Places for People
Implementing a centralized learning platform with a projected cost saving of £1m for Places for People’s 11,000 learners.
Places for People (PFP) is a property management, development, regeneration and leisure company based in the UK. From supported living and affordable housing to leisure centers, retirement homes and city environments, it is on a mission to create happy, inclusive and sustainable communities – places that work for everyone.
Places for People (PFP) took its digital training efforts to the next level, garnering improved engagement across the board from learners to managers, bringing about a shift in focus and awareness of compliance, whilst seeking new opportunities to continually improve.
People are the lifeblood of PFP with its ‘People First Promise’, to make sure its relationships with colleagues, customers and clients come before anything else, sitting at the heart of the company.
In November 2020, PFP made the decision to bring five disparate learning platforms into one consolidated system that would serve all 20 of its specialist companies. Crucially, this complex migration provided the perfect opportunity for an in-depth review of its legacy compliance training.
Then, at the end of 2021, following organizational restructuring, PFP welcomed a new CEO who placed enhanced importance on compliance by bringing in a Chief of Risk to elevate compliance’s role within the organization which contributed to a cultural change in compliance training attitudes.
Through the lens of this people-centric, compliance-focused culture, PFP needed a platform that would:
- Improve access to learning by removing unnecessary barriers.
- Generate genuine interest/competition through gamification.
- Create better management information through dashboards.
By truly engaging and inspiring learners and managers alike, it hoped to:
- Create efficiencies to save time and money.
- Provide synchronized, accurate training records.
- Improve compliance learning take-up and pass rates.
For every organization, the needs of compliance knowledge and application are multi-varied, differing according to job type and seniority levels. PFP worked with Learning Pool to address this issue, creating a two-tier system – a core, universal syllabus for all its learners and an additional layer of compliance training tailored to specific roles. Crucially, this removes the danger of ‘click-throughs’ by making all learning relevant.
Implementing Learning Pool’s Platform, the partnership creates a reimagined, more user-focused learning journey and experience for all learners with the introduction of brand-new features:
- 15-minute compliance courses: PFP audited its current compliance courses to create 18 new 15-minute courses to reduce learner seat time.
- One-click launch: Reducing the number of clicks required to launch a course from six to just one, saving time, improving the learner experience and removing learner barriers.
- Leaderboard reports: To instill some healthy competition.
- Bespoke e-learning courses: Content was produced in-house to make learning more relevant to PFP colleagues.
A key element to the success of the learning platform was to engage managers across the business to promote and work with the new system. New management features include:
- Centralized reporting dashboards: A centralized view for reporting across the entire company, allowing managers to adopt a more action-driven approach.
- Consolidation of data: Importing historical data from the old system enabled learners to view their aggregated compliance completions (previous and current ones) in one single place.
- Standardized instructor-led learning: Previously managed by separate teams across 20 organizations, learning is now on its way to being centralized across the Learning Pool Platform.
Drastically reducing learning time
The team has championed the concept of 15-minute compliance modules, working collaboratively with subject matter experts across the business to radically reduce the time burden of compliance training for our colleagues by producing high-level relevant content.
By the end of 2022, 29 modules had been reviewed:
18 of these were reduced into 15-minute courses.
5 courses were merged into other areas to help reduce learner seat time.
6 were approved as fit for purpose.
Overall, this has equated to a total reduction of required learning time from 645 minutes across PFPs existing courses to just 270 minutes. That’s up to 375 minutes per colleague saved each year.
Time saving of 375 minutes per learner per year.
Cost saving of £91 per learner per year.
A direct result of these time savings has also led to a substantial cost saving for PFP:
Based on an average salary of £27k /£14 per hour:
- Previously, it would have cost £164.50 per learner to carry out these courses. By reducing the learner seat time across 20 courses by 6.5 hours, PFP now pays just £73.50 per learner, equating to a cost saving of £91 per learner.
- For its 11,000 learners to complete all 20 courses, this previously would have cost the business £1,809,500, however, PFP has been able to establish a projected total cost saving of £1m (£1,001,000) through the simplification of its learning.
As a People First organization committed to treating everyone honestly, courteously, and fairly driven by the belief that ‘places only work when they work for everyone’, accessibility is one of PFP’s top priorities.
To motivate learners and managers and inspire company-wide commitment to compliance, leadership buy-in and direction were a must. Fortunately, the new Group Chief Executive Officer, Greg Reed, shared this vision, introducing and embedding a new attitude to compliance within the organization. The primacy of compliance in the organization was further elevated by the creation of a new role – Chief of Risk – who has direct oversight over learning reports and data.
Bringing about change
With more than 20 housing providers, developers, property managers and care providers in the PFP family, 11,000+ employees are now benefiting from this overhauled centralized digital learning approach. The tactics of listening to learners, bringing in new elements and amplifying the backing of senior leadership are paying dividends, with PFP achieving a 23% increase in compliance completions, taking the overall company compliance rate from 67.01% in December 2021 to 90.85% in December 2022.
The introduction of these 15-minute compliance training courses have been described by colleagues as a ‘game changer’ in terms of their experience of compliance training.
“Just wow! Thanks to you all for this project. Compliance learning is essential and getting the learning across in just 15 minutes is fantastic and enables our teams to get back more quickly to serving our communities.” – Claire Garcia, Places for People.
“These 15-minute compliance courses are a game-changer for our colleagues. Previously, training would take near to an hour but these reduced courses fit in with our busy workload. My team’s compliance is 100% without me needing to chase.” – Lora Cooper, Places for People.
Consolidating disparate systems into one has also brought unexpected benefits – bringing unobserved insights and data to the fore to be acted upon, including:
- Appropriate learning time: Bringing the systems together highlighted the amount of time needed to complete units learners were being tasked with. Using this key data, learning schedules have been reviewed to allow a more self-directed, staged approach.
- Better risk monitoring: Aggregated compliance data allowed managers to review company-wide results, enabling them to target and mitigate against compliance shortfalls.
With one converged system, user journey improvements and buy-in from the C-suite, PFP has steered its learners on a path of greater compliance engagement and commitment. New insights and data from a single system will only continue to facilitate conversations about change and doing things differently, enabling PFP to progress its learners to take more control of the planning, participation and evaluation of their learning experience and truly embrace its vision of a workplace like no other.
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