How is Vodafone Innovating in Learning and Development?

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My guest on this week’s Digital HR Leaders podcast is Catalina Schveninger. The top trend in the Deloitte Human Capital Trends Report for 2019 is the need for organisations to change the way people learn. The report highlighted three broad trends in how learning is evolving. It is becoming more integrated with work. It is becoming more personal, and it is shifting slowly towards lifelong models.

In this extract from our conversation, Catalina and I discuss the new world of learning and how Vodafone is innovating in the area of Learning and Development. Catalina gives some great examples of how Vodafone is understanding the skills that its employees needs to learn and personalising the learning experience for them. If you’re interested in learning more about new learning models and how a company like Vodafone is leading the way in this space, then I urge you to watch the video with Catalina below, read the transcript in this blog, or to hear the rest of the interview on the podcast then you can listen or subscribe here.

David Green: Obviously, there's been a huge change happening in the learning space, and what are some of the key trends that you're seeing, and trying to apply with Vodafone?

Catalina Schveninger: We're seeing a couple of very interesting trends. I think the one that I'm excited about is that we finally got a grip of skills, so if you look at skills and capabilities, a bit of the skills of today, but mainly the skills of tomorrow, what the digital world is bringing in terms of the capabilities agenda is very exciting, and learning, we've done a lot of work already on customising a learner's experience, and catering to that skill set and the ability to upskill ourselves, and re-skill, so you see a lot of recommendations driven by skills. You see a lot of skill assessment and skill profiling in industry, things that we also work with in Vodafone.

Most recently, you see a lot of interesting accreditation and certification is back again. It used to be back in the days. Now, it's hot again, so we're working as well with badges, and also most recently, we're testing badges in blockchain. So again, a lot of exciting things on the skill side.

I think the other trend that we're seeing in learning or trying to harness is how can you get people to build a new habit to learn a lot, and to do that in the flow of work, to do it every day seamlessly, so what we're seeing is tools like, for example, the Microsoft Suite - Teams allow learners to get in and out productivity of learning seamlessly, and that's something again we would believe we're onto something. As I said, I think we need to do a better job in building that habit, flexing that muscle, getting people to learn not just on specific moment in time, not just necessary to dedicate time, but to do it throughout the day.

David Green: Throughout the day. Yeah, and I guess that one of the big trends is around personalisation, and I know that's something that you've been working on specifically at Vodafone. So, looking at the role of Vodafone and obviously, I know you inherited something that had already started. What's been the journey of Vodafone around how you've changed learning and development there?

Catalina Schveninger: So, okay once you have the platform and the great content, we said it's not about consumption of content. It's around driving the right behaviour, so building a narrative around leadership, and the importance of learning, talking, using the hashtag learn a lot in every single narrative from a leadership perspective from everyday learners.

If you look we have done a lot of campaigns, I think again, a lot of great fundamentals are there already, so we have a platform. We have great content, and now it's all around communication, and getting people to build a habit, and also getting people to understand how they can understand what their skills are, what the gaps are, and what content or resources are available to address those gaps, and typically learning used to be focused around curation, and the creation of content. We said wait a minute. We have so much content. It's not about that. It's about focused learning, it's about guiding people on what learning is suitable for their skills, and getting them to understand what skills they need today or tomorrow, whether they're in an HR tribe, or whether they want to be promoted, change careers, which is something that we're seeing as a trend right now.


David Green is a globally respected writer, speaker, conference chair, and executive consultant on people analytics, data-driven HR and the future of work. As an Executive Director at Insight222, he helps global organisations create more cultural and economic value through the wise and ethical use of people data and analytics. Prior to joining Insight222, David was the Global Director of People Analytics Solutions at IBM Watson Talent. As such, David has extensive experience in helping organisations embark upon and accelerate their people analytics journeys. You can follow David on LinkedIn and Twitter and also subscribe to The Digital HR Leader weekly newsletter and podcast.