What makes the perfect partnership? Shared interests? The same values? Mutual respect?
In the case of Mind Tools and SPX Flow, it was “all of the above!”
During our latest webinar, SPX Flow’s Global Director of Talent, Scott Schoenbrun, talked to me about how the relationship between our two organizations began, and why it continues to flourish.
A Passion for Learning
Scott has been an advocate of learning at SPX Flow for more than 10 years, and he firmly believes that learning is about more than information. As he sees it, learning has to involve application.
A leading manufacturer of innovative technologies, SPX Flow has long known that people drive business success. As a result, the company sought out the right tools to develop strong, empowered leaders and managers.
And they wanted to make sure that their teams learned through experience, in the flow of their work.
Enter Mind Tools!
The Challenge at SPX Flow
To begin their journey, SPX Flow had to ask themselves what their end goal was for learning and development – and exactly why they wanted to achieve it.
From early on, they knew that they had to move away from a “classroom” approach, and provide their people with on-demand learning.
And, according to Scott, the “why” was also clear. “With classroom learning, you lose that personalized experience that individuals need. So, we want to be able to focus expectations on the individual and make it relevant to what that person needs, right now.”
They were faced with leading a major change project with a relatively small L&D team. So they decided to focus on their people managers, particularly during their onboarding and management training. It turned out to be a very smart move.
Give the People What They Need!
What those managers needed, they said, was the right information at their fingertips whenever they come across a new issue. Crucially, they also wanted it in a form that suited them.
“With Mind Tools,” Scott explained, “the information is extremely relevant, there is new information coming out all the time, there are various formats. Not everything is a video, not everything is a white paper. This allows our people to choose the format they need to learn. And that’s something that we really like.”
By providing instant access to useful material, Mind Tools has enabled SPX Flow’s people managers to develop the skills and behaviors necessary to be better at their jobs. And that in turn has accelerated the organization’s performance.
Scott’s convinced that this is because his company defined its L&D goals – and then, in Mind Tools, found an approach that matched.
“It’s high quality, and it’s microlearning. We are all extremely busy, so we need to provide information in short bursts that don’t take people away for long periods of time. Mind Tools does this and includes enough information for people to apply and help them on their journey to become successful.”
Engaging Learners at SPX Flow
Scott Schoenbrun is passionate about building on this success. He’s committed to a long-term strategy for providing inspirational L&D, and is determined to keep strengthening engagement among his 900 managers.
To assist with that, our Client Success Team has worked closely with SPX Flow to ensure that Mind Tools is at the forefront of people’s minds. We’ve helped the company to choose resources to supplement quarterly training programs.
We’ve also made sure that the right material is available whenever people need it. As SPX Flow doesn’t use an LMS, we’ve worked together on a system for sharing content via emails and deep links.
“We send a learning tips email every single Monday, as soon as people come into the office,” Scott explained in our webinar. “These are relevant to what’s going on in the business, and we then provide a link where they can go to Mind Tools and learn more about X, Y or Z.
“We want them to be thinking, ‘this is what I need – go to Mind Tools. Here’s a problem I have – go to Mind Tools!’ If we can get that automatic reflex, we’re winning the game.”
The partnership between Mind Tools and SPX Flow has already produced clear results. Equipped with the right tools, managers are now carrying out increasing numbers of effective 1-2-1 and appraisal meetings. And positive development conversations are also on the rise.
“These weren’t happening several years ago to the level they are today,” Scott confirmed. “This has improved by providing people with the right tools, internal communications, and holding them accountable. We did a survey recently and we asked our population: during your last performance review, did your manager talk about development? Almost three quarters of the population said that they had. This is a number we have not seen before.”
And 73 percent of his people are visiting the Mind Tools site every single month.
“That’s something we’ve not seen before with other tools we’ve had out there, and the reason for that is the partnership. If we just launched this ourselves without the support of Mind Tools, we wouldn’t have seen this success. This partnership between SPX Flow and Mind Tools is so significant and has been so rewarding. It is so nice working for a partner who wants you to be successful!”
What’s the Future for Mind Tools and SPX Flow?
Things are looking bright. Mind Tools will continue to work with SPX Flow as a strategic partner, helping to drive their commitment to learner engagement.
Like all the best relationships, it’s dynamic – and exciting on both sides! As Scott put it in the webinar, “Mind Tools resources follow our learning philosophy of access, learn, apply and evaluate. Tools should be applied immediately; it’s not good enough to learn about feedback and then wait a month until I next give feedback to someone.
“And this is what makes it such a good match for us.”