TalkTalk learns the ropes of Workday Learning

Janine Milne Profile picture for user jmilne October 2, 2016
Digital content will help change employees’ perceptions of learning at TalkTalk.

UK TV and broadband firm TalkTalk will be one of the first companies to go live with Workday Learning in the New Year.

The company has been using Workday’s core cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM), Time Tracking and Recruiting since October 2014.

Workday Learning is a welcome addition as, until now, TalkTalk has not had a central learning management system (LMS). Kathryn Heywood, director of HR operations and recruiting at TalkTalk, explains:

We’ve had some internally hosted systems or portals and TalkTalk university, but we haven’t had a learning management system or tracking of learning interventions. Until now we’ve had to do it manually outside the system.

But more than the administrative benefits of being able to track learning, TalkTalk sees this as an opportunity to shift its learning culture and to focus on creating more digital content:

It’s being developed very much with a future focus in terms of digital content and how people consume learning and what is learning because we very much want to push ourselves into the digital space.

Having a central learning resource will be a useful tool to help change employees perceptions of learning and help people to develop their own learning.

HCM benefits

The new learning capabilities will sit seamlessly with the existing Workday HCM, which has brought “massive” benefits, according to Heywood:

We had a best-of-breed approach, so we had seven different systems and they weren’t all working correctly and basically moved seven systems into two – Workday and ADP for our payroll.

Having single sign-on to one centralized HR system has improved both the accuracy of data for managers and visibility into their team’s performance.

TalkTalk, which separated from The Carphone Warehouse in 2010, supplies broadband and telecoms services to four million customers.

After the de-merger, the company had consolidated four regional HR centers into one shared services HR department looking after its 2,500 employees and 850 or so new recruits a year. With this central HR unit in place, the time was ripe to consolidate its HR systems as well, which led the company to Workday’s door.

Employees at all levels now have a “consumer-grade experience” at work to match the technology they use at home. Heywood expands:

The business is finding it hard to believe what it was like before we had Workday. We have so much data in there now, so the actual insight we can drive, the dashboards, the scorecards we can share with managers has meant that we can start to work in a different way and that’s definitely shifted our HR model too.

We’ve taken out some HR admin support, because we don’t need the same level of admin support and we’ve become more of a centre of expertise within HR operations and doing more strategic work that operational work.

Leaders are now able to perform deep dives into many different areas, delving beyond simple facts about the number of leavers. Instead the company can find out how many people left during probation or the first 12 months and in which areas of the business, to help understand the reasons people are leaving.

With the core HCM working well, Heywood says that attention is focusing on learning and talent management.

Adding learning into its HR portfolio fills an important gap in Workday’s HR arsenal. Until now it has worked with CornerstoneOnDemand and Saba as its learning partners.

Although it is late to the table with a learning offering that means it doesn’t have the baggage of older technology. It’s designed with digital content in mind and makes it easy for trainers and employees to create and share video content and for learning to be far more personalized. It will also enable employees to access content outside the workplace if they want.

In addition to learning TalkTalk is also looking at the wider talent piece, says Heywood:

We haven’t opened a lot on talent as yet. We’re looking at that currently and how we put some of that succession planning and talent mapping into Workday. The functionality is there, it’s just a question of does it work for us and can we develop it further. We have another system for this at the moment.

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