Philip Morris International (PMI) was already becoming a more virtual organisation, but the coronavirus pandemic necessitated the acceleration of this transformation. Hemsley Fraser helped the business to quickly upskill PMI’s Learning facilitators, accrediting 110 participants in six months.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced PMI to halt physical learning experiences, the business knew it could not pause learning entirely. Building new capabilities plays a huge part in organisation-wide transformation towards a smoke-free future. The organisation needed to find a way to continue to learn and grow as a business, and empower its L&D department to pivot into expert-led virtual learning.
PMI has a diverse workforce of around 73,500 people, located in more than 100 countries, working in truly global markets. The challenge was to engage, upskill and accredit learning facilitators across six geographical regions and time-zones.
Hemsley Fraser delivered a learning programme based around three core modules: standards for delivery; facilitation and engagement; and advanced facilitation. Each of these modules is designed to impart the learner with the skills and behaviours necessary to help others learn in a virtual environment.
Participants begin with the standards for delivery module, which discusses the work which must be undertaken before a virtual classroom session. They then move on to facilitation and engagement, learning how to work with a virtual audience in a virtual space. This covers topics such as managing in the moment and boosting energy, as well as the tools facilitators can rely on in the virtual environment.
Finally, the advanced facilitation module covers further topics such as managing challenging behaviours, cultural awareness and working with groups from different parts of the organisation. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences and learn from each other, with a final ‘teach back’ session allowing them to demonstrate their new skills and behaviours, and gain instant feedback from the facilitator and their peers. Following the completion of the course, participants gain accreditation from HF and a digital badge for social media.
PMI has used its new skills and behaviours not only to deliver more virtual learning experiences, but also to improve virtual meetings. By the end of November 2020, PMI and Hemsley Fraser will have accredited 110 virtual facilitators, from countries as diverse as Russia, Australia and Egypt, helping prepare PMI for an increasingly virtual and remote working world. This has had a considerable impact upon the organisation, with PMI reporting a 74 per cent Net Promoter score when monitoring advocacy from learners.
Anna Nazimek, PMI’s Learning Design Lead and project manager, said “As the pandemic affected our continuity of upskilling in critical capabilities and roll-out of global learning curriculums, we had to pivot quickly. Workshop content was rapidly redesigned, and we quickly expanded our work with Hemsley Fraser to upskill local market capability builders in facilitating virtually. The knowledge and accredited skills we’ve created to fix a short-term need, also gives us a real bench-strength for capability building in the future.”
- Rapid upskilling to pivot to an expert-led virtual delivery model
- Continuity in capability building during pandemic
- Reduced travel expenses and environmental impact
- Better efficiency in hosting and attending meetings
- Net Promoter score of 74 per cent
- Rapid accreditation of 110 virtual facilitators
- Programme deployed in 44 countries
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