With the onset of Covid-19 at the beginning of 2020, it became evident just how essential a highly effective remote training solution is for every business. For Unilever, which plays an essential role in producing foodstuffs and hygiene products for society, falling behind due to the challenges of Covid-19 was not an option. 

In just a few weeks, Bites became the go-to solution for Unilever to keep employees informed and ready, as well as to keep the business running. 

The challenge

Unilever Israel has 4  factories, 1 logistics centre, and close to 2000 employees. The organization regularly conducts compliance and safety training with these employees, and historically, face-to-face onsite training has been the go-to option. 

Conducting training with frontline employees is notoriously challenging. Frontline employees are on-the-go, and reading a long email or flipping through a PowerPoint is hardly in their mobile workstyle. Additionally, many frontline workers rank poorly when it comes to language and technological aptitude. As a result, to conduct compliance training, Unilever’s sites would stop work for 2-3 hours and employees would gather on-site to conduct the training. Frontline training is known to be unproductive. Employees often lose focus and retention rates of the training material hover at around 20%.

However, due to social distancing measures brought on as a result of Covid-19 it was not possible to gather all employees in one space to conduct training in 2020. Consequently, Unilever sought a remote training solution to overcome this hurdle.

After partnering with Bites, to quote Klara Esers HR Coordinator, “the results were amazing”. 

The solution

Bites is a solution which enables managers to easily create engaging professional materials, and share them with employees where they’re most attentive. Studies show that 71% of frontline employees prefer instant messaging channels for work-related communications. That’s why Bites integrates natively with the familiar channels employees are most attentive to (SMS, Slack, MS Teams, WhatsApp etc). This reduces the barriers between managers and their frontlines, and leads to much higher completion and engagement rates than other solutions. 

The first Bites were materials Unilever created to deliver road safety training for 150 logistics drivers. Within 24 hours almost all recipients received and completed the training. What really caught Klara’s attention though, was that around 40 employees (~30%) left comments in the discussion section, saying thanks and wishing their colleagues a safe journey: she saw that her employees genuinely enjoyed their training experience, and that though they were completing their training remotely, they were still part of the Unilever community. 

The success of the pilot meant that other managers in the organization wanted to use Bites to conduct their remote training. Suddenly managers across the company were making training Bites for a variety of cases: examples include factory safety procedures, Covid-19 cleaning protocols, updates about employee compensation, new product demos for salespeople, and holiday greetings to name a few. 

Bites becomes go to solution for Unilever’s frontline’s needs

The big breakthrough came with annual compliance training that Unilever affiliates across the globe are required to implement; training on anti-harassment, workplace equality, anti-bribery and anti-theft. To do this, Unilever used Bites templates to turn existing PDF materials into engaging short videos for employees. Within 24 hours, 1400 employees had completed the compliance training with Bites (~80% of the target group). Afterwards, Unilever’s managers used Bites dashboard to track employee progress, accuracy on the quiz, and to get in touch with workers who hadn’t completed the training. Klara used the dashboard to identify employees who had not completed the training, and followed up with a reminder. This brought the completion rate to 96% after a few days. Additionally, this process was implemented quickly and easily: “It was really easy for me to create and share the content with my team”, one of the managers involved said. 

Key benefits to Unilever: 

  • Frictionless implementation process
  • One-time registration for employees
  • No longer necessary to stop site operations for 2-3 hours to conduct training
  • Train employees remotely, easily, quickly, and above all effectively 
  • Provide a training experience that employees enjoy
  • Create a workplace community, remotely
  • Get the full picture with the analytics dashboard
  • Easy identification of knowledge gaps 

Unilever leads way in enabling frontline employees 

The ability to quickly implement a highly effective training solution is a must-have for any business looking to navigate these challenging times. From piloting Bites for driver safety training, to being an asset used organization-wide, Unilever shows that it’s possible to get your frontline team Covid-ready quickly, and at scale. 

This case study also shows that in today’s world, there are new possibilities for employee training and engagement. By using formats that employees enjoy such as short video, and reaching them where they’re most attentive (their IM channels), Bites creates new possibilities for employee productivity and engagement.