Upskilling GroupM: How to design a successful L&D program in the face of digital disruption

Published 22 July 2019 by Caroline Koktvedgaard

Many companies are currently facing challenges around digital transformation. Not only are our own businesses being digitally disrupted, but our clients are too. We caught up with Stuart Garvie, CEO of GroupM Canada, to explore their plans for upskilling with Circus Street.

 

Many companies are currently facing challenges around digital transformation. And with digital disruptors constantly snapping at our heels, the concern for many businesses is that they’ve already fallen behind. 

It’s true, things are moving at breakneck pace. Digital speed is as much as 5 times faster than a traditional business, and many are struggling to keep up. 

According to Deloitte analysis, 72% of senior leaders do not believe that their workforce has sufficient knowledge and expertise to execute the digital strategy of their organisation.

To stay competitive, it's crucial for companies to ensure their workforce is equipped with the right digital skills. Many companies recognise this – in fact, 92% of leaders are already developing digital transformation strategies.

However, in order to have maximum impact, this transformation must championed by leadership – and woven into the learning culture of the business.

 

We caught up with Stuart Garvie at GroupM, who shares their plans for upskilling with Circus Street.

 

Tackling digital transformation globally

GroupM is the largest media investment group globally, directing more than $48 billion in annual advertising. But even global giants face challenges in the face of digital transformation.

“This phrase ‘digital transformation’ lives with us every day,” says Stuart Garvie, CEO of GroupM Canada. 

“And we need to be ahead of it. So it’s really exciting that we are setting up a program to help our people be more equipped to talk across the board with our client and our suppliers about the new world we live in.”

 

Improving talent and retention

The initial focus of the program is talent and retention, Garvie reveals. This is a wise place to start: with 68.5% of workers considering themselves “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at work, achieving a learning culture the challenges and engages employees is more important than ever.

Research proves that today’s workforce want to work for companies that allow them to develop the skills they need to succeed. According to a recent survey from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, employees are six times more likely to leave a company within a year if their employers don’t offer opportunities to develop skills, compared to those who worked for companies where digital transformation was a priority. 

According to the same survey, 80% of employees prefer to work for digital leaders. The majority working in “digitally mature” organisations were found to be satisfied with their organisation’s strategy, culture and leadership. 

 

Establishing a common language

Alongside upskilling the digital capabilities of their employees, GroupM’s goal is to establish a common language for the entire organisation.

“In this particular case, it’s also about standardising some language across different business silos,” Garvie says. “When that language is standardised, we have better conversations, because there’s no misunderstandings and we’re talking about the same thing.”

For companies hoping to achieve such a business transformation, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that everyone, from your most junior employees to the senior leaders, is participating. 

“As we approach this, it’s really important that this is across all levels across our business,” Garvie says. “And I’m going to make sure that our senior leaders will be participating and taking courses and learning, because that common language needs to be throughout our organisation.”

In fact, this focus on upskilling senior leaders is crucial. According to Deloitte’s recent Digital Disruption Index, 44% of senior executives say they are not receiving the resources they need to develop their personal digital skills. 

However, where support is provided, it delivers a substantial boost to executive confidence. 81% of leaders who receive the resources they need to improve their digital skills are “confident in their ability to lead their organisation in the digital economy”. 

 

How to design a successful L&D program 

However, it’s not just our industries that are facing challenges in the face of disruption. The way we design L&D programs is being disrupted as well.

According to Deloitte, “the training provided by many L&D functions does not represent the 'always on and always available' approach to learning that many workers want. As a result the structure and purpose of L&D faces far‐reaching change.”

Employees are increasingly able to access learning via search engines, video sharing platforms, social networks and other communication tools. And to meet the needs of today’s digital organisations, L&D must provide a learning environment that reflects increased workforce mobility. 

Deloitte recommends that organisations provide “worker‐driven learning via curated content, video and mobile solutions and micro‐learning”. 

So how should you approach this daunting task of designing an L&D program that addresses all these challenges, while incorporating the newest learning technology?

 

Partnering with Circus Street

“I was hugely impressed by the content of Circus Street. I think the way that the learning is set up is great, the content is incredibly well produced, it’s hugely professional, it’s very relevant, it’s up-to-date.”

– Stuart Garvie, CEO of GroupM Canada

 

GroupM partnered with Circus Street to develop a global learning program that will help them build their digital capabilities.

Our unique approach to learning uses professional presenters in 3D environments, and engaging animation to dive deep into the concepts of digital. All this is delivered through the “My Circus Street” hub, where learnings are available across any device, anytime, anywhere. 

 

“I think the outcome of the program will be: a) better retention of our staff, and b) better conversations with a deeper understanding and a common language – both internally and with our clients and partners.”

– Stuart Garvie, CEO of GroupM Canada

 

Garvie adds: “And those better conversations are going to drive better outcomes for our clients, and then we should see that in both our client retention and in our new business performance.”

 

Ready to get started?

As a global online learning business, we help organisations navigate the uncertainties of technology-driven future by building their digital capabilities. 

 

To unlock the benefits of upskilling, Circus Street is offering a free trial for your HR and L&D departments to stay ahead of the curve.

 

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