London (UK), October 2023 - In order to remain at the forefront through important skills training, Content + Cloud is adopting a learning culture to upskill their employees in a demanding digital marketplace using LinkedIn Learning.
Content+Cloud is a leading UK-based cloud, digital transformation, and managed services provider with a passion for helping ambitious organisations and their people to succeed.
It empowers clients to transform the way they do business, providing them with flexible and secure platforms on which to operate. However, in a demanding and constantly evolving marketplace, this task is becoming even harder.
Content+Cloud is a progressive business that prides itself on finding and delivering technological solutions that deliver seamless user experiences, aiding productivity and improving efficiencies. But to do this, the organisation must remain at the forefront of the latest technological developments and ensure its own workforce remains the most skilled in the industry. This is just one of the reasons why Content+Cloud turned to LinkedIn Learning to empower its employees to upskill, increase their opportunities to learn, and foster a growth and learning mindset.
Always striving to find the perfect platform to meet tomorrow's demands, in recent years, Content+Cloud has acquired a lot of UK tech businesses, expanding its portfolio through merger and acquisition activity, as well as organic growth. The organisation's talent acquisition team recognises LinkedIn as a leading platform and resource for talent growth, so it was only natural that Content+Cloud adopted LinkedIn Learning when it needed a learning management solution (LMS).
It wished to create a digital ecosystem for its 1,000+ employees, but despite having an HR system with LMS components, it did not feature quality licenced content. Justin Petersen, Head of Learning and Development at Content+Cloud, investigated several platforms, but they lacked customisation. Justin wished to find a solution that not only offered licenced content, but also the opportunity to create custom and comprehensive learning paths. Content+Cloud wanted a solution that was a true learning experience platform (LXP).
Trusting the platform became a component of the selection process. "LinkedIn enabled us to build custom learning pathways and this was a game changer for us," explained Justin. "We could leverage not just LinkedIn content, but Microsoft content and our own resources."
Content+Cloud is a prominent Microsoft partner, with four Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), nine advanced specialisations, five solutions partner designations, and Azure Expert MSP status.
Justin wished to create a digital learning ecosystem that offered both technical skills training and soft skills development. "LinkedIn Learning met all of our criteria," he continued. "The entry price point was great and because of our big partnership and relationship with Microsoft, we could trust the platform."
In order to create an appropriate digital ecosystem and LXP, Content+Cloud surveyed its employees to find out what they would like to learn. Justin added, "It was a big win when we looked at the survey data to understand that LinkedIn Learning both matched our workforce's requirements for softer and creative skills, as well as high-demand tech skills in the Microsoft stack.
"We realised we could build quite comprehensive learning pathways to help staff develop the skills they needed. We found that LinkedIn could serve 80 per cent of all our needs, and this is where the digital learning ecosystem came into play."
Content+Cloud began working with LinkedIn Learning in 2021 and started to use the platform as its central LXP. "We then leveraged our other partnerships where there might be proprietary content that we could get access to, such as Microsoft's ESI (Enterprise Skills Initiative) that could be linked to our LinkedIn Learning pathways."
Justin commented further, "We soon realised that we had a central LXP that could provide most of the digital content we needed. Our employees could find partner content, and we could upload our own content to supplement that."
LinkedIn Learning served the majority of Content+Cloud's needs. Now, the organisation needed to create a learning habit, but Content+Cloud's learning and development team need not have worried.
"We found that most people were more engaged in training from the get-go," he said. "Everybody had access to a LinkedIn Learning licence, and immediately people started learning. The challenge then became to increase adoption and maintain a culture of learning - and that's when the hard work started."
In leveraging all comms channels to increase engagement, Content+Cloud adopted a proactive approach to learner engagement in order to keep employees engaged and on a consistent learning journey. Several initiatives were launched, including a learner newsletter, learner competitions and challenges, and Lunch-and-Learn sessions. LinkedIn Learning was also embedded into the onboarding programme, and comms and promotional videos were created featuring messages from LinkedIn Learning super users.
Content that aligned with the training requirements of key departments - commercial, financial, etc. - was curated, and there was a huge campaign surrounding Learning at Work Week.
