Boosting employee engagement with a weekly learning playbook
For Dermira’s L&D leaders, this learning playbook was a great way to sustain team connection and keep their teams sharp during the lockdown.
“At first, we delivered this playbook every single Monday morning, but in recent months we’ve shifted to every other week,” says Joe. “We had about 30 issues altogether. It was a lot of work for L&D to curate this material from different stakeholders, but we knew we were making a positive impact. Every week we heard people getting excited about it.”
This playbook wasn’t just a way to keep people focused on learning; it also showcased Dermira’s community spirit. As Joe explains, there were two reasons why the playbook was such a success: first, it was peer-driven, and second, it was short, sweet, and focused.
1. Peer-driven, with real stories from employees
According to Joe, messages of resilience and positivity can’t just come from the top-down during a crisis. Instead, L&D needs to play a role in facilitating peer learning and celebrating a sense of community. “As the L&D team, we wanted to show real-world examples of people dealing with difficulties in their lives. This helped to show our vulnerability and connection.”
“Our issues showcased what people were doing at home with their families, their communities, and with their neighbors. We asked people to submit their success stories, and to highlight the incredible things that were happening in their communities despite the pandemic.”
For Dermira, this approach helped to boost employee engagement and foster a sense of belonging - even from a distance. “It was a gesture that showed everyone we were all in it together,” says Joe.
2. Short, sweet, and focused
Even though the learning playbook was given a warm welcome, Joe also knew he had to avoid overburdening busy people with new tasks. “We kept the playbook easy to read, and not too time-consuming, because people had plenty to focus on at home. They had health issues to worry about, and they had to care for their children and their families.”
“The key question we wanted to focus on was: how were people making a positive impact with their time?” says Joe. “We used embedded videos to show people talking about how they were staying motivated and positive. People were really excited to see who would be featured each week. This peer engagement really helped to keep people visible during a tough time.”
A lot of organizations have struggled to adjust to working during COVID-19. For Joe, Dermira’s learning playbook really helped to smooth things out and keep people positive. “We have a strong focus on our overall wellness as an organization, and L&D has the fun job of sponsoring that. We love the idea of being our best selves in our organization.”
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