new staff were shifting dramatically. Gone were the days of the seasoned, knowledgeable sales reps. The typical profile of a retail sales rep in the wireless marketplace is now younger and less experienced in selling but more experienced with wireless technology. Users are the same way. In many cases, selling wireless phones was only a fraction of their overall in-store sales and service responsibilities. Compounding the challenge even further, was the recognition that high-turnover rates common to retail fuelled a constant need to get new reps up to speed and on-the-job quickly.
Understanding the learning preferences of an 18-25 year old Millennial audience and providing them with fundamentals were the two key drivers behind the National Sales and Service team’s need to revolutionize the traditional training approach.
In Wireless Fast Track, the classroom becomes a Rogers store with phones, brochures and, of course, customers! Sales Reps start the day by earning the keys to their own Rogers store. Once they have the keys, their team interacts with a series of customers. The participants are guided by the facilitator to use product knowledge and the selling approach to assist customers with choosing a Rogers Wireless solution – a phone, plan and additional services.
During the onboarding experience, Sales Reps are challenged to explain why Rogers should be the carrier of choice, the basics of plans, long distance charges and Wireless Essentials, all in the context of targeting customer needs. They compete against other teams (stores) in the room for points that empower them with feedback about how to respond to deliver the Rogers Customer Experience. They track their scores in a simulated 4-week period and celebrate their achievements as a team.
Ultimately, the onboarding game allows the Sales Reps to take back insights and skills that they immediately apply in their store to improve sales and the customer experience. Many store managers started to request the onboarding kit so they could continue the development. Some stores have challenges at lunch to solve new customer objections. The staff – old and new – post objection handling responses by customer type on the walls in the lunch room. Everyone continues to learn and build a customer centric culture. This empowers everyone to live the brand behaviors and values that empower the Customer Experience.
The full classroom onboarding kit for Wireless Fast Track includes:
– A REVV game board and complete set of Activity Cards
– Game rules, playing pieces that are keys to their Rogers store, 4-sided die
– Activity Workbook and Scoring System used by participants to complete activities, self-score outcomes and track progress
– Participant Reference Guide used to support learning in the classroom and as reference back in the store
– Facilitator Guide including ALL Play activity descriptions and flipchart reference
Wireless Fast Track is in full delivery mode at Rogers and is addressing the following needs in an enterprising manner:
Create a Memorable First Impression – Rogers recognizes that share of sales is directly linked to share of mind with Retail Sales Reps; the onboarding experience represents the energy, excitement and passion for the Rogers brand and its products
Take a Walk in the Customer’s Shoes – The game REVV is built on the actual targeted customer segments. Each customer segment has a character with defined customer requirements, value propositions and their stories. Each activity is couched in a realistic retail customer interaction. By design, the customers are teaching the reps what they need to know.
Share a Passion for Rogers – The reps are learning, competing and having fun. They are engaged in a conversation with the facilitator and their peers that builds enthusiasm and ignites their passion for Rogers Wireless. The onboarding game is a board game which matches the 4-5 players in a context relevant to their age and desired learning approach.
Establish Benchmarks for Sales and Service – The course does not teach sales and service skills explicitly. The focus is on product knowledge and brand positioning. However, the Rogers sales and service model are built into the game board and the path that the learners follow reinforces the performance requirements for excellence in sales and service. Which allowed for massive savings as Rogers was able to eliminate a 3 day sales program because the onboarding system had already accelerated them past the learning available in the 3 day program. Think about 3 days x 3000 employees. That is 45 FTE of saved time.
Learn to Use the Resources Available – The onboarding process is designed to make the participants do the work. They demonstrate product knowledge, use collateral, manage customer concerns and handle post-sales support. They look up and find the answers. No one spoon feeds them and creates a dependent workforce. They get empowered to find and create the answers inside the customer segments and desired customer experience.
Build Critical Thinking Skills – Onboarding is not about overloading the Reps with information that they will never remember. The onboarding process is designed to get them asking questions and learning how and where to find the answers so that they can think on their feet when they are back in their store. This is not about an onboarding checklist since their roles are too complex for that. This is about being willing and able to think through challenges and onboarding them into a culture of performance.
Move Fast and Get Results – The sales side of onboarding differently is about sales and getting the numbers. The pacing and activities create a sense of urgency, and encourage a healthy spirit of competition within and between the teams. Public displays of results get new team members comfortable with visual reporting of results.
Wireless Fast Track and the game REVV are empowering a shift in the culture of the National Sales and Service talent development environment. This onboarding process reinforces the personal responsibility of the Sales Reps in building their abilities and skills as part of a continuum of development opportunities with Rogers.
To identify the learning objectives, Rogers completed its own internal needs impact identifier using Learn2’s proven 8 step Needs Impact Identifier and set the direction for the re-design. The Rogers Sales and Service Talent Development team consulted with channel partners, sales channel managers, trainers and front-line staff. The needs impact identifier uncovered: the purpose of the learning initiative, the target population (participants), learning objectives, any prior learning, available resources, potential constraints hindering the learning, and how the sponsors evaluate the success of the program. The collaboration between Rogers and Learn2 in the initial stages of design and key program requirements led to trust. Trust that we all wanted the same business outcomes. That trust allowed for a much deeper redesign because onboarding touches many internal aspects.
