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The Employee Experience Platform | Culture Amp
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Rod 1

Rod Hamilton

Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Culture Amp

This week at Culture First, we announced our partnership with LifeLabs Learning to help HR teams support and develop their managers. Over the last year, we’ve seen managers asked to do more than ever, and it’s time for us to adopt a new approach.

The reality is that roughly 1/3 of the conversations managers have with their employees are now related to topics that HR would historically have handled. Managers are expected to discuss subjects like mental health and wellbeing, social justice, and political issues. Talking about employee anxiety and resilience are the new staples of 1-on-1 conversations. All of this on top of managers still needing to take care of themselves. Their schedules are spread thin across 1-on-1 meetings, team planning, tracking performance goals, reporting up to leaders, and their own work.

The changing nature of what it means to be a manager requires a new set of skills and behaviors. But traditional approaches to learning and development simply don’t lead to the necessary behavior change. Watching a training video provides a moment of inspiration, but unless it’s infused and reinforced in the flow of work for a manager, then it is simply one more item on a manager’s ever-increasing to-do list.

That’s where LifeLabs Learning comes in. They have identified the most critical skills that effective managers need. LifeLabs Learning is a team of over 100 experts working with companies around the globe to offer a curriculum that is science-based and industry-tested. They are making great people training and development opportunities easily scalable and accessible to all. Their researchers studied the behaviors of hundreds of successful managers to understand what makes them stand out and what makes them great at what they do. Focused on the rapid skill-up of managers, they’ve concentrated on “tipping point skills” - the small changes that make a big impact on performance and engagement. These are behaviors that managers can learn that will make the biggest impact on their organization in the shortest amount of time.

These are skills like coaching, feedback, prioritization, and how to run effective 1-on-1s.

By combining LifeLabs Learning’s expert research, teaching, and live training programs with Culture Amp’s diagnostic, measurement, and reinforcing technology – we’ve cracked the code on manager development at scale.

When it comes to manager development, we break down the process into five concrete steps:

  1. Build the case: You can start with any type of feedback, whether it’s survey results, peer feedback, or a performance review, to understand where development opportunities exist.
  2. Identify a focus: From there, you can use AI-powered algorithms to recommend a few specific focus areas where an employee can improve, along with the associated “tipping point” skills to develop and get there.
  3. Learn the skill: Next, you can activate Skills Coach, which is backed with LifeLabs Learning science and know-how. To make this step more impactful, many companies sign-up for the LifeLabs live training to supercharge their skills development.
  4. Apply in practice: Then comes the actual practice of the skill. Skills Coach prompts you with a daily micro-learning in the form of a short two-minute exercise, so managers are reminded to put their new skills into action.
  5. Sustain behavior: Lastly, Skills Coach reinforces this new behavior with prompts throughout the month. This spaced repetition that reminds the user to practice, along with Culture Amp’s guided 1-on-1 tool and continuous feedback capabilities, helps managers sustain their new skill – so it truly becomes part of their routine.

Instead of pre-recorded training that isn't targeted to a manager’s specific growth opportunity, the manager development loop provides a personalized coaching experience. Backed by core behavioral science principles, users don’t just learn a new skill, they are prompted to keep practicing. Plus, managers can fit it into their busy schedules since it only takes a few minutes a day and is delivered directly to them in Slack, Microsoft Teams, or email. And it really works – 94% of our early skill coach users agreed they had improved as managers and led their teams more effectively after taking the first course. Their peers noticed the positive change as well, with 68% of these managers’ peers seeing positive behavior improvements.

“We’re so excited that Culture Amp and LifeLabs Learning are partnering. Not only are they both a wonderful fit for our fast-paced culture here at HelloFresh, but this is going to allow us to give our employees access to more high-quality and relevant leadership development content from LifeLabs Learning throughout many of their regular touchpoints with the Culture Amp platform.”

— Laura NicholsLearning & Organizational Development at Hello Fresh
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Find out how to accelerate your development programs with Culture Amp and LifeLabs Learning.

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