Enabling effective learning & development in the local government sector

How ELMO helped Melton City Council

Introduction

Melton is situated in the western suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria. Previously a shire, it was awarded city status in 2008. Today, Melton is in what’s known as the “growth corridor”, meaning that the population is growing rapidly, with a boom in housing developments and mining set to double the population in the next 10 to 15 years.

Melton City Council has approximately 750 employees and is continually expanding to reflect community growth. The People and Culture team, however, has not grown at the same rate. Consisting of just nine HR professionals, the lean team carries out typical HR functions – learning & development, recruitment and payroll – and has traditionally relied heavily upon manual processes to complete critical tasks.

Learning & development is a significant part of the People and Culture team’s work. Kirstin Goldsworthy, Learning and Development Officer at Melton City Council, explains how important learning is in the organisation. “We have a really great learning culture,” she says. “We invest a lot of money in learning, both from a compliance perspective and a corporate learning perspective, and the organisation is really hungry for it.” This thirst for learning meant that manual processes no longer accommodated the organisation’s needs – processes had to be streamlined.

Problems Experienced

" In the past, we had to manage manual registration forms. That’s 2,000 registration forms at the start of each year that needed to be processed manually. It’s a waste of time and a waste of resources."
Kirstin Goldsworthy - Learning and Development Officer at Melton City Council

The main obstacle holding back the People and Culture team from reaping the full benefits of their learning initiatives was the use of manual, spreadsheet-heavy processes. “There were not enough people to do what we needed to do,” recalls Goldsworthy. “We were running spreadsheets and old-school registration forms – it was very clunky.”

At the start of each financial year, Goldsworthy and her team develop a yearly corporate training calendar and a leadership training calendar, consisting of numerous learning initiatives that staff can opt-in for across the coming year. In the past, staff were required to select sessions and dates via registration forms, which the People and Culture team had to process manually. “That’s 2,000 registration forms at the start of each year that needed be to be processed manually,” explains Goldsworthy. “It was a waste of time and a waste of resources.”

Goldsworthy adds that the process was unnecessarily laborious for staff. “As frustrating as it was for us, it was frustrating for our staff to have to go through such a rigorous process just to attend a training session,” she says. The desire for a streamlined and intuitive system was felt by the entire organisation.

1 The People and Culture team relied on spreadsheets and outdated systems to manage organisational learning initiatives
2 Training registration forms had to be completed and processed manually
3 Training calendars were difficult to manage and not user-friendly

Solution

As Melton City Council expanded to support the increasing needs of the community, it became clear to the People and Culture team that managing learning & development with antiquated processes was inefficient.

Prior to implementing ELMO’s learning suite earlier this year, Melton City Council already had a learning management system in place, but found it wasn’t hitting the mark in terms of what the organisation needed. Goldsworthy recalled that the decision to move to ELMO involved years of research and conversations with other vendors in the market. In the end, ELMO was the obvious choice. “We wanted a program that was going to be very flexible for our future needs,” she says, adding that ELMO Course Library was a main driver in the decision-making. “It’s an easy-to-use function,” Goldsworthy says. “We’ve used the existing eLearning modules and have been able to adapt them to the organisation.”

ELMO Course Builder is another solution that excited Goldsworthy back when she was researching vendors. A long-term strategy for Melton City Council is to move all their induction training online, and this process is made easier with Course Builder, which allowed the People and Culture team to create bespoke courses. “In the future, anything might come up – whether it’s in the induction space, the systems space, process changes, change management, etc. – and there are so many things we can use Course Builder for to help us drag that engagement across the organisation,” says Goldsworthy.

The Result

" The best thing that we’ve found about ELMO so far, which has honestly changed our lives, is the ability to set up the entire training calendar on ELMO. All the courses are created there, people can register online, and we don’t have any manual processing!"
Kirstin Goldsworthy - Learning and Development Officer at Melton City Council

Goldsworthy is incredibly impressed with the difference ELMO has made to her team’s productivity in a short amount of time. Within just two months of implementation, the headache of having to manually process documents has gone, and the team now has more time to work on enhancing training initiatives and driving organisational engagement.

For Goldsworthy, having a platform that manages and streamlines learning & development has been a game-changer. “The best thing that we’ve found about ELMO so far, which has honestly changed our lives, is the ability to set up the entire training calendar on ELMO,” she says. “All the courses are created there, people can register online, and we don’t have any manual processing!”

Goldsworthy also praises the automated notifications possible through the ELMO system. “Being able to customise the notifications and getting the system to send out reminders and calendar links is great,” she says. The organisation has also found value in ELMO’s discussion boards, which have helped to create a peer-to-peer learning community. “Before ELMO, the organisation really lacked internal networking and the sharing of resources and ideas,” says Goldsworthy. “However, with the discussion boards, people can communicate online before and after training sessions and keep that conversation going. We are really enjoying the community aspect we’re able to create.”

Goldsworthy also appreciated how pain-free ELMO made the transition for Melton City Council. “The implementation period was really smooth, which made it easier for us because changing systems is daunting, but [ELMO’s implementation team] were really helpful and got it across the line relatively quickly,” she explains.

Finally, Goldsworthy rates ELMO’s customer service as “top notch”. “When we’ve had a question, the response rate has been a couple of hours, which is unheard of. They’ve gone as far as walking us through an issue by sharing their screen if I’ve had trouble.” It’s this level of support that Goldsworthy values highly.

The move to ELMO was a big decision, but for the People and Culture team and everyone at Melton City Council, it has been a huge success.

1 Implementation of a learning management system to encourage staff to achieve corporate and leadership training goals
2 Flexibility in course creation with the use of Course Library and Course Builder
3 Significant time and resource savings due to training registrations and calendar notifications being managed through the ELMO system
4 Improved staff training registration process and calendar management
5 Greater community engagement within the organisation’s learning space