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A Fortune 50 insurance company made TEKsystems a preferred training provider to design customized e-learning and instructor-led training content.
The client, a leading property and casualty insurance provider in the Midwest, has more than 65,000 employees and over 18,000 agents working in North America. With coverage across the United States, the client offers private automobile and home insurance, as well as non-medical health insurance through partnerships. TEKsystems has partnered with this client since 1995.
In industries with a customer service orientation, companies must invest heavily in their workforce. Increasingly, organizations see measurable value in providing enhanced training in areas like technology use, customer service and sales techniques, which can increase revenue and create cost savings.
At the same time, mature companies are scrutinizing their processes to generate cost efficiencies. Many organizations view training as a non-core process, primarily because it does not directly generate income or a competitive advantage unique to that company. Also, most organizations lack the training and education expertise to facilitate a sophisticated training program in house. However, companies do not desire generic training products, as these can represent an inefficient use of time for large groups of employees, and they often fail to deliver the right message.
Many companies meet this challenge by working closely with experienced training and education providers to create customized training courses. They draw on partners’ specialized knowledge of areas like the effectiveness of different training delivery modalities (such as instructor-led training or e-learning) and the ability to write content that meets users’ learning needs. Training and education partners can also help organizations meet peak training demands quickly without maintaining a large, permanent education staff.
In order to provide top-flight service, our client, a Fortune 50 financial services company, invests heavily in educating its workforce of 65,000. With more than 100 discrete insurance and financial products, the client must provide customized training in topics from technology use to claims processing.
Like many mature organizations, the client wished to evolve their training processes to reap cost efficiencies and regulate quality and content. In the past, individual business units created and delivered training products to their internal customers. But in order to standardize messaging and deliver a higher quality of training, the client decided to run all training through their Learning and Development (L&D) Department.
But the size of the client and breadth of their topic offerings presented L&D with major challenges. The department would have to be enormous to create curricula and deliver training to the client’s 65,000 employees, who were dispersed throughout the United States. Critically, it would have to be able to scale up quickly to support new business objectives. But the ability to meet the training needs of a sizable, geographically dispersed staff in a timely manner would mean the department would have to be large, which would lead to inefficient staffing levels during slower periods.
L&D wanted to provide a high quality of service that satisfied their end customers while maintaining an efficient team size and cost. Instead of creating a massive internal training department, the client decided to strategically outsource projects to training and education providers. As L&D matured and gained knowledge of what practices worked for them, they elected to identify preferred training development providers to better manage procurement and quality.
Based on previous engagements, including one in which we trained approximately 86,000 people across the U.S. in Unified Communications technology, the client selected TEKsystems as a preferred provider. TEKsystems would partner with L&D and the client’s internal business unit training leaders to develop at least 270 hours of training content.
TEKsystems would provide a team of project managers and expert instructional designers to facilitate partnerships and create the content. The instructional designers would reshape preexisting content or work with subject matter experts to construct original content in a variety of topics, including systems-based technologies, property and casualty claims, ethics and customer service.
In order to provide cost-effective service as well as high-quality, timely deliverables, we would maintain a flexible approach to our team structure and size. Supported by our first-rate recruiting capacity, our team could scale up or down quickly in response to project needs. To ensure consistency and quality, we would dedicate a project manager as a permanent program manager. She would lead the efforts of a scalable team of project managers, editors / quality assurance testers and instructional designers.
Our project managers would handle the logistics of interacting with the client’s stakeholders and deliverable schedules, as well as provide weekly tracking updates to the client on budget use and scheduling.
Our education offerings would include a variety of modalities, including instructor-led training and e-learning courses, including software simulations and scenario-based animations. For instructor-led training, we would provide instructor guides and PowerPoints, as well as student materials. Our designers would write the content, ensuring it was suitable for the training modality and delivered in appropriate chunks. Our editors would check the content, and also provide quality assurance testing for the e-learning courses. Finally, the program manager would provide the ultimate quality check to ensure consistency with the client’s messaging and goals, as well as the quality of content design.
To date, TEKsystems has provided more than 40 hours of custom training content, with approximately 300 additional hours currently in development. The client’s internal customers view us as a part of their team, a testament to the smoothness of the partnership.
We created a variety of products, including hands-on e-learning courses. One scenario- based course walked users through a simulated call with a customer, presenting situations for the learner to work through. Another e-learning course allowed users to practice using applications in a safe, interactive environment.
Our team worked with subject matter experts from several of the client’s business units to refine existing materials or develop new content. Our training providers reshaped and enhanced existing training courses by interviewing company experts, exploring archived materials and reviewing other resources.
Our flexible team model proved critical to meeting our client’s goals. The forecasting system the client used to anticipate their training needs was not fully functional, which meant many time-sensitive training projects appeared with little advance notice, but we were able to scale up quickly by maintaining a team of approximately 30 resources familiar with the client. The scale of our Training and Education Services offering allowed us to place these resources on other projects when the client’s needs were less intense. This approach, paired with our well-developed documentation processes, as well as the leadership and mentoring of our program manager, allowed us to deliver cost efficiencies and service continuity.
Our strong relationship with the client also allowed us to learn many of their cultural nuances, policies and the preferences of their business units. This enabled us to operate with shorter feedback cycles and less guidance, helping speed up the time to deliver finished products. We learned from each process and used our most successful products and processes as templates for future work.
The client has invited us to return for multiple engagements, and several business units have specifically asked to work with us. We look forward to continuing to grow this partnership.
TEKsystems Training and Education Services’ team comprises more than 750 instructional designers, certified instructors and e-learning developers. We require our professionals to have a minimum of 10 years of experience as a training practitioner and three years in instructional delivery. In this engagement, the specialized knowledge of our team allowed us to advise our client in the most effective training modalities and deliver well-designed content.
Commitment to client success
We partner with clients to deliver tailored results that meet their goals. In this case, it meant finding ways to ensure quality and continuity while providing the cost savings of a scalable team. We accomplished this by thoroughly documenting the client’s preferences, policies and other attributes; providing a permanent team lead to check work and mentor new instructional designers; and maintaining a stable team of resources who were familiar with the client’s needs but could also be placed on other projects during slower periods.
One of the hallmarks of all TEKsystems Global Services® engagements is operational sophistication. We take a disciplined approach to service delivery that includes building in continuous improvement processes, and tracking and reporting on budget spend and other metrics to the client. We also used tracking to identify potential timeline risks for the client. Our careful project management processes allows clients to avoid the stress of managing complicated projects.