Learning leaders at MetLife were poised to launch a new digital learning portal that would re-engineer how their claims associates access learning. The portal would serve as a central hub for all technical and professional development across the organization. Unifying their learning technologies and materials into one location was a critical step to making employee development more manageable. But a familiar challenge remained.
Like most fast-paced organizations with a diverse learner population, delivering the learning in a way that fit in the flow of their work was a challenge. The existing library of courses was robust, but engagement rates were low and many lessons were growing stale and losing relevance. Most courses were one to two hours long, and employees didn’t have the ability to take time away from production to complete the modules. “We knew for years that we had a problem,” says Jason Gill, Claims Academy Manager. “We knew people didn’t feel like they had a learning solution in place that would give them good information in a short amount of time.”
In a compliance-driven organization where employees must adhere to claims metrics that leave them with little time to complete long-form training, they needed to re-think their delivery model. And with a learner population diverse in education level and job function they also needed to find fresh new content that appealed across all levels.
Jason believed microlearning could be the right delivery format for developing his people and assuring the overall success of the new centralized learning portal. He and his team engaged with several leading solution providers in the microlearning space and set out to find a partner who could deliver on key features:
- Provide quality microlearning content that was ready to deploy without a heavy internal workload
- Allow for flexible implementation that would fit well with their new learning portal
- Ability to create customized learning tracks aligned to MetLife’s core competencies
They quickly discovered that most vendors’ content was primarily video-based as a sole modality, and realized they wanted more diversity in learning formats. They also needed content that wasn’t too executive or too entry-level; it had to be relevant to as many different levels of learners as possible – from the recent high school graduate to the seasoned claims professional. Blue Ocean Brain stood out as the provider who could deliver the content and flexibility they needed to make the new learning portal a success.
Choosing to partner with Blue Ocean Brain gave MetLife the ability to customize both the content and the way the way the solution is utilized. Together they developed a tailored implementation strategy that folded microlearning into MetLife’s new learning portal and overall portfolio of learning activities including new hire onboarding, incumbent training strategy, and career development resources. The branding flexibility of Blue Ocean Brain’s solution allowed it to accommodate MetLife’s internal implementation and communication approaches in order to maintain continuity with the new portal.
Blue Ocean Brain developed content tracks of bite-sized, interactive learning modules aligned to professional skills core competencies and associated behaviors defined by MetLife. The team also incorporated just-in-time learning by curating and categorizing a library of microlessons for learners to engage with material of interest at the point of need.
Blue Ocean Brain’s microlearning content was a perfect match for the MetLife learner audience – a diverse group of a few thousand associates spread across the U.S. who range from high school graduates to those with advanced degrees in specialized claims roles. They vary in work setting from fully remote to 100% office-based in sites across the country. Some are in call center roles with a specific need for development of communication and empathy skills, while others are in roles that benefit from the full spectrum of professional skills material.
Adding a Dose of Custom
To apply the benefit of microlearning to their technical skills training, Blue Ocean Brain instructional designers micro-sized MetLife’s technical modules, transforming lengthy and challenging material into digestible, accessible bites of learning, available at their people’s fingertips.
All of this amounted to a fully-tailored, custom solution that would appeal to a broad spectrum of MetLife’s internal customers. Leveraging Blue Ocean Brain’s ever-changing, evergreen professional skills content, while folding in their technical material, allowed the MetLife team to minimize work and maintenance on their end.
Once the solution was built, the team conducted a pilot program, launching to an initial group of learners to gather feedback and make tweaks before the full rollout. “We gained incredible feedback during the first phase,” Jason reports. “And with support from Blue Ocean Brain’s Client Success Team we were able to quickly deliver on learner requests such as one-click access into the daily modules and games.”
MetLife has discovered significant benefits since launching Blue Ocean Brain.
Since leveraging Blue Ocean Brain’s content, several hours of new development training have been completed in 2018 alone that otherwise would not have been achievable. The ability to deliver compelling new learning without having to develop in-house is a very important piece to the MetLife team. “The content reaches people. It is always new and interesting, and everyone can benefit from engaging with it. Whether new or old – you’re going to find value in it,” Jason says.
Blue Ocean Brain’s game-based learning options also really differentiated the solution from competitors in the space. “Giving people a one to two-minute brain exercise to engage with gives them a nice brain break they can take and then move on with their day. It helps them re-center and refocus to get back on track.” To Jason, the brain exercises have contributed to the overall success of their new learning portal, drawing learners in who then go on to engage with other training and development opportunities within the portal.
Blue Ocean Brain’s reporting capabilities are also a critical element, allowing learning leaders to demonstrate its ongoing value and impact to senior internal stakeholders. The team tracks utilization and time spent on learning, along with which lessons associates are engaging with week to week and month to month, to calculate ROI for senior leaders. Since launching, Jason and his team have engaged with Blue Ocean Brain’s Client Success Team to obtain deeper level reporting and build the detailed reporting structure that specifically meets their needs, which is then integrated into the overall learning portal reporting.
Tying it all Together
Jason reports that Blue Ocean Brain’s role in the successful new learning portal has been crucial. “Our goal is to provide a robust and diverse learning platform that people can access whenever they want. Blue Ocean Brain is a foundational component to that approach. We have a lot of learning solutions available on the portal, but our professional competency and core skills development is delivered primarily through Blue Ocean Brain microlearning.”
We can now deliver learning to any learner regardless of where they are in the world or where they are in their career.Jason Gill, MetLife Claims Academy Manager
Jason recounts intangible benefits as well, saying Blue Ocean Brain’s superior client service is what has impressed him the most. “The responsiveness to our requests and our needs has blown me away. The relationship is such that Blue Ocean Brain is constantly looking to deliver when we ask for help. The most refreshing thing is knowing that we have a partner in them that can quickly deliver on the requests that we have in a quality manner.”
The growth of the partnership continues, as the team is now working on fresh custom technical material, along with a new generation of customized reports and a plan to integrate the solution with Degreed, MetLife’s newest learning management system.
To Jason, perhaps the most meaningful and illustrative measure of impact comes from the learners themselves. Results from learner surveys consistently show that 90% of their learners would highly recommend Blue Ocean Brain to their peers. Learners report particularly favoring Blue Ocean Brian’s content and ease of use. As Jason points out: “At the end of the day, content is king. We’ve got to provide good content to people and Blue Ocean Brain has had that from day one.”