8 frequently asked questions about Champion networks - Freeformers

8 frequently asked questions about Champion networks

The networks that Freeformers have created for organisations like Tesco and Virgin Money have rolled out across the organisation and now form part of business as usual operations. To help save time for future partners we have gathered together here some of the questions we answered on that journey.

Q1. Internal champion networks feel more complex than a standard Learning Management System – will it be more expensive and hard to manage?

Our platform takes away the complexity, as every champion has the same App that is updated centrally with the right content and with notifications that you control. Freeformers will run workshops to get your champions engaged with the wider objectives and ready to deliver the learning experiences. This is very similar to a traditional ‘train the trainer’ model, but here, the champions don’t have to be professional trainers.

Pricing is based on a simple banded license model, which often means you can add additional champions at no extra cost.

You don’t need to create a nationwide network of champions straight away. Simply talk to us about creating a pilot programme with a smaller percentage of your workforce, and we will prove how it works operationally and the level of impact we deliver. 

Q2. How do I identify suitable champions across the business?

To be honest, it is the champions who volunteer themselves who are almost invariably the most effective. A simple information campaign, highlighting the benefits – including personal development and ideally a link to internal recognition structures – usually generates 50-60% of the champions required for a programme. 

We can also help by using our Future Workforce Model, which is a simple survey that benchmarks your staff against 12 attributes that are significant for them to be successful today, and to be able to adapt to the future of work. Attributes such as empathy and communications are obvious indicators of future success as a champion. 

Q3. Champion networks are great, but if I can’t measure their impact, how do I justify the business case?

Our platform can benchmark your employees’ mindset, against the 12 most significant attributes to be successful in work now, and their ability to adapt to the future of work. It was created in partnership with UCL Educate, and we have case studies with evidence showing that improving attributes correlates with the improvement of related business metrics. We often pilot a programme and compare the results with a control group, to show the uplift in performance that our intervention has created. We can take this data and apply it to your business problem to help model the outcomes you can expect, and the value we will add. 

For example –  we can take aggregated data about improved staff performance and increased digital conversion targets, and using a cost per conversion figure, to calculate how much money we can save you, and how quickly your investment with us will pay back. We call it the digital drag calculator.

We can also take an existing business plan and model the impact our programme will have. Take for example the cost and expected return of a new invoicing system: 

The table below illustrates the impact of change management effectiveness, by calculating the cost saving of moving adoption from 46% to 96%. Assume a new invoicing system is designed to save each employee 10 minutes per day. The like for like ‘cost saving’ can be in the millions of pounds, even by simply converting the early adopters. The benefit of delivering adoption throughout the entire workforce is enormous, taking adoption from 46% to 96% in this example. This should be the ultimate objective of any new technology investment. 

(5k staff)
Intended minutes saved per day% of staff that respondValue of 10 mins pa
(FTE £35k)
SavingNew ROI
Improved speed of invoicing1046%
Improved speed of invoicing1077%
Improved speed of invoicing 1096%

Q4. This type of programme requires inter-department collaboration. Does that mean it can take a long time to organise and launch?

Freeformers have gone from a first meeting to live within 4 weeks, so we know how to move fast. At the heart of our platform is our champion app (Mentor) which takes seconds to download onto a smartphone and start using, with no limitations on scale. If you want to test the organisational ability to create a run and champion network, then start with a sample size of people, and get going. 

Q5. We tried a champion network before, but it was a mixed experience – some of the champions were really engaged, others lost momentum. It was hard to organise, quantify the impact, so we went back to an LMS.

We love clients who tell us this, because it means you recognised that champions were the way forward, but just had some logistical issues. Our entire platform and business is based around answering these problems, and letting you concentrate on changing your culture.

We have case studies with data that proves our approach and technology platform engages champions, who in turn engage their peers to create X10 more reach than a standard LMS. 

Our measurement platform includes a central dashboard, that shows you in real time the number of employees registered, their locations, the learning experiences they are delivering and how many colleagues they are reaching. All this data is transparently shared with you, meaning we can review progress to targets and optimise delivery to ensure success. 

Q6. I have multiple HR / Learning systems – does your platform integrate with them?

It might not need to, as lots of our clients enjoy the fact that our App is easily available in iOS and Android app stores, for champions to simply download onto their personal devices. 

If your user case for our platform means integration is mandatory, our team of consultants and engineers will make this happen.

Q7. My IT and Compliance dept will need to review your platform – they have a long waiting time, and I want to move quickly. Any advice? 

We can help you every step along that journey. You might be surprised that your work policies do not mandate what employees download onto their personal devices, so we can often get up and running much quicker than some other providers. Your tech team will be interested to know that our tech platform has passed penetration testing as requested by a large high street bank. 

Q8. What user cases will a Champion network help with? 

We’ve mentioned a few already, but here is a summary

  1. Adopting new technology – Office 365, new HR systems
  2. Improving Customer Focus – building staff confidence to onboard customers
  3. Merging businesses – restating values, capabilities and expected behaviours
  4. Cyber Security – addressing individual responsibility
  5. Digital Wellbeing – promoting healthy online behaviours
  6. Innovation – creative problem solving for everyone
  7. Leadership – To date the majority of leadership training has been delivered via coach led workshops. We believe this outdated approach does not allow for the leadership team to act as champions, and cascade skills downwards through the business. We have case studies to share on how we make this work.