Justin explained further, "So initially, to get LinkedIn Learning activated, we started with some gamification, got some initial launch campaigns going, and ramped up all internal communications. We created a newsletter and revealed LinkedIn Learning at company meetings.
"We leveraged every communication channel, announced the gamification, and we told people about key topics and themes that we'd like people to learn about. We pushed that out, and we told people that they were eligible for rewards and badges - and this really increased engagement."
To keep up the momentum, Content+Cloud made employees aware of what was going on in the business. For example, they promoted international days of celebration and important cultural holidays, and also created opportunities to increase training and awareness through relevant content, such as Pride awareness, mental health, and wellbeing training.
"When the learning was not tied to a specific theme, we looked at common threads and areas of focus for the business," Justin continued. "If coaching and training were a key focus for the business, then we'd find an opportunity to increase training in that space. Our training would not have a technical bias; sometimes we'd need to look at digital literacy and other times we'd offer soft skills training."
Content+Cloud wished to keep the training as diverse as possible. For example, they created bespoke pathways that would have essential content for new recruits, but also recommended learning that could take place over the first few weeks and months with the business.
Making learning accessible to everyone resulted in Content+Cloud's use of LinkedIn Learning during Learning at Work Week being really successful. The company did not restrict how employees accessed LinkedIn Learning [phone or desktop] and did not restrict the skills that people could learn.
"During Learning at Work Week, we picked five themes that were important to the business," Justin said. "We assembled materials and proposed a succinct piece for each respective theme. We would then recommend larger courses and learning pathways and found that people would click through to find out more. Again, we used gamification, and we rewarded people with prizes."
Participation rates were impressive, and achievements were celebrated. Justin concluded, "LinkedIn Learning has helped us to democratise learning. It has not only offered us flexible learning opportunities and access to on-demand content, but it has also empowered our employees to consume content at their own pace."
"Our engagement rates have gone through the roof," Justin concluded. "We celebrate any kind of learning and celebrate the fact that people are learning about topics that do not just sit within their career space. LinkedIn Learning has enabled our employees to expand their skill sets, and I look forward to working with the platform further as we continue to develop our digital ecosystem and enhance the LXP."
The company also discovered that further integrations were possible. Content + Cloud were able to connect multiple authentication options so learners from different subsidiaries could easily access LinkedIn Learning seamlessly and securely through Microsoft Azure Active Directory. LinkedIn's customer success and technical teams were on hand to help integrate the systems, so Content + Cloud could be up and running smoothly.
The results spoke for themselves. "When we went to market for a new learning platform, LinkedIn was the obvious choice due to its relationship with Microsoft and the ease of integration and embedded user experience that it allows. We assessed numerous competitors and had our most techie users also A/B test the platforms in terms of technical content. The conclusion was that LinkedIn Learning was going to serve not just our technical learners, but was also opening up a world of learning opportunity for our non-technical teams, something which had been historically underserved. Our adoption rates have been excellent, and the feedback we receive confirms the success and return on investment.
“The support we have had from LinkedIn, specifically from the Content team, has been fantastic. They have helped drive adoption through running training sessions and building out all sorts of learning pathways from technical to DEI training, to learning Christmas Calendars! We've enjoyed the relationship, having LinkedIn Learning a key partner in our learning eco-system, and we look forward to driving future learning opportunity together," explained Thea Fineren, Chief People Office at Content + Cloud.
"LinkedIn enabled us to build custom learning pathways and that was a game changer for us. We could not only leverage LinkedIn content, but Microsoft content and our own resources. LinkedIn Learning met all of our criteria. The entry price point was great, and because of our big partnership and relationship with Microsoft, we could trust the platform", said Justin Peterson, Head of Learning and Development at Content + Cloud.
"LinkedIn Learning has served as a convenient and effective way for us to enhance our professional development and career growth. Not only can we cater to every experienced professional's need, but also utilise the platform in a way to support and empower our youthful interns and apprentices, who often have very little to no working experience, with the right amount of knowledge to be 'workplace ready' and cope in a hybrid-styled environment - this, in addition to the internal mentoring they receive from peers.
“The fact that we can support areas of our business with bite-sized content allows more time for them to manage their daily responsibilities, set training goals, and continue learning at their own pace - and this, on its own, is amazing!", commented Nisa Block, Learning & Development Lead at Content + Cloud.