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People
A mindful approach to engaging employees
back to grid

in a nutshell

eBay are a highly digital business with a wide variety of online learning and development resources for employees. But engagement with these platforms was relatively low. They wanted a way to bring their suite of tools together to signpost what’s available and guide employees to the right resources for them. Working in close partnership with the Global Talent and Organisational Development (GT&OD) team, we devised an offline approach, encouraging employees away from their screens to reflect on where they are now, where they’d like to be, and what support is available at eBay to help them get there.

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the challenge

eBay’s approach to learning and development is all about taking responsibility for your own journey. 70% of learning takes place on the job, but there is a huge number of online tools to help accelerate individuals’ development. The challenge for a small team with a large audience is guiding the right people to the right resources at the right time. The GT&OD team wanted to take a different approach, using nudge theory to remind people of what’s available to them and to tie in to the existing rhythm and routine of performance conversations with line managers. The ultimate goal was to raise awareness of and engagement with the suite of learning & development tools at eBay.

the response & delivery

We believe in the power of print. In a digital age with multiple distractions, sometimes switching off is the best way to switch back on. Print has the power to positively disrupt your day, giving you a window of opportunity to immerse yourself in something else. What’s more, studies show that people who spend 15 minutes per day reflecting on how their day went can improve their productivity by 23% compared to those that don’t. So we wanted to introduce mindfulness and self-reflection techniques into our solution to help people fast-forward their own development.

Our aim was to produce a booklet full of exercises, activities and prompt questions to get people thinking. A team brainstorm generated heaps of ideas and inspiration which were worked up into a draft version of the booklet. Working closely with the client team, we trialled the different exercises, tested them with people across the business and edited heavily to refine the booklet and give it structure.

One of our favourite exercises is a wordsearch containing just a selection of the modules available on eBay’s online learning portal.

Another stand-out exercise was one that asked employees to reflect on and write down the best words of wisdom they’ve heard from friends, family, colleagues and leaders.

Once all the exercises were approved, we overlaid the booklet with nudges and prompts to push people towards learning and development resources. These included suggestions for discussing their reflections as part of conversations with their line manager, visiting online portals to do more in-depth exercises and signing up to relevant workshops.

 

48

pages packed with
self-reflection exercises
and questions

12

nudges to learning and
development tools
and resources

8

quotes from
smart and inspiring
characters

the impact

The GT&OD team are now testing the booklet and exercises with a wider community at eBay in order to harvest feedback, before refining it and launching it across the business. Some teams – such as the Global Customer Experience team – are further tailoring the booklet to their people, swapping out exercises or amending them to be relevant to their audience.

Once it’s live, we’re planning a sustainment campaign consisting of nudge emails sent each month to remind people about their booklets and encourage them to revisit the exercises in them. Some of the exercises that didn’t make it into the final cut of the booklet will be used as part of these nudges.