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Nobia UK reduces new starters' time to competency by 67% with Totara Learn

Nobia UK is the UK’s leading kitchen specialist with well-known brands such as Magnet, Gower and Rixonway. With over 3,000 staff, a learning platform was needed to help transform their induction and staff development programmes.

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The Challenge

Magnet Retail is Nobia UK’s kitchen retailer with over 200 stores and 2,000 staff nationwide. With a high turnover of staff, relying on face-to-face training for induction was time-consuming – staff would be brought in from across the UK and Europe for induction classroom workshops. Ensuring consistency of training in-store was challenging as this relied on local experience and knowledge. Line managers were required to manually print certificates and produce reports.

Nobia UK wanted to move the new starter training programmes online to give more time to focus on ongoing development for their face-to-face workshops.

Nobia UK’s key objectives for the new platform were:

  • A centralised learning environment to provide users with consistent messaging and support
  • A structured induction programme that would reach the company's field-based employees
  • Reduce time to competency for new starters
  • A clear overview of learner's progress for management
  • Improve employee retention rates

The Solution

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Nobia UK chose Totara Learn for its feature-rich offering to meet the company’s core objectives, plus the flexibility and freedom that comes from open-source software.

Hubken Group (previously HowToMoodle) was chosen by Nobia UK because of the positive experience the company had with them from the start. Chris Glynn, Digital Learning Business Partner at Nobia UK comments: “Hubken Group were very supportive and open with us from day one. We have a collaborative relationship and that vital concept of being able to work together came across from the beginning.”

Nobia UK began its platform roll-out with a testing group which ran for six weeks, along with regular stakeholder meetings and feedback sessions. The company had a straightforward approach to implementation – make it simple and easy to use. They started off slowly, using only the key feature areas needed, then gradually added more functionality as the roll-out progressed.

“One of the things that is great about Totara Learn is being able to introduce a bit at a time, rather than a system that shows everything and then is difficult to understand.”

Chris Glynn, Digital Learning Business Partner, Nobia UK
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The phased process made the system much easier for users to pick up and understand; resulting in 90% of the roll-out staff and all new starters accessing the system since the launch in July 2017. 

Hubken Group supported the Nobia UK team throughout the implementation delivering training and configuration to ensure the go-live was a success. Hubken Group’s design team also created a mobile-friendly theme for the site which perfectly matches Nobia UK’s corporate website.

Specific aspects of Totara Learn that have been of exceptional benefit to Nobia UK include:

  • Hierarchies: Being able to accurately reflect their organisational hierarchies within the platform has enabled Nobia UK to target the right training to the right staff, and provides managers tailored reports at the click of a button.
  • Programmes: Nobia UK’s knowledge-based induction courses have been developed into programmes of training; grouping all the learning into one modular format, keeping learners and managers informed with automated notifications and providing a single reporting point.
  • Reporting and dashboards: The ability for managers and stakeholders to easily generate bespoke reports has given the company a vital oversight of their teams’ progress. Tailored reporting dashboards have been built for regional managers for a quick insight into their area’s performance, with charts to show key data visually at a glance.

The Results

Nobia UK have had a fantastic response since implementing Totara Learn from both managers and their team members, and the platform is currently used by around 1,500 people. From using Totara Learn, the company has achieved and exceeded their objectives within six months of launch:

  • Managers' clear oversight of learners' progress: The use of Totara Learn in Nobia’s induction programme has enabled managers to make significant time savings of around 32 hours per new employee due to reduced administrative work required.
  • A structured induction programme: While the company still have essential face to face training, this is now focused on behavioural change in staff instead of the new starter training that is now online. 
  • Reduced time to competency and additional sales revenue: Nobia UK’s previous time-to-competency for new staff members was more than five months. This has been significantly reduced by 67% since launching Totara Learn – it is now only seven weeks. This three-month time saving has had a direct impact on sales turnover – each employee will generate an additional £88,000 from the three-month time-to-competency saving.
  • Improved employee retention rates: Feedback on the system from employees has been positive, giving them clear and consistent learning and saving time compared to the previous manual process of writing in workbooks. The ability to deliver consistent training has given employees a much more efficient learning programme and the support that they need. As a result, the company has benefited from an 11% improvement in staff retention since implementing Totara Learn.

Since launching Totara Learn, Nobia UK has reduced it’s time-to-competency resulting in each employee generating a significant amount of additional revenue.

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Nobia UK continues to roll out its learning programme to new starters, and aims to introduce development-focused courses for their employees over the next 12 months.

Spend time before you build the site and get your hierarchy right. Understand how you’re going to use it and how you will give access to the right people.” 

Chris Glynn, Digital Learning Business Partner, Nobia UK

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