From a design perspective, Wireless Fast Track empowers adults even younger adults to learn and enjoy learning. The participants are encouraged by the facilitators to share their experience and expertise throughout the live onboarding game. The participant-centered approach draws out insights through questioning. Feedback and coaching guide the new team members to experiment and apply new sales approaches and discover learning themselves.
The experiential learning model that underpins Wireless Fast Track is adapted from Kolb: concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and active experimentation. The onboarding activities were developed specifically to combine with reflection and debrief opportunities accommodating a range of learning styles and preferences.
At an activity level, the onboarding course combines small-group focused learning (Team/Table Activities) with large group exercises (Challenges and ALL Plays). These activities were consciously developed to create a mix of learning outcomes from knowledge, comprehension and application through to analysis, synthesis and evaluation. The early phases of knowledge and comprehension were intentionally minimized to empower participants toward higher-function. And it worked. Sales and Store Managers found the new employees who completed the onboarding process required less supervision, were more able to sell customers effectively and were more engaged.
The facilitator plays an important role at the table level as a coach and layers insights and feedback as the teams work to answer customer questions and solve problems. Specifically, the Challenges and ALL Plays are designed to give the facilitator control of the key topics and themes that drive the learning objectives for the course. From a design perspective, the Challenges and ALL Plays meet the minimum requirements for learning.
Wireless Fast Track also addresses the following facets of adult learning principles:
Immersion. Research shows adults learn best in an immersive experience and they are more likely to apply the learning in their day-to-day environment. The sales reps are immersed in a simulation of Wireless sales and customer interactions. The classroom becomes a Rogers store with phones, posters, brochures and customers.
Responsibility. The facilitators hold the participants responsible for their learning during
Wireless Fast Track and the onboarding game REVV. Participants determine the insights inside the experience and how they can apply these insights to their work environment. The experience empowers participants, and they discover opportunities to think through and solve their own challenges to meet their customer’s needs.
Participant-Focused. Rather than relying on the facilitator to impart all the knowledge and wisdom, the program places the participants at the centre of the learning. Individuals and teams collaborate to handle realistic customer situations. The onboarding experience builds throughout the day with the participants generating what they have learned and communicating how to apply to customers to get sales.
Relevant. Participants bring their life and their work into the experience with them. The activities and learning outcomes relate to the challenges they face in their stores every day.
Empowerment. The outcomes of Wireless Fast Track and the onboarding game REVV provide participants with tools and methods, not theories and models. The participants establish solutions using their own resources and creativity. They leave with their skills enhanced and validated, with a renewed confidence to engage in successful sales and service conversations with their customers.
Team. Most sales reps try to do everything on their own. Sharing best practices and involving others never occurs to them, particularly in a problem situation. In this program, participants learn to see “team” as a powerful resource and how to learn from each other. They learn to rely on each other and value the combined expertise of the group. New employees took these behaviors back to the store and engaged others to solve persistent customer challenges.
Acknowledgement. The program encourages and rewards critical thinking. Where appropriate, there is latitude in the correct answer and scoring acknowledges that there is more than one possible solution. The facilitator coaches and provides feedback on the answers and solutions that the teams generate and deepens the learning even further.
Level 1 – Reaction (Did participants value the training?) – The tool used for Level 1 evaluation is the end of session participant and facilitator feedback form. The data collected is being used to make decisions for continuous improvement to the course from a design, content and facilitation perspective. The store and location data collected will enable future capture of store environment and performance results.
Level 2 – Learning (Did participants learn?) – Participants are accountable for demonstrating the capability to sell and service customers which they acquire throughout the onboarding process. The individual and team performance scoring system is built into each activity as a self-score or with scoring assigned as part of an observation/evaluation by the facilitator. An online comprehensive impact identifier tests participant knowledge, comprehension and synthesis of required learning content as part of the Sales Certification program. The long-term objective is to continue to refine the learning design to deliver the desired outcomes.
Level 3 – Transfer (Do participants use it?) – Observations made by store managers, sales managers and data collected through the Mystery Shop process provide direct feedback regarding transfer to on the job customer interactions. The outcome incorporated a shared set of best practices that got built into the next generation of the course. Field observations proved massive improvements and allowed Rogers to identify new gaps for alternative interventions and additional support.
Level 4 – Evaluation (What are the results?) – The long-term strategy for Rogers measures Mystery Shop scores and sales results in stores where training has been successfully completed. A benchmarking study compared the results with stores that are not actively participating in this initiative. The results illustrated the power of onboarding properly. Sales and service numbers rose dramatically compared to the old onboarding technique. Rogers expanded the onboarding program to 4 other Divisions. Learn2 expected this outcome so only the cards had to be rewritten saving a lot of the training budget.
