Modern workspace, modern learning

Christchurch City Council

Modern workspace, modern learning

As part of introducing the modern workplace and Microsoft 365, Christchurch City Council worked with Like-Minded to develop a series of training workshops and resources for the early adopters, before a full roll-out across Council.

The purpose of this initial training was to support staff to adopt the new technology and make use of Microsoft 365 as part of their standard their working style. Knowing the value of online learning, and understanding how many employees these days operate, we encouraged the team to think about online resources as well as the traditional classroom approach. As a result, we were able to create an online hub, filled with learning materials staff can visit any time, delivered through their existing SharePoint and SAP SuccessFactors.

Workshopping a workforce

The project began as a blend of the traditional and the new. Christchurch City Council asked the Like-Minded team to develop and deliver a series of face-to-face training workshops with different teams to prepare them for new digital tools they would be using.

We don’t often get asked to develop face-to-face workshops these days, but it stimulated our creative brains, designing engaging activities that gave the audience practice with the Microsoft 365 tools in a safe environment. The staff were able to explore how Office 365 can help with collaboration, working from anywhere, and making current processes smoother in the workshop, and then they could go straight back to their own workspace and immediately apply what they’d learnt.

Making it more than a classroom event

We used the tools the Council had in place already—SharePoint and SAP SuccessFactors—and added pages of information if they wanted to dig deeper into any give topic. The workshop content was reshaped into mini Articulate Rise courses to both reinforce the workshop learning, as well as potentially be used as the primary training content for the full roll out for staff who had not had a workshop opportunity.

Staff can now access the learning as online information and learning modules that people can visit, work through, and revisit whenever they like – all centred on one Intranet (SharePoint) hub.

With everything in one place, the aim was to make the transition from it being ‘the new modern workplace’ to ‘the new normal’. A central point to learn more about Microsoft 365, whether it be creating tasks in Planner, organising a Teams meeting, or working on a collaborative Excel spreadsheet. The hub is a short hop that directs people to the core information needed to get on with the job in hand.

Pivoting to online learning

Everyone is busy and workshops require a solid block of time, which many people struggle to find. Taking time out can be disruptive and can be a costly exercise. Online learning, on the other hand, has many advantages without compromising on the quality of the learning outcomes. The small modules that cover the same content as the workshops are interactive and interesting. And more importantly, they are time efficient and give staff the flexibility to fit learning around getting their job done.

Applauding adaptability and flexibility

The Council’s early adopters of Microsoft 365 were reassured knowing there was online learning and support resources on the way, knowing they would have a way to remind them of the content in a simple and time-efficient way. However, both learners and managers were impressed by how engaging and interactive online learning could be.

This process was a testament to the power of online learning as a tool to support other forms of learning, but we also managed to help the team flip the focus and make online learning the recommended primary tool for future learners. As a result of what we produced and the conversations we had around online learning, future training will now start with flexible online learning, supported by drop-in face-to-face sessions to back it up.

How can we help?

We're here to help your people and your organisation thrive.