The current situation – Time for a management middle layer
Since the beginning of 2021, Learned has been live at E-mergo. This business intelligence specialist was founded in 2001 by current directors Aad van den Berg and Jaco Geluk. E-mergo is a knowledge-intensive company focused on developing, selling and managing BI solutions from Qlik, TimeXtender and Microsoft, among others, to customers. In addition, E-mergo does app development using platforms such as Mendix and Power Apps.
As director Aad van den Berg states, there is a pre-crisis E-mergo in 2011, with about 20 employees, and a post-crisis E-mergo that has grown to as many as 60 employees. E-mergo will also continue to grow nicely in the coming years. By the end of 2023, there should be 90 people on the payroll.
The growth of recent years has brought several changes so far. For example, within E-mergo, two formal evaluation interviews are held annually with each employee. Until a few years ago, the executive team did all the interviews themselves, and the year-end interview was even conducted with two executives. Needless to say, after a while this simply became too much… Therefore, a year and a half ago, a management middle layer with cluster managers was formed who had to take care of most of the conversations from now on, while also creating space to coach and guide (junior) colleagues in their careers. This transition provided relief, but also created challenges.
The challenges – A digital conversation cycle and centralized learning offerings
E-mergo was in the middle of its change process with the cluster managers when Josita Ramesar (HR assistant and recruiter at E-mergo) came across Learned on LinkedIn. Josita and Aad were convinced after just one conversation because they saw the ease with which you can capture conversations within Learned. On this, Aad said the following:
“If it were up to us we probably would have started earlier, but others were skeptical at first. After a solidly executed Proof of Concept (PoC), they too were convinced and we took off. “
So initially, E-mergo wanted to decentralize to the cluster managers. Then a strong need arose among the cluster managers for a standardized process for actually conducting the interviews and coaching and mentoring colleagues. In fact, E-mergo was also improving in the area of learning & development. While there were several training opportunities for hard skills, following these was mainly up to the employee and raised questions. In addition, a good and centralized supply of soft skills training was lacking, training days were underused and concrete growth paths were still in their infancy. In short, work to be done.
The impact – Need for future perspective.
The deficiencies in mentoring new employees and the lack of structure and direction in training offerings were evident in the periodic employee satisfaction surveys conducted by E-mergo. A real shame, according to Aad, because he likes to see his employees have the space to keep up with the latest technologies. “This benefits the employee, the organization and ultimately our customers.”
Since the beginning of 2020, therefore, this has improved nicely. The number of training hours attended has skyrocketed and a technological solution was sought to further structure and facilitate training and education. So in the period leading up to the launch with Learned, extensive competitive research was done, including on 7Geese, and Learned came out on top in terms of price-quality based on many user stories. The subsequent PoC performed did the rest.
With Learned, E-mergo aims to better provide its employees with future prospects by standardizing and digitizing learning and career paths.
“Several features in the Learned platform, such as learning paths, 1-1 calls and digital job profiles align well with this goal. Ultimately, as an employer, you want to make sure your employees are happy. Of course salary plays a role, but development opportunities are considered just as important,” says Aad.
The start – Conversations and Learning live from January
Toward the end of 2020, the collaboration between Learned and E-mergo began. The first item on the agenda? Have all preparations ready by January 2021 so we could start centrally. Leading up to this, several training sessions were conducted from Learned and E-mergo put all of its training offerings into Learned. This allowed every employee to get started on time with the new digital offering and the first 1-1 calls could be scheduled immediately.
“We noticed benefits from the platform from day 1. All conversations were planned and conducted immediately. In addition, the library with the learning paths was immediately received very positively. The whole process for conversations, learning and goals was set up right from the beginning,” says Aad.
Key results – Increased future prospects with more interviews and training hours
In our relatively short collaboration of only a few months, great results have already been achieved. Aad comments: “The adoption of the platform is very high. Both our younger employees and the more experienced seniors have experienced the implementation of Learned as very positive. Really everyone works with it and we notice for example that more conversations are being held. It is also striking that employees are now proactively engaging in training. Before, I often got questions about this, but now I don’t hear anything and I see that the trainings have been completed.”
Last year, E-mergo gave its employees more room for personal development, resulting in a 500% increase in the number of training hours taken. Since the implementation of Learned, this figure itself has increased even further! In addition to hard skills training, many more soft skills training courses are now being taken.
According to Aad, these results are mainly due to the employee himself. Of course, the commitment from management and Learned’s support helped, but success lies primarily with how the employee experiences it. Employees rated working with Learned a 4 out of 5 in the past Employee happiness survey. A great start, but of course we want more!
It can be concluded that employees are working on their future and career prospects in a more structured way. This goal will remain on the agenda in the coming months. In the near future, we will be working with 360° evaluations on skills. E-mergo wants to collect these evaluations not only internally, but specifically from customers and clients. A great milestone to work toward together!