Customer Spotlight on TECO
By Jeff Rogers
We at TECO Energy, Inc., an energy-related holding company based out of Tampa, Fla., recognized a need to get training and development to the front-line supervisors overseeing our nearly 4,000 team members. We’d been down this road before with minimal success. Our previous development program designed for supervisors had been discontinued, but not for lack of effort. Participation and engagement was hard to elicit and internal marketing strategies turned into logistical nightmares. Even though the program was scrapped, the need for development was still present, so we turned to Skillsoft for help, specifically for Skillsoft Leadership Advantage™ (SLA).
The first step we took was restructuring the program from the ground up. It was a “learn smarter, not harder” approach— enlisting targeted cohorts consisting of a diverse mix of supervisory experience and integrated continued learning opportunities which would be available and accessible well after the formal portion of the program was “over.”
With a more practical plan in place, we realized we still needed to deliver on elearning content and infrastructure. Wanting to focus on performance management, communication skills, teamwork, leadership and motivation, SLA provided pre-packaged learning tracks and a customizable platform for execution that aligned almost perfectly with our program’s needs.
Supervisor Development Program 2.0, or SDP2.0, as it came to be called, utilizes a blended learning approach. In-person discussions/sessions are book-ended by online learning activities; all concentrated within 11 targeted learning tracks, in all. Pre-work content, Skillsoft Books24x7® ExecSummaries™, speaker bios from selected video clips and post-work content were all made available from a single page on the portal, improving accessibility and usability.
Overall, pilot cohorts used to test out SDP2.0 saw the program as highly valuable and worthwhile. But like any development program, tweaks were needed. Through a series of surveys and data collection, we determined more accountability needed to be implemented. Also, because our team members are located across the state, we’ve embraced the cohort approach which allows for improved participation, peer and inter-departmental networking, engagement, and heightened business acumen and awareness.
Ultimately, the decision was made to immerse the SDP2.0 participants in a week-long program including teambuilding exercises and in-depth discussion based on the foundation provided by SLA content. This approach may be seen as contradictory to the ever-present fiscal challenges associated with providing professional development training. In fact, we’re meeting those challenges head-on. While this approach demands participants be away from their normal work areas for an entire week, we’ve found that the incorporation and customization of SLA content allows us to infuse more content within that week; fitting more learning into a smaller window of opportunity.
TECO’s willingness to scrap “the old way” in favor of trying a new approach will pay dividends in the future as workplace and learning dynamics continue to evolve. Equally as important, an understanding of the importance of alignment between content, needs, and development goals in the implementation of Skillsoft Leadership Advantage will be critical in continuing to drive engagement for a revamped approach to learning.
Jeff Rogers is the Learning Systems Administrator at TECO Energy, Inc.