Unilever Food Solutions has a widely distributed workforce across Canada and all 50 of the United States, with a diverse sales force led by Distributor Development Managers, Chain Development Managers, Business Development Team and Sales Leaders. Sales is further split into various teams with different areas of expertise, such as distributor, large chains, military, supermarket and deli, convenience stores, Club Stores, and healthcare facilities. The logistics of training are a significant challenge since not only do courses need to be delivered across a vast area, they also need to be tailored to meet the needs of specialized teams.
“We don’t have the resources to get together all the time,” says Beverly Looney, Unilever’s CD Capabilities Training Manager. “We need a way to get out training materials easily and quickly, in a user-friendly format.” Previously, the company was holding a lot of live meetings over the phone. Training materials were not readily available, making it difficult for people to review courses without asking someone else to search for a file and email it. “Plus, it was very difficult to reinforce training,” says Beverly, “and it’s important that we ensure that employees not only understand the materials but also retain the information.”
Beverly uses Learn to create multiple variants of courses aimed at the various specialized sales teams. There are around 250 active trainees, all of whom have used the program. Most training programs are geared toward new hires and range in focus from finance and marketing to culinary ideation and food safety.
However, Unilever recently kicked off a training program called UFS-University, which is focused on delivering continuing education to all of the salespeople at the company. Courses are created by a team of 5 to 10 people, and then Beverly uploads the materials to Learn. Trainees are required to complete courses, fill out related activity sheets, and submit results through, while Beverly tracks progress to see who has completed the assignments.
For Beverly, the number one priority for training was that the tool is easy to use. “I didn’t want a complex solution that required an IT degree to be able to use,” she says. “Learn is very user-friendly–anyone can get the hang of it.” The company reviewed several other online solutions, but Learn was the easiest for both trainers and trainees to understand.
Beverly also likes that Trakstar Learn:
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