Award Winning Digital Learning at Edrington
The Edrington Academy is an innovative digital learning hub created from our leadership and management toolkit. It supports key learning initiatives and provides a consistent, flexible approach to developing leadership and management capability across Edrington’s global business.
The innovative approach to developing the Academy and its overall effectiveness as an online resource was recognised by the judging panel at The Herald Scottish Digital Business Award in October 2016, winning the Education and Training category. This success was followed up by winning the Gold award for External Learning Solution of the Year at the LPI Learning Awards in London in February 2017.
With roots going back to 1860s Glasgow, Edrington’s famous whisky brands are household names including The Macallan, Highland Park and Famous Grouse. From its headquarters in Scotland, the company employs around 2,300 people globally and has offices throughout Europe, the US, Asia and the Middle East.
The business challenge
As Edrington grew, the company faced a fundamental problem: there was no single strategy in place for the consistent and rapid development of leadership and management capability across a rapidly expanding international business.
As Jo Hughes, Head of Organisational Development at Edrington, says:
“Prior to the development of the Edrington Academy, different business areas were beginning to shape and build their own development approaches but it was very ad hoc; we didn’t have anything online, nothing on an intranet - it was pretty much a hole in the ground.”
This fragmented approach was inconsistent with Edrington’s aspiration to be a forward-thinking, global business. The company needs a pipeline of home-grown leaders for continued success. The solution had to address a number of specific business challenges, including:
- Existing learning provision was reactive and relied primarily on face-to-face interventions - employees were sent on expensive external training courses.
- Regions were developing their own individual approaches to learning in isolation, leading to inconsistent content and quality.
- Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Edrington’s leaders and managers was a key consideration - people needed to learn quicker and smarter.
Edrington needed a consistent, universally available digital learning experience to enable the development of leadership and management skills. GoodPractice and Edrington developed a bespoke solution in partnership, based on a core of GoodPractice’s performance support toolkit. the Edrington Academy was designed to answer all of the company’s needs, including:
- Creation of a centralised, modern, digital learning hub for the entire business.
- High quality, easily accessible digital resources, available across all platforms and devices.
- Resources specifically targeted at improving the capability of leaders and managers.
- Expansion of the mentoring programme, complete with a mentoring toolkit and mentor database.
- Universal introduction of the work shadowing programme.
- Support for the existing performance review process for both managers and employees.
Utilising GoodPractice’s experience and expertise in driving engagement, the Edrington Academy was successfully launched using a combination of senior stakeholder engagement and a pre-launch activity.
Since launch, the Academy has had a significant and tangible impact on individual and organisational performance at Edrington:
- 42% of employees have accessed since launch.
- 75% of visits are returning visitors.
- Over 16,758 resources have been accessed.
- 25% of visitors have accessed 25 or more resources.
- 88% have ‘learned something new’ from the Academy.
- 67% have ‘taken action and applied their learning in a practical way’.
Colin Young, Commercial Finance Analyst, Edrington
“The Edrington Academy is, without a doubt, the best personal development tool I have ever had access to in any job. It is an incredible resource.”
Helen Tu, Procurement Manager, Edrington Hong Kong
“Now I don’t have to spend time surfing around on the internet to find what I want. On the Academy, you can just go straight to the category you need and find exactly what you want.”
Karin Wilkins, HR Generalist, Edrington US
“Since the Academy has been launched I have noticed a shift - people are more comfortable and more confident in having those difficult conversations with their team members. There are more productive conversations happening all around the business.”
By providing quick, easy access to trusted resources, the Edrington Academy is helping build the leadership and management capability the business needs to develop and grow. Wherever an employee is based, the approach, quality and learning experience is the same - creating a strong learning culture across the business.
As Jo Hughes comments:
“The relationship with GoodPractice is a match made in heaven. Instantly from the start, they really understood what our needs were in terms of building our digital platform, but they also wanted to understand us as a business. This approach really helps us to deliver something which is not only great for our organisation, but great for how we work together.”