Vodafone + GoAnimate

The Vodafone Process Governance team uses GoAnimate to create 2D character animations and whiteboard animations explaining new systems, processes, and programs that employees need to learn.

Summary of Success:

  • Learning developers can produce eLearning videos for employees in 24 countries in a little as one week
  • Humorous characters like “Control Carol” and “Supply Chain Simon” increase employee engagement, as well as learning and retention of internal processes
  • Employees no longer need to hunt for eLearning materials because they’re now available in the easily accessible EVO Learning Academy

Background:

Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. The company has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. To serve its 470 million mobile customers and 14.3 million fixed broadband customers, Vodafone employs more than 107,000 people around the world. With an employee population this size, getting everyone on the same page with company policies and processes can be a challenge.

The Challenge:

One of the Vodafone departments facing that challenge head on is the Vodafone Shared Service’s Process Governance Team (PGT), a cross-functional group that oversees end-to-end processes in finance, human resources, and supply chain management. As part of its responsibilities, the team prepares e-learning materials for employees in 24 different countries to train them on various processes.

These include finance, human resources, and supply chain procedures such as creating internal online shopping carts to procure goods and services. The challenge: How to convey the information in an interesting, fun way that employees would engage with and retain.

Until recently, the PGT team used Course Builder, Google’s open-source online education platform, to create training materials. Recently, however, the team discovered that the materials were less than successful at conveying the information employees needed to know. According to Nóra Salamon-Tóth, Vodafone Learning Developer, employees were tested on their familiarity with the company’s eLearning materials, and the results were startling. First, employees didn’t know that the eLearning materials existed, and second, if they did know, they didn’t know where to find them because they were distributed across three different locations.

“For example, we were getting feedback that employees didn’t know how to correctly raise a shopping cart for internal purchases, even though we have an eLearning module on that specific topic,” says Salamon-Tóth, who is based in the company’s Budapest office. “Team leads told us that employees didn’t know the training materials even existed.”

Third, and perhaps most importantly, even when employees could access the eLearning materials, their retention of the information was low.

“The eLearning courses looked like PowerPoint presentations, and people were getting bored with them quickly,” recalls Salamon-Tóth. “They’ve had enough of PowerPoint.”

The Solution:

The Vodafone Process Governance Team realized that for their eLearning modules to be effective, they needed to engage employees while communicating new information about internal processes. One obvious solution was video, which can effectively convey in seconds a complex message or process that would require multiple PowerPoint slides. But video can also be expensive to produce, which was one of the reasons Vodafone turned to GoAnimate.

“If you ask an agency to produce a video for you, it could cost a fortune,” says Salamon-Tóth. “By creating our own animated videos, we can prepare high-quality video without any extra spend.”

After reviewing two or three different animated video tools, Vodafone settled on GoAnimate in 2015, purchasing a GoTeam subscription. They export their GoAnimate .MP4 videos into the Articulate Storyline eLearning platform to build interactive online courses.

“We liked the number and variety of business-related scenes in GoAnimate,” Salamon-Tóth says. “It’s also so easy to use, which was one of the main reasons we selected it. It was obvious that GoAnimate was the best on the market.”

The Results:

One of Salamon-Tóth’s first tasks when she joined the company was to use GoAnimate to create a video of herself and her first week at Vodafone. Despite having no experience with video editing software, much less GoAnimate, she says it took only two or three days to learn the application and produce her video.

“It was so much fun,” she says of her experience. “I really enjoyed using GoAnimate and felt confident enough to record my own voice and add different types of music. When my video was sent out to introduce me to the team, everyone loved it.”

One of the highlights of Salamon-Tóth’s GoAnimate experience so far has been using the software to produce animated videos for a Vodafone leadership conference in the summer of 2016. One of the strategies the team used to make conference presentations more interesting—to create what some researchers call “sticky memories”—was to produce animated versions of the executives.

“It was fantastic because all our leaders agreed to have their avatars appear in the videos,” she says. “They even sent me recordings of their voices to add in. We have so many options for how we can develop characters.”

Today, the Vodafone PGT uses GoAnimate to create 2D character animations and whiteboard animations explaining new systems, processes, and programs that employees need to learn. Internal clients send Salamon-Tóth and her team a draft script, which they then refine into the basis for a two-to-three-minute video.

“We tell them that a video should be no more than three minutes because people lose interest if it’s any longer,” she says.

Once the script is approved, the team can produce the video in about five business days.

Salamon-Tóth says the team has solved the problem of people not being able to find eLearning materials by uploading all of them to a central repository called the EVO Learning Academy. They also post new videos to Vodafone Tube, an internal YouTube-like channel, as well as to the company’s Yammer social network.

“We then send out company-wide announcements about new videos, as do team leaders and managers,” says Salamon-Tóth.

So far, feedback about the animated videos has been extremely positive, according to Salamon-Tóth. Especially popular are two animated characters the team has built in GoAnimate’s custom character creator as a tactic to reinforce learning: “Control Carol” teaches new processes to the finance team, while “Simple Supply Chain Simon” conveys new purchasing methods.

Control Carol Vodafone

“They’re both popular because they’re not perfect,” explains Salamon-Tóth. “They’re one of us. They like their jobs, but they also have to face challenges. In the videos, they’re asked to perform a task by their bosses, and while at the beginning they don’t really know what to do, by the end they’ve learned to complete their tasks perfectly.”

“These characters are so popular that employees refer to them in real-life situations outside of training—and some have even taped the characters’ images on the walls of their offices as visual reminders of the concepts.”

This behavior reinforces recent research that character-driven stories with emotional content result in better understanding and recall. In eLearning, interactive characters make users “social interactions” with computers more familiar, comfortable, and successful.

“The biggest reason I’d recommend GoAnimate is its user-friendliness,” Salamon-Tóth says. “It’s so easy to use and so flexible. And if you can’t find the image you want, you can upload it!

“What is very important is that the company itself is flexible as well. They listen to people, and the responsiveness of their customer care is outstanding.”