A Word With….

Patty Edwards

Mondelez International

National Training Manager


Bio Box:


A DScape client since 2012, Patty supports training for approximately 10,000 people in the North American region of Mondelēz-- the United States and Canada -- not only from a Learning Management System perspective but in training facilitation and content development.  75% of the learning content is sales training to “upskill” employees in various facets of their jobs.  The other 25% includes safety compliance, policy compliance and miscellaneous subject matter. Dscape has developed and hosts the LMS and produces many eLearning courses each year. 


DSCAPE:    Given your depth of experience with various types of e-Learning, what would you say are the greatest obstacles to creating successful programs?


PATTY:    Technology. Today, our Learning Management System is everything we need. It’s simple. It’s easy and it’s intuitive. However, before we had that, some of the courses we've tried to run before wouldn’t work with the technology our users had available. So sometimes we have a challenge between cutting edge technology with our programs and not so cutting edge technology with the formats that they need to run in and the software programs they need to run in. So technology working well and fitting in with our goals is really very important.

The other piece of the engagement puzzle, of course, is the employees themselves. We have a very tenured workforce some of whom think that there’s nothing else to learn so they’re not really interested in taking courses, completing learning curriculums, anything like that. You know, change is difficult for everybody and I think the fear of new technology is common but the attitude of “I just don’t want to do that” is also part of it. We need to do a better job with holding learners accountable and we’re constantly working on this to help everyone understand that development is part of your job. Your learning is part of your job. It’s not this extra thing that we put over on the side and you do it when you have time. It’s just as important as everything else you do. That’s a huge culture change and we’ve made progress and we continue to work on it.      

So what we found with our e-Learning is the more interactive the better. Whether it’s images moving on the screen, building in quizzes, knowledge checks, games, it’s something that requires the learner to actually do something to advance the course as opposed to just being very passive and letting the course run and they just look at the screen. It’s had a huge impact on our organization. We’ve had very positive feedback on our e-Learning content.


DSCAPE:    So is there a particular style of e-Learning that you have found to be most effective – even within the definition of “interactive”?


PATTY:     One thing that’s very effective with sales people is the whole idea of gaming. So if you can build a game or a contest something into a training module, you’ll have a lot more engagement. You know, sales folks are competitive by nature and the whole gaming idea appeals to them a great deal whether it’s putting things in the right bucket, whatever it is, that’s very appealing to them and they will actually spend more time and talk up those modules more than others.

 When I communicate how we’re doing against our training objectives, we do actually rank regions and areas because that drives that competitive spirit among the employees. We share positive comments we’ve gotten on training that are totally unsolicited. People will send us feedback all the time about the positive and the not so positive. By and large, the feedback is very positive so we share that positive feedback to everyone in the organization every chance we get.  

One thing that we have done this year that is helping tremendously is we have built a KPI or key performance indicator around completing training. So this year if you did not complete your assigned training on time, you are not eligible for the highest increase you can get or bonus. So that has really incentivized many of our employees to complete their training on time. 


DSCAPE:    What devices are people using to access the training?? 


PATTY:    Some of our folks are using PCs and most, our sales organization, our sales reps and our folks in the field are using Android tablets. In other parts of the world they’re using iPads; and in some parts of the world, they're using phones. So we have a variety.


DSCAPE: Okay. So what are the key aspects, features, characteristics that are most important to you in an eLearning development partner?


 PATTY: Creativity is obviously a big one.  Helping us come up with a completely different way of doing something. It's very impactful, very creative, very engaging for our folks. I've worked with vendors in the past that expected us to bring the creativity and it was a challenge. So certainly creativity is something we'll look for.

The other thing we look for is the ability of the employees that work for the vendor to learn quickly, to be very learning-agile. It’s always best if your vendor partner understands your business and has a business knowledge maybe not on the products you sell on the specific things that you do, but just understand business and can learn about what we do pretty quickly. I think that helps with the creativity piece and improves the final product.