There are very few organizations capable of handling a project as challenging as the one Interactive Services took on when it was tasked with setting up an online training program on “Conducting Investigations” for one of the biggest retail organizations in the world. Not only were there nearly sixteen thousand managers to be trained in fifteen countries, all that training had to be tailored to the varying languages and specific laws and regulations in which the training was to be supplied.
Classroom tuition was not an option. Even small and medium-sized companies find it difficult to have key members of staff unavailable simultaneously for the time needed to complete classroom courses, and major organizations rarely use it; online training allows the trainees to study at times that fit in with their job functions and schedules, and to spend as much or as little time as necessary at their computers, or other devices.
Interactive Services designed and built a digital version of its modular course that could be accessed by the widest possible variety of appliances, which meant that students could work as and when the opportunities arose. With so many students to be trained, it was inevitable that there would be a range of abilities and experience, and the course had to take account of this. Also, with regulations changing so frequently, the course needed to be designed in such a way as to allow for frequent adaptations.
The aim of the course was to enable managers and team leaders to conduct effective and legal investigations at every level. There are five main modules; Investigative Standards, Case Management, Planning an Investigation, Conducting Interviews, and Closing an Investigation. By the end of the course, the trainees were competent to conduct investigations in accordance with the Company’s standards and understood the processes involved in the various stages of those investigations. They had been trained in interviewing techniques and knew the procedures for closing an investigation.
When questioned about their experience of the course, the students said that it had been enjoyable and easy to understand and remember. They liked the videos, the job-aids, and the resources, and we’re confident that, following the training, they could conduct investigations in an efficient and timely manner.
They were also able to provide a thorough recap of the facts that had been gathered.
Key findings from the design and implementation of this training included:
- The high value in providing blended-learning (videos, job-aids, resources, knowledge checks and documents); the impact is high learner-engagement and positive evaluation response.
- The importance of ease of access and navigation of the content, which enhance engagement
- Mobile-friendly content is important in increasing access and availability.
- On-demand access to the resources and job-aids reinforces learning.
- Reporting and measurement are critical to evaluating learning needs and leadership support.
- The technological challenges posed by global operations need to be understood and taken into account.
- The time invested in the front-end assessment of the target audience, their learning needs, limitations, and technology capabilities was crucial to the project’s success.
Feedback from the students on the course was that it had been enjoyable and easy to understand and remember. They liked the videos, the job-aids, and the resources, and were confident that, following the training, they could conduct investigations in an efficient and timely manner. Because they do not conduct investigations day by day, they need to be able to access tools and resources at any time when an investigation arises, and they need to have examples to hand so as to be able to model the behavior expected.
The success of the training is amply demonstrated by the company’s plan to increase the number of users launched in a single day from 3,200 to 8,000, taking the total count to over 15,900 users, and to make the training available in 3 additional languages (Spanish, Japanese, and Mandarin). Ultimately, the plan is to expand the training into even more of the areas in which this global company operates.