The onboarding process saved 3 days x 3000 employees by eliminating a 3 day sales program and 2 other days of customer and product training. A one-day onboarding experience replaced 6 existing days of training. 5 days x 3000 employees = 15000 days or 62.5 FTE and the associated recruiting, onboarding and deploying costs. demonstrate if training is worth the investment from the three perspectives of sales, customer satisfaction and employee retention.
The Rogers Sales and Service Talent Development team’s vision was to create a unique experience with relevant context to inspire its Retail Sales Reps to make an impact. Beyond the materials and the room setup, the learning experience itself was developed with a strong creative design and quality presentation. This creates an immediate impression that “this is not just your average learning experience”.
As the experience begins, the walls inside the room become covered with images of the customers and their needs. The participants are prompted with challenges to give them a base level of knowledge and within a short period of time they have taken charge of their own learning. All support materials used in Wireless Fast Track mirror the resources available to them in their stores.
All of the printed materials, playing pieces and supporting resources are consciously in the room to reinforce the key learning outcomes and build the immersive nature of the Wireless Fast Track course. The photo below and the complete course kit provided with this submission outline the form and function of all materials used in Wireless Fast Track.
Participant Reference Guide: Acts as a tool during the onboarding process and becomes a job-aid style reference tool for use back on the job.
Activity Workbook: Each card drawn by the participants is alpha-coded and matches an activity page in the workbook. Activities range from knowledge-testing (multiple choice, true/false) to role plays and problem-solving (application and synthesis).
Scoring System: Most activities are self-scored. Participants can manage the flow and pace of their learning. The facilitator is engaged to score specific activities that reinforce critical thinking and can be answered successfully within a range of responses. These scoring interactions also provide coaching and evaluation opportunities for the facilitator with the teams.
Facilitator Guide: A detailed guide that walks the facilitators through the details of the course and offers practical insights for successfully delivering the key learning topics and managing the participants’ experience. This guide also reinforces many of the facilitation tips and techniques that were introduced during the train-the-trainer session conducted prior to the course launch.
With the successful launch of Wireless Fast Track, Rogers is now fully committed to extend the REVV learning and onboarding experience. To complete the in-store experience, Cable Fast Track was developed. This experiential course includes activities that focus on Rogers Personal TV, Rogers Home Phone, and Rogers Internet.
The Sales Training Managers commented that the facilitators enjoy the shift of focus from the facilitator and PowerPoint slides to being active participants in onboarding themselves. Internal facilitators developed new skills sets including managing multiple learning groups simultaneously and coaching participants in the “world of self-discovery”. Some facilitator development expanded the skill set and engagement practices for the facilitators to add to their tool kits. In addition, the “Running your own store” metaphor has allowed the facilitators to develop their creativity.
Both reps and facilitators enjoy the course as it creates a positive, interactive learning environment. REVV makes it interesting for learners and facilitators because the game is different every time and yet the integrity of the learning is maintained by a design which ensures that all of the learning points get across through the opening Challenges and ALL Plays.
The shift to a participant-centred approach has inspired new enthusiasm and a creative outlet for the Trainers to share their passion, insights and expertise.
Quotes from the trainers and facilitation team include:
“Just awesome!! Better than any (old) Wireless 101 I’ve ever done!”
“I witnessed engagement, interaction, tangible learning
and the participants having fun! People couldn’t believe it was already 4pm!”
From a participant perspective, the learning experience is getting rave reviews. Current evaluations are showing that the Sales Reps are learning and applying their knowledge while being fully engaged and having fun. We have even had one participant ask where they could buy the game. Here are a few valuable insights from participants so far:
“The most important points would come up more than once. It is a good way to have crucial information stay in one’s memory.”
“It was fun and different and I will remember that better than just a lecture. The ’All Play’ cards were a great idea. They allowed for discussion and different ideas.”
“…bringing theories to life using a customer oriented approach.”
“The whole interactive idea of the game was unique and helped training become more enjoyable than class listening or note taking.”
“I enjoyed working as a team – you get to know new people while learning. I enjoyed how things were hands on, but not pushy. I felt like I wanted to learn.”
The obvious business value are massive increases in sales and service metrics. Plus the 15000 days of eliminated waste. More important is the culture of the Rogers workforce got reinforced. The fast, focused and capable workforce now solves its own challenges and delivers the Rogers customer experience better. That integration and consistency makes CEOs smile and investors grin.
Before you walk away, here are some things you can do to take action on your onboarding process:
1. If you are eager to learn more about how Learn2 can transform your leaders and team, book a 45 minute with Doug Bolger, our Chief Learning Officer to talk about your business objectives.
2. If you already know that Learn2 is a good choice for your business and would like to book a 45 minute appointment with a strategist, send an email to Amy@Learn2.com who will coordinate your meeting.
3. If you would like to know more about Learn2 and see a few of our solutions, click here now.
4. If you would like to speak with someone right away, call our Learn2 Hotline at 877-4LEARN2 x 229.
5. If youwould like to run this program in your company or in your geographic area – get certified.
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