Upskilling Your Workforce

Phoenix Indian Center Promotes Career Mobility with L&D Program

Company Size
Administrative and Support Services
Use Cases
Safety, DEIB, Leadership Development, and Sales and Customer Service
  1. Who Is Phoenix Indian Center?
    The Phoenix Indian Center is the oldest American Indian non-profit organization of its kind in the United States. They provide a safe, supportive environment for American Indian people looking for opportunity and offer several programs and services for job readiness/employment, prevention, youth, cultural revitalization, and community engagement.
  2. Primary Challenge
    Establish a culture that promotes exploring new career opportunities within the company.
  3. Results
    Implemented a training program that creates teams of employees from different departments to encourage cross-collaboration and has led to more career mobility along with 100% of employees regularly accessing the platform.

It’s Time to Put on the Apron and Chef’s Hat  

If you’ve ever baked a cake from scratch, you know the effort, commitment, and patience it takes to reach the perfect light and fluffy, frosted, and coated with sprinkles cake. You must shop for the ingredients, ensure you have the right bakeware, use all your arm strength to mix the batter, pipe and spread the frosting across every inch, and so much more. It’s a true labor of love, but having people rave about it and not leave a crumb is worth it (move over Betty Crocker!).  

Similarly, the same sentiment can be applied to building a learning and development culture from the ground up. When Lolan Lauvao, Program Manager at Phoenix Indian Center, started in his role, there were zero L&D programs in place. It was time for him to hit the ground running baking his cake (if you will), and he knew he needed to start with finding a robust learning solution.  

Because the staff at Phoenix Indian Center has many competing priorities, like putting on several community events each weekend, they can be stretched for time. An LMS was going to help take some of the load of running several programs off of everyone’s plates.

During the evaluation process, Lauvao ultimately selected BizLibrary because of the microlearning style of content, lessons are concise and relevant, and the ability to provide learning reinforcement was a HUGE plus.

With BizLibrary selected, it was time to start gathering the ingredients he was going to need to put in his mixing bowl to make the perfect programs. The best way to do this was by identifying and defining the competencies and skills of every employee, based on their role. After several meetings with the managers at the organization, they defined the following:  

  1. For entry-level employees, they needed to be able to know how to use a computer, understand data in Excel, and navigate the other Office 365 applications – especially Outlook.  
  2. For specialist level employees, they get more into soft skills with a focus on facilitation, presentation, customer service, and conflict de-escalation.  
  3. Rounding out their levels are their leadership-level employees, and these topics include time management, organization, prioritization, and communication.  

It was also decided that all employees would participate in a DEI program because they have employees ranging from 23 to 70. This ensures that everyone learns how to respect and talk to those from different generations in and out of the workplace.  

Letting the Cake Bake  

With all the ingredients for a successful learning and development program mixed, it was time to start letting that cake bake. Soon after introducing BizLibrary to the organization, Lauvao noticed that participation in the programs was not where he wanted it to be. His goal is for 100% of their staff to log in to the platform with an average of 200 minutes spent consuming content in total each month.  

Not wanting to settle for an undercooked cake, Lauvao began brainstorming a company-wide competition to increase the utilization of the content. The program was called BizMarathon – complete with cross-functional teams, quarterly themes, monthly content and challenges, and prizes. To introduce the program there was a kickoff party with donuts and coffee for the employees (this sounds like our kind of party!!). They overviewed the details of the program, assigned the teams, and gifted everyone a notebook to keep track of their individual progress and learnings throughout.  

They aimed to have someone from each department represented on each team to improve intracompany collaboration. At the beginning of each quarter, employees receive an email detailing the theme. Past themes included: teamwork, diversity and inclusion, leadership development, and mental health and wellness. Each month learners watch content that aligns with a subtopic that fits into the theme, and the teams get together in person to complete a group challenge.  

Lauvao is thorough with his content assignments, ensuring that they align with either the employee’s role and/or department. The challenges are meant to help foster connection among the departments, and some examples of these challenges are building gingerbread houses or going on walks together.  

At the end of the month, Lauvao updates the teams’ trackers to see who will reach full 100% completion of all the assignments and group activities first. The winning team with the most first-place finishes at the end of BizMarathon receives a pizza lunch celebration (the perfect cheesy finish in our eyes!).

Since launching, 100% of Phoenix Indian Center’s employees log in each month and are averaging 300 minutes spent consuming content.

We can’t say, “GOAL CRUSHED!!” loud enough!  

The Sprinkles on the Top  

Even with the BizMarathon program running at their organization, employees are still finding time to prioritize elective learning in their day-to-day. There were two employees who wanted to grow and learn about other opportunities within the organization that aligned with their skills.  

One BizLibrary power user was interested in exploring a financial career path, so she spent time watching content on topics like key financial terms and various functionalities in Excel.

After feeling ready and proficient in those skills, she had a conversation with her manager about moving to the Finance department, and we are happy to announce she is making that transition!  

The second BizLibrary power user felt inspired by Lauvao’s mission to establish a workplace culture where you don’t have to be limited to your department and met with his manager to outline key competencies to make the move from their Youth division to Prevention. After spending time focusing on fine-tuning his communication and de-escalation strategy skills, he is making the move!  

These career moves are nothing short of a chef’s kiss!

Is Anything Else in the Oven?  

With the BizMarathon program coming to an end soon, Lauvao began brainstorming with his BizLibrary Client Success Manager outlining new programs he wants to implement. The first is a formal leadership program, pulling ideas from the BizLibrary Leadership playbook. The playbooks outline everything you need from start to finish to create and run a robust training and development program.

For each of our primary programs, we have a playbook that is complete with:   

  • A use case overview   
  • Statistics to help show the importance of the program to leadership   
  • Steps on how to prove ROI 
  • Recommended time frames for program delivery   
  • Activities unique to each topic   
  • Discussion questions to be used in a blended learning setting   
  • Marketing email templates   
  • BizLibrary content mapped to each subtopic 

He plans to deliver this leadership program in a blended learning format with BizLibrary off-the-shelf content, instructor-led sessions, and cohort discussions. Right now, they are working through defining leadership, but we can’t wait to see all the positive impacts this program has on their people.  

The other program Lauvao dedicated time to creating is workplace safety. Because of the type of work they do, employees may find themselves in a wide range of situations where safety is a concern. It is of the utmost importance to the executive team and Lauvao to educate employees on how to properly respond to protests, mass shootings, and other potentially dangerous scenarios. This ensures the protection of employees and the people they serve.  

The Sweet Taste of Development  

Building a culture of learning and development from the ground up is no easy feat. There are challenges that come naturally with this endeavor, but having employees develop into new roles and prioritize their professional education is so sweet.

And don’t forget your BizRep is always ready to be your sous chef!