A billion-dollar software company was preparing to transition its marketing teams from an annual performance review model to a new competency model that emphasized day-to-day growth. Instead of reactively addressing performance concerns and discussing advancement during a year-end review, managers and individual contributors were being asked to proactively discuss performance on a daily basis. This was a major shift, not just in the content of the competencies, but one that would require a shift in mindset and behavior from the entire organization in order to succeed.
On the surface, it seemed like our job was to teach the global marketing team members about the concept and mechanics of the new competency model. But when we understood the magnitude of the shift, we realized that mastery of the process would not be enough to drive change. We needed to build motivation and excitement. If we could get people excited about the new approach, the skill building would be easy.
We created a graphic novel-style eLearning course that used storytelling and drama to show team members how the new competencies can be used in their day-to-day work life. Unlike most communications typically associated with competency models and employee reviews, the eLearning draws people in with the narrative and bold illustration while the drama allows learners to feel like the heroes (or villains) in their own stories. We also worked with the client to develop communications for the competencies roll-out, collaborating with the training and marketing departments to socialize the initiative and incorporate feedback. Proactive outreach ensured that the new model – and associated training – was set up for success upon roll out.