Mid 2017, AXA Belgium decided to switch to new digital technologies. The bank and insurance company organised a series of digital summer workshops about virtual reality, blockchain, social media and other fundamental topics. “Technology is changing at breakneck pace, so it’s important to establish a solid base”, says Thalia, Training Manager at AXA Belgium. When the summer courses sparked a ‘digital wake-up’, the company contacted Xylos to improve their staff’s basic digital skills.
During an initial analysis of their personnel’s skill level and the tools they use, AXA noticed that their office staff was not or insufficiently familiar with applications such as OneNote. “Xylos remedied this by focusing on Office trainings first”, Thalia says. “We wanted to encourage our people to start using these essential tools. As soon as you get the hang of using a certain tool, you’ll enjoy working with it.”
Xylos organised an introduction to teach employees tips and tricks about Microsoft Outlook. During this training plan, they were also introduced to OneNote, as some were unfamiliar with the application. The training manager and Xylos teamed up for 6 months to organise class courses combined with individual digital coaching in Brussels and Berchem. 1 in 4 of all staff members (over 1,000 employees) attended the courses.
Thalia: “We also researched whether we should consider organising follow-up trainings. As it turned out, 30% of our staff requested focused training sessions about topics such as Excel. Even though almost all of the employees’ specific questions were answered by Xylos’ Digital Coaches, we decided to plan a new series of summer sessions, because feedback about the last series was very positive.”
The new series of trainings about Microsoft SharePoint took place from July until August. “We’re migrating our intranet to a SharePoint site in Office 365, so everyone had to learn how to use the software within a tight timeframe”, says Thalia. “AXA had already switched to Office 365, but our staff hadn’t needed to use SharePoint yet.”
Within three months, Xylos taught AXA’s staff how to work in the cloud efficiently, collaborate through Office 365 and share documents with colleagues. The new sessions also covered other topics, such as Outlook Groups, Yammer and OneDrive for personal documents.
“Everyone had access to it,” Thalia explains, “but many didn’t know they did, so we set up guidelines explaining what to use when. Everything used to happen via e-mail, but this way of collaborating doesn’t fit our way of working anymore. We’re trying to reduce inefficient e-mails to a minimum. Xylos helped us by integrating our guidelines in their trainings.”
“Xylos combines inspiration and practice”, says Thalia. “Their unique approach is the reason why we chose to work with them. They don’t just point out extra functionalities – they also discuss the merit and added value of certain applications. They explain what the application is used for first and then teach you how to use it. This makes our colleagues eager to start using the software. Sometimes, people assume an application is too complicated or it’ll take too long to learn how to use it, but as soon as they get the hang of the software, they enjoy working with it. We’ve noticed that people are using digital tools and sharing documents more often, which means they’re building trust in these solutions. We’re considering setting up individual coaching plans again – centered around productivity and time management, this time.”
For this new coaching plan, the training manager conducted a short market study. Once again, Xylos emerged as the best option. “Their quality is outstanding in every aspect – from the trainers’ knowledge to the course content. Their service is excellent as well. They respond to my questions quickly – and not just when I’m ordering new trainings. The trainers and planners are always happy to offer advice, too.”
"They don’t just point out extra functionalities – they explain the merit and added value of certain applications first. This makes our colleagues eager to start using the software.”