California, United States
Number of Employees
UST Boosts Diversity and Career Progression Through Comprehensive Online L&D
Udemy driving business outcomes
Case study details
Operating across 32 countries globally, UST helps its clients transform their operations through the latest technology and progressive thinking — setting up companies’ futures with agile processes that evolve with the market.
But with its existing Learning and Development (L&D) program heavily weighted towards technical roles, UST needed a way to prioritize soft skills, such as management techniques.
A technically-weighted L&D program in need of overhaul
UST is a digital consultancy that helps some of the world’s biggest companies use the power of innovation and technology to engineer a better future for their clients and society at large. “Born to Learn” is one of UST’s foundational pillars, recognizing that learning agility is the most critical core competency employees need to ensure the business stays relevant. It’s why UST prides itself on an ingrained culture of learning that instills curiosity and self-driven development in its people.
The company identified that a greater focus on soft skills would help its employees better transform the client experience. UST’s ultimate aim was to blend empathy, resilience, communication, conflict resolution, decision making, and critical thinking skills with data, AI, and digital technologies.
“The program proved to be an amazing networking opportunity as well as a supportive environment for me and all the participants of the program to reflect on our strengths and weaknesses and set goals for our future development. Together we learned not just from the leaders and mentors of the program but from each other,” says a Delivery Lead at UST.
Keen to avoid a reactive solution for its L&D program which could risk creating a quickly outdated, less productive program, UST wanted a way to connect its team of remote and hybrid workers at a human level, giving them access to soft skill community learning on a global scale.
Evolving soft skills training and diversity inclusion for all
Using Udemy Business, UST has created a new competency-based technical and behavioral program — Win It — designed to support occupational skills standards through tailored learning plans for each employee. By identifying skill gaps and assigning courses, the new program helps employees gain the skills and competencies they need to perform in their current role, to execute a new job function, or to reach the next level in their career.
With an intent to improve the organization’s talent management abilities, UST also uses Udemy Business to create customized content for its employees. The company hosts thematic sessions each month focused on one area of behavioral development — for example, mindfulness or personal branding. It then supplements this with mentoring sessions from UST’s subject-matter experts and leaders, leveraging the company’s significant internal experience and enhancing the overall employee experience.
UST’s L&D team now have the freedom to evaluate employees’ training needs and make recommendations for short- and long-term training plans and budgets, using Udemy Business to curate behavioral courses depending on current and anticipated needs.
“Participating in the leadership and behavioral part of the program proved invaluable as it helped me increase engagement with my team, improved my communication, networking abilities and teamwork. The program’s flexibility allowed me to do courses and certifications that are relevant to my needs at my pace. I was able to upskill myself not just on the behavior side but technical as well and earned several certifications and super badges,” says an Architect for Enterprise Solution at UST.
To help encourage continual self-driven learning, UST’s Global Head of Talent and Organizational Transformation awards its top learners with certificates and badges based on the number of learning hours completed each month, with over 300 employees having been recognized so far.
Ultimately, the new program has helped UST’s workforce to break away from traditional classroom-style L&D, where everyone studies the same courses at the same speed. Through Udemy Business, having the flexibility to learn and engage at their own pace has created a holistic learning culture for the company’s employees, emphasizing what they’re expected to do rather than simply focusing on what leaders expect them to know. A completely learnercentric curriculum, including up-to-date courses offered by Udemy Business, has ensured UST’s L&D program has the agility to respond to constantly changing needs.
Driving program participation step-by-step
To help encourage course participation, UST leaders introduced three key initiatives:
- Leaders’ call to action: Regular leadership communication reinforcing the need for continual learning that involves sharing their individual learning journeys and best practices for staying relevant, helping inspire employees to join the program and learn
- Leaders as mentors: To build a learning culture and share knowledge, UST’s leaders act as mentors for key performers, offering dedicated time to help increase enrollment
- Celebration of milestones in learning: Leaders encourage employees to complete their learning journeys and congratulate them on successful course completions
Significant success driven by regular assessment
Using regular assessments, UST accurately measures the effectiveness of its program, measuring retention and effectiveness, and helping the company assess employee participation and influence the program’s future.
The metrics UST uses includes:
- Before and after performance changes
- Employees’ career progression rate
- Promotion percentage
- Before and after productivity rates
Thanks to the company’s efforts developing a comprehensive program strategy and assessment regime, UST has encouraged 1,500 employees to participate in its L&D program, completing more than 3,500 courses across 38 soft skill categories.
What’s more, UST’s employees now complete nearly 10,000 learning hours every four months, with a quarter of participants having moved into new roles and 15 percent reskilled into new lines of business.
And through the company’s “Win It” program — an initiative designed to advance the careers of women in the workplace — thousands of women at UST have instant access to dedicated knowledge sharing, mentoring, and networking.
“It’s important to have initiatives that support and encourage women to take on leadership roles in our industry. I think the program was well-designed and provided valuable resources for women who are interested in leadership positions,” says a Software Developer at UST.
Growth area identification for more progressive careers
Working constantly to improve the way the organization assesses its L&D, UST is now providing its employees access to real-world experts and unique content covering the industry’s most in-demand skills.
Keen to build on the success of its pilot program, UST is working on enhancing the program with more competency based skills that have been identified as growth areas — maintaining its strategy of giving employees the flexibility to focus on skills tailored to individual learning journeys.