Number of Employees
Workforce Skills Transformation and Cost Reduction for a Major Energy Company
Udemy driving business outcomes
Case study details
Staying at the cutting edge of technical and operational change is at the fore of any successful organization’s strategy, not least one of our clients in the energy industry. Our client is a major electricity and gas supplier in the United States, providing vital utilities services to more than 7 million people. But with ambitious plans to achieve net-zero in the coming decades, combined with a hybrid workforce, our client was in search of an online learning solution to help it upskill and reskill its existing workforce to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
Major ambitions needing a modernized workforce
Our client is a major electric power and natural gas company, serving more than 7 million customers across the United States. The company’s vision is to lead the clean energy transition in the US, halving its carbon emissions and achieving net-zero methane emissions by 2030, and becoming netzero carbon by 2050.
As remote and hybrid working arrangements soared during the pandemic, our client realized the importance of rapid organization-wide digital transformation. But with this came the need for a better learner experience to effectively reskill and upskill the company’s existing workforce.
“The pandemic resulted in management needing to understand employees’ skills and quickly shift employees to the highest priority need,” says the Director of Learning & Development. “For employees, the pandemic highlighted a need to further leverage technology and focus on skill development.”
For success, they set out to:
• Build internal talent pipeline opportunities — critical to the company’s future success, sustainability, and competitiveness
• Utilize talent marketplace tools (powered by Workday) — such as adding skills to career profiles
• Provide targeted skill development opportunities — for evolving business needs
• Follow career progression of reskilling program participants — recording employees that move into new roles as a result of the program and who apply new skills to their current roles
• Create a culture of career mobility — increasing engagement and ensuring internal talent is redeployed in line with changing business needs
To keep pace with the rate of technological change in the energy industry — and support the transition to net-zero — our client needed an online Learning and Development (L&D) solution that could give its employees the right skills to quickly move into more relevant roles, helping advance careers and the business.
Continuously evolving digital skills training for all
Using a thorough request for proposal process for selecting a new digital skills content provider, our client gathered feedback from across the business on employees’ needs. Udemy Business came out on top for high quality content, ease of use, and unique Learning Path capabilities. What’s more, our client was particularly attracted to the prospect of creating and maintaining stronger customer relationships through new-found skills.
“We believe that feedback straight from the source is the best way to develop the right product, and our learners are instrumental in getting it right,” says the Director of Learning & Development. “We model a ‘learn, practice, apply’ strategy by providing learners with three different experiences in the program each week, including: self-paced learning, shadowing subject matter experts on the job, and completing realworld tasks assigned by SMEs.”
Our client started its pilot program by focusing its investment on internal employees — including their skills needs and career aspirations — to help fill current and future roles as the organization’s needs change. It allowed the company’s employees to develop new skills and strengthen existing ones, while also gaining exposure to new business units through reskilling learning programs.
In-depth insights that drive professional development
Through the Udemy Business platform, the company’s managers now have deep-dive insights into talent across the enterprise, helping them provide more targeted support which in turn provides greater career development opportunities.
Moreover, our client has focused on empowering its workforce to drive their career and personal development opportunities — learning around their work. It means that employees can upskill and reskill for a wide range of roles through personalized Learning Paths, including those that may not yet exist in the company, filling gaps before they become an operational necessity. “Learning Paths have been one of the most useful tools in Udemy Business,” says the Director of Learning & Development. “We use them to create our reskilling programs. The ability for our subject matter experts to source content from individual courses and wrap them together provides the learner with everything they need and nothing they don’t —accelerating our reskilling efforts by tailoring the learning program according to the needs of our learners.”
Boundless workforce benefits — and significant cost savings to boot
An additional benefit of nurturing internal talent rather than recruiting externally is reduced overall costs from fewer hiring expenses, improved time-to-hire, and time-to-productivity.
During the first year of our client’s pilot program, its L&D team tracked an 81% learner engagement rate — a 50% increase compared to its previous solution. The company’s IT team in particular garnered significant benefits, growing its use of Udemy Business by 60% in just three months. This demonstrated that the company’s conscious effort to invest in its people is firmly putting our client at the forefront of change, innovation, and future workforce development. “During our pilot, we had an average learner satisfaction score of 8.5/10 for those who complete a reskilling program,” says the Director of Learning & Development. “Half of those learners took on new roles, and several learners have moved on to higher proficiency level reskilling programs for the same skill.”
As our client’s employees continually enhance their skills, they’re broadening the overall skill level across the enterprise, building a stronger workforce through greater adoption of the Udemy Business platform.
The cost savings to the organization have been significant. Our client has gained the freedom to focus on developing and investing in its existing workforce, which in turn has helped the company retain more of its talent — saving countless dollars on expensive recruitment costs. The reduced reliance on external talent has also improved the company’s time to hire. By focusing on internal hiring and skill development, our client has reduced the time it takes to fill important roles and reduced onboarding time for employees in new roles.
A scalable platform with limitless opportunities
This growing energy company intends to scale Udemy Business across the enterprise to help ramp up its reskilling efforts. And as the company moves forward, it has some sage advice for anyone looking to embark on a similar program: “Be ready to pivot,” says the Director of Learning & Development. “Don’t over-engineer the experience, because skills and business needs will be changing at a rapid pace. Ensure learners have what they need just in time, and that it’s just enough.”
“You also need to make sure you have commitment from the organization. Using the ‘learn, practice, apply’ strategy was immensely beneficial to our learners, but subject matter experts had to be committed to their role as mentors — it helps everyone else to see the benefits of signing up.”