Worldpay’s rapid shift to blended digital learning

Faced with a travel ban and changing customer needs, Worldpay adapted its sales approach in response to COVID-19. Hear how Patrick Bowl, Learning and Development Director, pivoted to a blended digital learning approach to support the sales team. Find out why developing a learning culture is the key to scaling L&D in a large organization. Discover how new approaches to learning need different ways to measure success.

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Top tips for rapidly shifting to blended digital learning

Don’t have time to listen now? Here are some quick top tips from Patrick:

  1. Iterate to adapt at speed: Don’t just focus on the event or module. Be ready for change by anticipating future needs and iterating your approach.
  2. Keep learning alive with a blend: Development isn’t a one-off event. From on-the-job coaching to social forums, put it into practice with a blend of learning.
  3. Build a learning culture at scale: Encourage a growth mindset. Empower people to own their day-to-day development. You’ll free up your time to focus on the bigger L&D picture.
  4. New approaches need new measurements: Adapt your measures to support your approach. Assess success early. Utilize the latest technology, as well as manager feedback.

Iterate to adapt at speed

In 2020, Worldpay announced that employees would not be traveling due to COVID-19. Salespeople were used to making connections in person. Now they needed to quickly adapt to meeting online. Faced with uncertainty, their buyers were looking for more than just a sale. They needed empathy, as well as business support.

These suddenly changing needs meant the pressure was on. Patrick needed to deliver learning in a different way. Of course, classroom programs would need to become virtual. But rather than focus on the next learning event or module, he looked further ahead. Anticipating the learning needs over the next six months wasn’t straightforward. Taking an iterative approach enabled him to react to changes as people learned on the job.

Keep learning alive with a blend

Faced with rapid change, you need to deliver something quickly. But just producing elearning so you can show you’ve trained your employees wastes everyone’s time. Responding at pace doesn’t mean you can’t be deliberate.

Patrick knew that Worldpay had to avoid this check box training pitfall at all costs. He took a blended learning approach. Virtual classrooms and digital modules were only part of the story. From manager support to social chats, on-the-job interactions kept the learning alive.

Build a learning culture at scale

Moving from L&D as a one-off intervention to a continuous experience takes more than an effective learning blend. Developing a learning culture is essential. If you’re going to successfully respond to rapid changes, everyone needs to play their part. Whether it’s managers or employees, people need a growth mindset and to take responsibility for their own development.

At Worldpay, all the salespeople needed to adapt to the new world of online meetings and customer uncertainty. But how each of them achieved it could be different. By providing self-paced, curated digital content, Patrick enabled people to drive their own learning. Freeing up his team to focus on the bigger L&D picture.

New approaches need new measurements

Rapidly adopting new approaches and learning technologies require a shift in how you measure your success. It may be a while before you start to see any business outcomes. So, how can you be sure you’re on the right path?

Worldpay had previously focused on speed to productivity for new hires. There were lots of different ways to measure this, but it wasn’t easy. Rather than waiting until the induction was complete, Patrick measured early on and throughout the learning experience. His focus was engagement. Is the person asking questions? Are they collaborating effectively? This is largely trainer or manager-led measure. But, as learning technologies develop, new opportunities for measurement emerge.

A quick recap

In response to changing learner and customer needs, Patrick rapidly adopted a new approach to L&D. He has four strategies for pivoting to blended digital learning. Iterate so you’re able to react quickly and improve. Keep learning alive with a blended approach that gets people applying it on the job. Build a learning culture that works at scale. Explore new ways to measure your success that complements your new approaches. Want to find out more? Check out the full podcast.

About Patrick

With 15 years’ experience in learning and technology, Patrick joined Worldpay five years ago. As Learning and Development Director, Patrick supports sales teams through new hire induction to skills development, and beyond.

You can find out more and get connected with Patrick on LinkedIn.

On Patrick’s reading list

Find out which books are Patrick’s learning and development must-reads.

Design Thinking for Training and Development: Creating Learning Journeys That Get Results, Sharon Boller, Laura Fletcher

When learning is seen as a one-time event, the employee and the business suffer. This book gave Patrick some great points about how to design learning so it sticks and drives improved performance.

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, James Clear

Real change comes from the effect of hundreds of small decisions. Diving into the mechanics of habit development provided Patrick with insights into the building block of successful learning.

Looking for more reading tips? Check out our top L&D books blog.

Join the conversation!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our podcast, so feel free to get in touch on Twitter @Elucidat with any questions or queries. You can also email Simon, our podcast host, at As always, don’t forget to subscribe to Learning at Large in your favorite podcast app and leave us a 5-star rating if you enjoyed it. Thank you for joining us, and see you next time.

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