Organizational leaders at Philips, a global provider of health-care, consumer lifestyle and technology solutions with presence in more than 72 countries, recently devised a vision of a truly global work culture where all its 100,000 employees — regardless of their location or function — shared one mindset around work. This approach is formally termed “One Philips.”
“At Philips, we see learning as a possibility to leverage the development of people. The value of the learning program for Philips is very much a part of creating one way of working and one mindset for all Philips employees,” said Jef Pauwels, vice president of learning and development. “In order to achieve this, we moved from a scattered learning environment to an environment where we standardized our learning offering to be globally consistent. We do this in the areas of personal effectiveness, company knowledge and in key disciplines like sales, marketing, HR, IT, etc.”
Pauwels added that the ideal end result would be, “when an employee joins Philips in any business, no matter the country, he/she has access to an identical learning offering.”
To realize this vision, Philips developed and deployed a global learning program called the Philips Learning Curricula. However, managing the program was challenging. There were multiple resources dedicated to administrative tasks, which took focus away from the department’s core need to further develop educational programs.
Another challenge facing Philips was that its global learning operation was not centralized. The processes, systems and administrative tools varied across countries and regions. The operations were not only difficult to manage and control at a centralized level, but also had led to cost escalation due to overlaps. The global learning services team therefore required an integrated solution for training administration that was managed by a single vendor and would centralize the solution from a service and systems perspective.
Philips chose NIIT as its outsourcing partner to provide a fully integrated learning management system and also to take on all administrative tasks. The solution met the three key requirements of Philips: There was a single connect for all regions in a unified service framework, there was regional customization for regional or country-specific flexibility and there was a phase-wise plan for smooth transition.
This system was deployed in all regions of Philips’ global learning environment. The technology underpinning the system was designed to manage all training-related activities and provide options to deliver e-learning content with required assessment capabilities.
In addition, the system is integrated with multiple HR information systems for sharing data on training completion and evaluation scores. It includes a 24×5 dedicated service center to service Philips employees all around the world. A multilingual, personalized environment with a customizable interface provides a one-on-one connect for every learner in the system. To help ensure constant monitoring and consistency of service, the solution is driven by service level agreements and backed by CRM, best-practice sharing and quality assurance.
The launch of the new global learning management system ensured there was only one system for the Philips Learning Curricula. Also, Philips launched more than 130 global courses and reduced overlap by 30 percent and learning expenditures by 20 to 25 percent through a streamlined and focused learning offering. As a result of the changes, Philips anticipates further expansion of the Learning Portal to include additional offerings as well as business-specific courses. Enrollments are estimated to rise to more than 40,000 in 2008.
The Philips Learning Management System provides a platform to develop a consistent vocabulary and way of working for Philips employees worldwide — a realization of “One Philips.”