Cory Environmental Group
Webinar Training Case Study
The Cory Environmental Group (CE) provides a range of waste and recycling services for businesses, local authorities and the general public throughout the UK.
Evidence from staff feedback, appraisals and observations indicated that the business needed to create a more extensive and structured manager development programme. Fiona Cummins, a Learning & Development consultant at CE, had attended a management course with People Vision associate Ian Crocker ten years previously, and signed up to a webinar he was delivering with People Vision Managing Consultant Alyson Pellowe.
The Webinar format suited CE’s needs having many remote managers all over the country. People Vision were commissioned to design a customised programme of webinars, to be run by Ian and rolled out to first-line and middle managers across the organisation.
CE’s staff are spread out across the UK on different contracts, so webinars offer a cost-effective, time-efficient way to bring people together remotely. A broad curriculum can be covered over the course of a year without the delegates needing to leave their current work sites.
It would be operationally impractical for CE to release more than one manager at a time for classroom-style training. Webinars provide an ideal alternative, allowing two or three managers from the same site to receive training simultaneously.
People Vision webinars use the screen-sharing function of Lotus Notes, with the trainer controlling the slide deck and the delegates viewing it in real-time. Lotus lacks an audio function, so delegates must dial in to a separate telephone conference call. As the technology develops, People Vision are trialling the use of Skype to provide a more integrated solution.
The programme consists of one-hour webinar sessions, hosted each month throughout the year. Each session focuses on a single topic, for example:
Leading a team
Handling challenging people
Working with suppliers
Sessions are varied and balanced, with input from the trainer, individual and group activities for the delegates, and opportunities to reflect, contribute and ask questions. Slides are limited to 10 per session, to ensure that the format remains interactive, not depending too heavily on PowerPoint. Separate break-out chatrooms are available, allowing delegates to discuss topics in smaller groups and engage directly with the trainer. The technology is simple to use, and the trainer runs a quick tutorial at the start of the session to allow newcomers to get to grips with it and feel at ease. People Vision also provide electronic handouts to support the learning.
Feedback from the sessions has been consistently positive. Ian ends each webinar with an action planning activity, supporting the delegates in considering how to apply the learning back in the workplace; as a result, the sessions have led to significant changes across the business.
The programme has been running continuously since 2012, with CE commissioning further sessions each year. Most recently, People Vision ran a webinar as part of CE’s mentoring programme for the Senior Leadership Team, meaning that this form of training is now available to staff at all levels within the organisation.
CE has provided referrals for People Vision to a number of other waste management companies, exploring the possibility of partnering with them in joint webinar sessions in the future.