• Nanang Chalid

Start with "Why?": A Winning L&D Story

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

One of the HR Excellence 2020 Gold Awards given to Tokopedia was for Learning and Development. Here's our story that might help fellow HR and business leaders out there if you are on the journey to make your Learning and Development (L&D) better. Kudos to the Learning and Development team of Tokopedia who spearheads all these use cases I'm about to share with you below.

Start the "Why?" for your L&D.

In 2020, we sharpened our "Why?" for L&D. Our vision for Learning and Development is to build an ecosystem where "Every Nakama can share and learn, to progress their personal and professional development". The vision was summed up in our hashtags of #semuaguru #semuamurid. (Nakama = Tokopedia's employees).

We also defined what success would look like?. We want our Nakama to say: "I can learn anytime, anywhere, about relevant things I need for my personal and professional development, through the best possible learning experience".

The team translated that "Why?" into the Three-Es framework of the "How?", which stands for "Engage, Enrich, and Experience". Those three words are literally the mandate of the team: how can we engage better with scale (platform question), how we can enrich our learning modules even further (content question), and how can we create the best learning experience that made Nakama 'coming back' for more, and 'giving back' by making themselves teacher/facilitator for another fellow Nakama (experience question).

The "Why?" and the "How?" help a lot in creating the "What?" -- various innovations that the team has done last year, especially in the light of the COVID-19 crisis where work from home means that bringing in people to get together and learn is simpler. Just like podcasts were growing exponentially in recent times, the L&D team also innovates with various offerings; podcast-style. For instance, the team created a "Leaders Circle" fireside chat platform for Nakama Leaders (Team Managers) that attracted world-class speakers such as Jean-Francois Cousins, MCC who is a Chairman of ICF Global Board 2019 who speaks about "Managing Team: Avenger's Style". Here is the replay of the session if you are interested:


Define Metrics for Your L&D Effectiveness.

As cliche as it sounds, but we do believe that ‘what matters need to be measured‘, hence the team put clear metrics to understand how we evolve on all three prongs of our L&D programs: be it the platform's effectiveness ("Engage") by measuring unique Nakama visits, registration to courses available, completed courses, and numbers of internal Nakaguru (internal facilitators/contributors), or the content's effectiveness ("Enrich") by measuring a number of contents produced, and learning pathways created because of those contents, and the experience side of L&D ("Experience") by having NPS (net promoter score) approach. These metrics help the team to focus on specific deep-dive intervention whenever it's needed to ensure the overall ecosystem works.

Individualise, and Gamify.

When the L&D team was created in 2018, it has basically functioned as a training organizer and administrator, where the team's deliverables were mostly focused on administrative support. In 2019, the team stepped up the game and created a General Competency (GC) model for Tokopedia (elaborating further from the company's values and its 3DNA), which in turn allowed us to have a training catalog. Digitalization of learning through the launch of our e-learning platform called "NXT" (stand for 'Next') was also another ladder step the team

had rightly taken that allows the 2020 breakthrough happened. In 2020, the team evolved it further beyond general skills training (based on GC) into functional expertise's curriculum and took a leap of faith by creating our own Leadership Development ecosystem. Individualization is also introduced with a blended-learning approach as an effort to evolve L&D to be more "talent-driven" than "program-focused". One Nakama can choose a mix of learning where he/she can learn how to do data instrumentation and analysis using SQL query, how to do better 1-on-1s, and build resilience to his/her team member who might seem to struggle to cope with work from home. While another Nakama can choose another mix of learning certain programming languages, mindfulness, and meditation tips, overcoming procrastination, and writing a better email at work. The content was created as crisp as possible, such as on "better email" learning bites below:


Another thing that we also experimented with in Tokopedia was the gamification of Learning. The team created competitions for Nakama who learn the most and award them with prizes. So does the Nakaguru (i.e. Nakama who spends their time teaching others). The gamification was all integrated into the e-learning platform where all learning registrations were done. By adding points system interface to the user journey of our Nakama, L&D also becomes a fun and challenging activity for them to experience.

L&D is an important pillar of an innovative organization where employees in the company are expected to collaborate in creating the next best thing for their customers. And it is even more important for a Purpose-driven company like Tokopedia with a mission to democratize commerce through technology in Indonesia, as we all know. Those three insights were the secret ingredients from the L&D team in building a learning organization in our company. Despite it having shaped well in a short period of three years, it is a work in progress where we continue to make it better, as our DNA said. The fact that Tokopedia has won the Gold prize for L&D in the HR Excellence Award 2020 is an important milestone to validate that we are on the right track, but the opportunity to innovate further in the L&D space is limitless. So we will.

A winning L&D team should aim to build a learning ecosystem that enable their employees to learn anytime, anywhere, about relevant things they need for their personal and professional development through the best possible learning experience. Imagine going to an art and craft class, where they help you unleash your talent by providing the right mix of tools you need. With that vision, then set metrics to measure your initiative's effectiveness. Try to individualize and gamify as much as possible, because learning needs to be fun if it wanted to be engaging and impactful.

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