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THE LEAP How do you make mandatory compliance training interesting and engaging? Tesco’s innovative approach has elevated it from a tick-box exercise to one in which staff absorb the learning and apply it to their work.


arly in 2013 the legal team at Tesco decided to look for a new way to provide compliance training to staff. It had to be enjoyable, interactive and relevant. While the training is mandatory, the wish was that staff wouldn’t feel forced into it but rather would enjoy the experience and find it useful. The team, led by David Ward, Regulatory, Ethics & Compliance Director at Tesco, run an annual training programme covering the key risk areas for the business: GSCOP – Grocery Supply Code of Practice, Competition Law and Pricing and Promotion. The training delivery had to be re-designed in order to make it as effective as possible.

“The training covers the key business areas of how we buy and how we sell, and what it means for us to be a good retailer,” said David. “It is hugely important that our staff understand and operate within all the laws surrounding competition and promotion. The behaviour of our staff affects our reputation and relationship with customers. We want to ensure our customers trust us and that we have good business practices.”

Pasterfield, who led the project development, said: “If the training is just a task that interrupts a person’s working day then they have no motivation to learn something new. Our challenge was to get staff to want to complete the training of their own accord, with no thought of the fact it is mandatory.”

With this in mind, Tesco commissioned Sponge UK, to develop an innovative elearning package for the three areas. They worked in partnership with Tesco to build a custom course that would achieve the company’s objectives.

Sponge UK approached this learning requirement as a process rather than a one-off event, and began by looking at feedback provided by Tesco employees on previous compliance e-learning. This analysis at the beginning of the campaign ensured any problem areas were identified and addressed early on.

Sponge UK Creative Director Kate


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A re-occurring theme in the original feedback was the time taken to complete the e-learning so the team worked extensively to refine the content and develop three bite-sized, 20-minute modules. Rather than a standalone e-learning course, the training formed part of a whole campaign, starting with branded e-mails notifying learners of the course and following through to post-event knowledge checks. This campaign features its own unique branding, the fun and approachable Learning Leap.

REAL-TIME LEADER BOARD Learning Leap is designed to change behaviours and make compliance a way of life. The initiative – a successful collaboration between legal experts at Tesco and e-learning experts at Sponge UK – is made up of charming illustrations and engaging scenarios which replicate common incidents. The modules support correct actions and include helpful tips and advice. “Getting the right visual concept was really important,” said David. “We wanted the look and feel to be encouraging, nonthreatening and appealing. We also wanted it to be significantly different from previous courses staff may have completed; and to create a unique brand identity for the training. We’re really impressed with the illustrative approach taken with this course and think it’s extremely effective for what we’re looking to achieve.”

Every staff member registered with Learning Leap is shown graphically as a parachutist in an aeroplane. In order to reach the ground and complete their parachute jump successfully, learners must work through each of the three modules and pass the relevant assessments. Staff that have not yet begun their training are known as Leapers and are shown sitting in the plane preparing to jump. Those midway through their training experience are Learners and can be seen parachuting through the sky. And those that have successfully completed the e-learning and passed the tests are Landers, standing proudly on the landing target. The team designed and built a dynamic, animated leader board, which shows the number of learners at each stage of the training. The figures update every time

someone finishes and the graphic changes so that the number of participating Learners and completed Landers displaying on screen is proportional to the number of staff represented. This real-time tracking means that at any point Tesco management can view the number of staff that have completed the course as well as creating motivation for the rest of the group. There are rewards for first finishers, and line managers receive weekly e-mails telling them how well their team is doing. As part of this communication, managers can click on the names of those who have not yet completed and contact them directly with encouragement and support. As each category within the organisation completes all of their training, they appear on the banner at the bottom of the home screen. “The weekly updates help us to keep up momentum and ensure that the programme is completed on time,” said David. “They also allow us to track where people are in the learning process and offer staff additional support where needed. The leader board introduces a fun element of competition to see which categories complete first and encourages people to take part.” RESPONSIVE DESIGN As well as being aesthetically appealing, it was important for the e-learning to be easy to use and quick to access. The functions throughout the Learning Leap programme are intuitive and the transition between pages seamless so learners can move through the course easily. The instructions are clear and at any point in the process, learners can click a button and send an e-mail to the Tesco team, ensuring any questions are dealt with quickly and effectively. Learners can also view a menu to check the content still to

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complete and a status bar at the bottom of every page helps them track their progress through the course. Technology was a big factor in the development as the e-learning must work on iPads as well as desktop PCs. Running the courses on Sponge UK’s in-house Launch&Learn Learning Management System meant that the design could be fully responsive and works effectively on smartphones, tablets and PCs. It also meant that everything could be custom-branded with the Learning Leap identity for a memorable and consistent look and feel, and that exclusive features – such as the leader board – could be built into the campaign. David said: “We’ve been really successful at creating this new brand identity with Learning Leap. I can now talk to people within the organisation about the programme without ever mentioning training or e-learning, which is great.” ONGOING DEVELOPMENT Ultimately, Tesco want staff to take away what they learn on the course and make it part of normal business behaviour. So, now that the majority of staff have completed

their learning, the next step is to implement some performance management. The Sponge UK team will be running quarterly PIPs (Putting into Practice) in order to monitor how staff are retaining the knowledge learned on the course and to ensure they keep up to date with legislation. Learners will receive an e-mail with a question on the subject they have studied. They can answer the question by selecting a response within the e-mail, with no need to log in to the system. It is designed to be simple and not disrupt the learner’s day and is a great post learning activity, keeping knowledge fresh in their minds. “We’ve been able to add great bespoke features to the course thanks to it running on our in-house LMS,” said Kate. “It made it possible to create the custom landing page with the data-responsive graphic, provide tailored reports and include all the added campaign features. “We’ve been able to offer the PIPs and the update e-mails in the way that we do – automatically linking to the system – because we are in control of the whole process. We can make any elements bespoke to Tesco’s needs.”

More than 4,000 staff members were enrolled on the e-learning programme, which was rolled out in November and December 2013. The Competition Law module is also due to be translated into around ten additional languages for other markets. The campaign has generated a lot of excitement and competitive spirit, and is an ongoing success story. A pilot group of learners has been surveyed and the initial feedback is very positive with the majority indicating that their knowledge level has gone from basic to good or very good and that they are confident in their knowledge of the subjects following the e-learning. They also rated the e-learning highly for engagement, appealing illustrations, hints and tips and time to complete – 90% of learners thought the course was the right length. In the coming months the project team will be surveying all remaining learners and analysing feedback and course statistics in order to report on the campaign’s effectiveness.

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Tesco compliance inside learning tech dec 2013  
Tesco compliance inside learning tech dec 2013