Learning That Scales With Growth
During the past decade, Colliers Project Leaders has expanded its operations rapidly. Today, the organization employs 700 people at 32 offices across Canada and two new locations in the Middle East. With an average annual growth rate of 15%, the company has multiple new hires joining nearly every week.
Stephanie Miesch, Lead Trainer at Colliers Project Leaders, is responsible not only for onboarding these new hires but also for the ongoing professional development of the entire organization. Her role encompasses everything from course design and development to implementation, administration, reporting and analytics.
“We’re the quality leader in our sector, and our training is essential for our staff to lead clients’ projects to success,” she comments. “By helping our people gain skills more quickly, we can stay ahead of the competition. That’s why we expect our new hires to complete more than 100 hours of training in their first year with us.”
However, the company’s growth posed a challenge: with hundreds of learners and dozens of courses running concurrently, the training program was becoming too big to manage.
“There are only so many training sessions that one person can run in a week,” says Stephanie Miesch. “To scale the program, we decided to move to a new blended, self-paced training model, with online courses supported by in-person and virtual classroom sessions.”
Moving to Brightspace helps us ensure that our staff are equipped with skills that far exceed industry expectations.Stephanie Miesch, Lead Trainer, Colliers Project Leaders
A Platform For Lifelong Learning
Colliers Project Leaders looked for a learning management system (LMS) to help streamline and scale its training program. The company’s Professional Practice Manager had extensive experience working with different LMS solutions from his previous career in higher education and recommended D2L’s Brightspace platform as a perfect fit for the company’s needs.
“Brightspace is a leader in the university space, and that’s an advantage because we often hire people straight out of university,” says Stephanie Miesch. “They already know and are comfortable with the platform. It was an easy choice.”
“The implementation was amazing. The D2L team was always responsive and always found a solution. Brightspace was the easiest software-as-a-service implementation we’ve ever dealt with: D2L delivered everything exactly to plan, and as practitioners we certainly respect that on-time, on-scope, on-budget philosophy.” – Stephanie Miesch, Lead Trainer, Colliers Project Leaders
Since the go-live, Colliers Project Leaders has launched 20 new courses, ranging from onboarding to practitioner training to advanced topics. Each course includes video training content, assignments and a final quiz to test the learner’s knowledge, followed by a survey to gain their feedback.
“Brightspace is designed to be mobile-friendly, so people can learn on any device, in their own time and at their own pace,” says Stephanie Miesch. “The online approach really allows us to deliver more training to more employees and manage each learner’s progression.”
High Scores For Learner Satisfaction
In the first 12 months since the launch, over 670 active learners at Colliers Project Leaders have used the Brightspace platform to achieve more than 4,000 unique online course completions.
“I can’t even imagine life without Brightspace right now,” says Stephanie Miesch. “There’s no way we would ever have been able to deliver 4,000 unique course completions without it.”
Brightspace makes this possible by streamlining the training management process. For example, its Advanced Analytics features enable Colliers Project Leaders to track the progress of new hires as they progress through the onboarding process and move into the cycle of practitioner training courses. By monitoring which employees have completed which courses, the company can identify and remediate skills gaps. In short, as Stephanie Miesch says, “It helps our new employees get better and function as if they have more years of experience than they have.”
At the same time, Brightspace automates much of the administrative work around training. Learners can enroll themselves in courses, and the platform’s Intelligent Agents feature automatically updates their records and sends them the relevant course information. Since the company often has more than 40 groups of 15 learners at any given time, this saves significant time. “The Intelligent Agents have made my life so much easier,” says Stephanie Miesch.
Feedback from users has also been extremely positive: on average, 85% of learners rate the training and delivery at four out of five or higher. In fact, the company’s commitment to continuing professional education is seen as a key differentiator by employees. As one learner wrote: “The program of training is a unique experience that I have not had with any of my previous employers over the past 30 years.”
Ultimately, the Brightspace platform helps Colliers Project Leaders train practitioners who are knowledgeable, skilled and able to achieve client success, in addition to delivering projects on time, on scope and on budget—the key success metrics for the company’s clients in the real estate project delivery industry.
“It’s great to see how our work is making a real difference to the people we train. Moving to Brightspace helps us ensure that our staff are equipped with skills that far exceed industry expectations, so they can deliver that knowledge through to our clients and maintain our reputation for outstanding quality of service.” – Stephanie Miesch, Lead Trainer, Colliers Project Leaders