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Cohort Learning

Delivering a Comprehensive Emerging Leader Program to Accelerate and Nurture Internal Talent with Cohort Learning

Trusted by some of the world’s leading brands — such as Eventbrite, Nasdaq, and Nutanix — Udemy Business helps companies achieve critical business outcomes and stay competitive by providing fresh, relevant, and personalised on-demand and cohort-based leadership development learning.

Finding the right talent, particularly for leadership positions, can be a significant challenge for any business. And with a remote, global workforce emerging out of the pandemic, the problem has worsened. 

Aside from the months it can take to hire new staff, the cost of replacing an individual employee can be up to double their annual salary. Employees at companies with internal mobility stay almost 2x longer. 

Keen to monopolize on the fact that promoting from within an organization has a much higher probability of success than from outside, Udemy Business designed and deployed a seven-week virtual emerging leader program with CorpU. The program was highly successful, with 30% of the 36 program delegates promoted into leadership positions within the company in just three months and the company achieving substantial cost and efficiency savings.  

Challenge 

With the global talent market at its most competitive for decades, the cost and time implications of hiring candidates externally for sales and customer service leadership positions were proving a false economy for Udemy Business. 

Key challenges the company faced included: 

  • Up to x2 more expensive to hire: External candidates can cost a business up to twice an annual salary compared to promoting from within an organization
  • Long recruitment lead times: Finding several new hires in a short timeframe can prove almost impossible 
  • Lost productivity: Teams can lose efficiency and direction without adequate leadership — extending way beyond the recruitment period as new leaders take time to onboard 
  • Lack of appropriate training: The risk of high-performing individuals moving into leadership positions without appropriate training or experience can be significant 

By addressing these issues through nurturing internal talent into the right leadership positions, Udemy Business aimed to promote several people into operational roles within a short time frame — saving time and money, and ultimately, helping the company achieve its strategic goals faster. 

Objectives 

  • Accelerate Udemy Business’ leadership training program to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to perform management competencies from day one of their roles 
  • Split the program into digestible “sprints” that cover each stage of the leadership journey
  • Provide constructive feedback to delegates as the program progressed
  • Connect people in purpose-built groups to solve complex problems, generate and spread ideas, teach and learn, and capture and share knowledge

Solution

Working with CorpU, Udemy Business offered 36 employees the opportunity to participate in the seven-week program, including several graduates from its North America, EMEA, and APAC offices.   

The program was split into a seven-week largely asynchronous cohort learning program hosted on the CorpU platform. It included 30-45 minutes of daily self-paced learning Monday through Wednesday with a live sixty-minute live event on Thursday. Participants covered a wide range of leadership topics hosted by subject matter experts, such as: 

  • Leading with Character and Competence — defining personal goals and ways of working, understanding personal core values, and developing a leadership philosophy
  • The Importance of Positive Leadership — discovering positive leadership practices and understanding why they get results  
  • Thinking Fast — creating the right frame for problem consideration, using effective questioning, and learning from failure and experience 
  • The Art of Strategic Persuasion — learning a proven framework, establishing strategic goals, and increasing persuasion style awareness 
  • Making Change Happen — understanding the barriers to and the psychology of change
  • Key Competencies for Sales Managers — including manager coaching skills, forecasting and planning, day in the life of a manager, talent development, and building an executive presence

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