The UK-based Stonegate Pub Company was faced with the challenge of creating a learning program and career path to support and drive a newly merged business with a combined workforce of 13,500 in 700 locations. No easy task. But for a company that believes in promoting talent from within, and creating a workforce that delivers best-in-class customer service, this was critical to their success.
They decided the best way to achieve this was to create an engaging and unique program, one based on no other than Albert Einstein and his theories of continuous learning. According to Lee Woolley, Head of Learning and Development, “We’re in the people business and we know our staff are brilliant at interacting with customers and delivering great service. What we wanted to achieve with Albert was to bring a fun approach to the important business of learning and development. We’re not a boring company, so we didn’t want a boring program.”
What we wanted to achieve with Albert was to bring a fun approach to the important business of learning and development. We’re not a boring company, so we didn’t want a boring program.
In the four years since the program launched, they’ve made an additional $4.1 million in profit from those attending management courses, have increased internal promotions to 75% and have halved turnover.
The star of Stonegate’s award-winning program is Albert, the infamous theoretical physicist. He’s everywhere, and not just in name, but having an active role in helping employees along their learning journey. On the online learning portal, named Elsa after one of Einstein’s wives, Albert narrates the content, runs competitions, interacts through social media and even has his own cartoon avatar. This clever use of theming and strong branding based on Albert creates engagement with the program, as well as an ongoing connection with employees.The expo consisted of booths run by benefit providers, where employees could stop by and learn more about each benefit. Examples included:
The learning journey begins with “Albert’s Law”, an online program completed by employees 24 hours before they begin their first shifts, and continues for an additional six weeks. It’s packaged in short e-learning modules, and gives employees control of the learning process. The journey continues with programs to take employees from team leader through to general manager, providing a combination of online and classroom-based learning aimed at stretching participants to be the best leaders they can be.
Stonegate (and Albert) have truly created a continuous learning approach to support the company’s employees and their business. As the real-life Albert Einstein said, “Life is like a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep moving,” which is exactly what Stonegate is doing with its exciting and innovative learning program.