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Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation (GDHV) extends reach and scope of blended learning with Totara

Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation (GDHV) is a subsidiary of the Glen Dimplex Group. GDHV operate across UK and Ireland, serving global markets through their sister company Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation International division. GDHV offer numerous brands including Dimplex, the world’s largest electric heating appliance manufacturer.

The Challenge

As a significant part of the Glen Dimplex Group, GDHV manufactures and sells a huge range of highly technical products, many of which are subject to regulatory compliance. GDHV has a workforce that spans globally, and while the initial user population for the site was kept within the UK, the site needed to be able to scale to accommodate the phased addition of other regions and potentially other areas of the Glen Dimplex Group.

Historically, training was delivered face to face at locations throughout Europe, and was managed through a combination of email and spreadsheets. The new LMS would need to be both flexible and scalable with requirements varying from shop floor compliance training to high-level engineer instruction. Further, user imports would need to be automated, single sign-on was required and, going forward, business units needing a high degree of autonomy would be added. 

Last but not least, service teams deal with external customers on a daily basis, so the new system should be able to provide real-time performance support to those teams answering customer queries by phone and email. It was also desirable for customers, installers and contractors to be able to self-serve as much as possible when seeking product and technical support, and therefore guest access to reference documents, product videos and other learning bites would help to significantly reduce the volume of inbound phone and email queries.  

During the implementation, COVID-19 struck, and the rollout had to continue alongside a “dash to virtual” to ensure training requirements continued to be met. 

The Solution

After a series of discussions and planning meetings with the Cortexa team, Totara Learn was chosen as the core platform. This would give the required modern easy to navigate UI as well as the ability for GDHV to build their own courses. The plan also included a phased rollout of Totara Engage and Totara Perform over a two-year period.  

Phase 1 (2019 – 2020) 

  • Site deployed and is partner-hosted on AWS 
  • Launched as Totara Learn, Version 12 in 2019, and is currently running Totara Talent Experience Platform (TXP) v15.3
GDHV Academy landing page
  • Automated HR Import 
  • OAuth2 SSO 
  • Course catalog
    - 450+ courses 
    - Use of Big Blue Button 
    - Dashboards – departmental and role based
    - Guest access for external users to product and technical resources only
    - Internal staff access to the broader training catalog
GDHV manager dashboard

Phase 2 (2021 onwards)

  • Performance development review (PDR) process/use of Totara Perform to replace Silverlight online appraisal system
  • Introduction of performance check-ins in 2022 
  • Import other global user populations including Europe, Australia and the US
  • Use of Totara Engage workspaces for tech team's resources and conversation/chat. 
  • LinkedIn Learning to be deployed initially to GDHV Sales team
GDHV Totara Engage workspaces

From day one, employee engagement was an imperative, so in tandem with the Cortexa success team, a series of dashboards, user tours and custom video guides were created to explain the user journey based on specific employee groups. Totara Community resources were also signposted where appropriate across the academy to help learners gain confidence in their use of the site.  

A range of other tactics were employed to promote employee engagement, including the use of weekly “Kahoot!” work-related fun quizzes and easy access virtual seminars using Big Blue Button. Big Blue Button was chosen above Zoom or Microsoft Teams because of its suitability for technical online training - especially features that include instructor/learner annotation and the ease of running online lessons based on PowerPoint presentations. 

The Results

Within the first six months since launch, close to 1,000 learners had completed courses on the platform, and to date the site has recorded over 4,390 course completions. 

The academy receives up to 20,000 guest visits a month, with one short course having 203 guest accesses already in 2022.  

In the first year of its implementation, a pilot group of 91 managers and 500 followers participated in the new performance development review (PDR) process, with check-ins being scheduled throughout 2022. More manager groups will also be taking part in PDRs from September onwards. 

Totara Engage is being utilized by small technical groups to share technical information and expertise through workspaces. A full launch of Totara Engage is planned for June 2022. 

But success is not just reflected in the numbers, and the positive impact the site has had has been recognized internally in the shape of a Glen Dimplex Innovation Award as voted for by peers. The site has also had an impact on internal communication and cooperation. As Mark Riseborough, GDHV’s e-learning lead says:

“The new LMS has encouraged communication and greater cooperation across departments ostensibly on training issues, for example prior to the Academy there were 27 separate manual handling courses across the group – these have now been reduced to one, increasing quality and reducing costs." 

Cortexa has provided GDHV with a Totara Talent Experience Platform which has fulfilled their current needs and easy low-cost scalability for their future plans and growth. The LMS now offers access for all staff and can seamlessly integrate performance review and performance support systems alongside their growing portfolio of online courses.

“Totara's Talent Experience Platform has given us the ability to manage our vast face-to-face training catalog, ensuring full visibility of attendance and a means to monitor overall participation and engagement. More than this though it has allowed us to branch out and deliver online training courses which was so important during the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of Totara Learn has spread across the business, and more and more of our brands, locations and departments are now looking to utilize the power of Totara - so much so that we are now on Version 15 with plans to extend the use of Totara Engage and Totara Perform with the aim of offering even more value to the business.”
- Mark Riseborough, Product Training Manager and Academy Lead, Glen Dimplex

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