At Challenge Unlimited we believe in creating an environment that fosters learning and growth for every member of our team.
“Seeing our organization make the shift from a check-the-box compliance-based training mindset, to an organization that values learning at its core! Not only can we launch consistent training company-wide to ensure that all employees, regardless of location, receive the same quality of training – we can also address the learning needs of specific teams and individuals to support employee growth and development.”
Michelle Matsche, Challenge Unlimited’s Director of Training & Development was recently interviewed by the team at BizLibrary highlighting the success of our partnership. Below is an excerpt from that interview.
Let’s say you’re on a road trip across the United States. You stop at McDonald’s in every state and order the same meal each time. No matter the state or part of the country, the experience is the same, everything from the drive-thru script to the taste. It’s part of the reason you always stop. You know you can always expect the same quality, and it’s reliable (and who could turn down hot, crispy fries and a Big Mac – not us!).
The same concept applies when delivering a training experience to a dispersed workforce. It can be challenging to ensure that the same information is being conveyed in the same way across multiple different locations. But this is where an online learning management system can help.
A few years ago, our client, Challenge Unlimited, was going through a season of growth and needed assistance keeping up with training and development. Because their workforce is spread across many office locations and cities, they knew finding a partner to help them stay organized and on top of all their initiatives was key to ensuring a consistent training experience.
Michelle Matsche, Director of Training and Development, recalls that BizLibrary had “everything we were looking for in one place and an amazing implementation team and ongoing level of support.”
The ability to search content, track training, and have a dedicated partner was going to bring positive changes to their training experience.
Training is a big part of the culture at Challenge Unlimited. No matter if it’s their day one or five-year anniversary, every employee is involved in training for their own personal and professional development. The learning programs fall into three categories:
As we dive into the specifics of some of their programs, you’ll see why in order to have a culture of continuous learning they needed to ensure development opportunities are offered to every employee in a consistent way.
From day one, employees are immersed in an onboarding training experience designed to showcase who Challenge Unlimited is, provide education surrounding serving those with disabilities, and assist with on-the-job training. On an employee’s first day, they used to attend training in person at their headquarters in Alton, Illinois.
The L&D team quickly realized that because of the growth their organization was experiencing, they needed to shift to virtual to save on travel and lodging expenses. Now, no matter where an employee is hired, they all “attend” the same training.
Training kicks off with a welcome video from the CEO explaining the importance and purpose of the development (we LOVE this idea). Next, employees are given time to go through their learning initiatives that include courses on everything they would need to know when beginning their career, like communicating with people with disabilities.
After they complete their general onboarding courses, they are provided location-specific training, depending on the role they perform.
Every year employees complete the required compliance training. It’s extremely important that employees are continually educated on how to be safe and respectful while at work.
The emphasis placed on creating an equitable workforce allows them to achieve 100% participation from every single employee (I think we can all agree this is IMPRESSIVE!!). When compliance audits come around, the training team can easily pull the reports they need within BizLMS, and maintaining their accreditations is a breeze.
Don’t think we are finished yet! The program list keeps going. They offer a specific leadership training program to all of their leaders. Each year they conduct a needs assessment to identify any business challenges and use that information to decide on an overarching topic for their leadership program. The training team at Challenge Unlimited first assigned the Inclusive Mindset expert-led series from BizLibrary and asked their leaders the following questions:
From the survey, they determined that this year’s big focus would be on psychological safety and inclusion. Then, each month covers a subtopic related to the focus. For example, one month was neurodiversity. Ahead of each month’s virtual discussion –hosted using hybrid classroom management within BizLMS—the leaders are assigned courses to watch on their own time. Then they come together to discuss what they learned in a space that promotes transparency and vulnerability.
Challenge Unlimited didn’t want to stop there with training opportunities for their leaders. They recently implemented a mentorship program as well. There is an application process where the leaders can lay out their personal development goals, and then five to eight managers are chosen and paired with a member of the executive team.
To kick off the program, they host a celebratory meet and greet where the mentors and mentees sit down and establish a goal plan. Once they have everything mapped out, it gets submitted to the training team who creates learning initiatives in BizLMS to assign content that specifically addresses each mentee’s unique goals.
During the course of this five-month program, the pairs meet and discuss progress made, and the participants complete their on-demand learning. Once the program wraps, there is a graduation – Alexa play, “Pomp and Circumstance!”
Last, but not least, each year the training team offers an elective learning series for all employees to participate in. This year they are coining the program the “Bizzle Buzz Coffee Talk” where they will go through the Science of Happiness at Work Expert Insights Series. Each month participants watch 12 to 15 minutes of the course, and then meet virtually on the last Thursday of the month to discuss what they learned.
To encourage employees to participate, they offer an incentive for those who attend every session in the series. We’re just over here wondering if we can come!” (BizLibrary, 2023)
Click here view Michelle’s interview and read the entire article on BizLibrary’s website.
Michelle told our Corporate Marketing Manager, “with BizLibrary, all of the functions we need are included in one Learning Management System. We can track in-person/classroom training and online sessions. We can upload all of our training content into the library. We have access to over 10,000 relevant, on-demand learning courses ranging from safety, to leadership, to computer programs, to individual health and wellness!”