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How Hearst Magazines Makes Training More Engaging

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How Hearst Magazines Makes Training More Engaging

Hearst Magazines

Here at SurveyMonkey, we’ve had the pleasure of partnering with some incredible customers to offer solutions for all types of business challenges. Our customer spotlight shines today on Hearst Magazines, the publisher of over 300 magazines worldwide including O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan and Esquire.

Facing the Challenge

The training team at Hearst faced an important workplace challenge regarding employee training. Every year, the company holds up to 250 on-site classes for up to 4,000 employees. With those kinds of numbers, employee training is clearly a big commitment of both time and money. When taking people away from their desks for hours (and sometimes days), trusting that this investment will pay off in the long run is crucial for employee satisfaction and long term company success. Figuring out what makes training content stick and keeps employees coming back for more, can take a little detective work.

How They Overcame

Hearst turned to SurveyMonkey as their sleuthing tool because trainers and managers were spending far too much time trying to follow up with training attendees. They couldn’t ask the detailed questions they needed to get solid feedback and actionable data in order to make the right changes in their training programs. The responses gathered from employees gave the team a ton of quality information. For example, they learned that people weren’t interested in intensive, longer training classes and preferred shorter sessions with content that was more digestible. Folks also said they weren’t crazy about the training classroom locations, and so rooms were relocated to an upper floor near the executive offices—perfect example of actionable data!

It’s the Little Things

“Little things make a big difference in the effectiveness of our training,” says Debra Robinson, Senior Vice President/Chief Technology Officer for Hearst Magazines. “These two seemingly small details improve trainee engagement and performance. Retention goes up and support costs go down.” As a result of the employee feedback gathered and because of the positive changes the company made thanks to their findings, employee satisfaction with regards to training came in at 90%. Trainers’ confidence in their knowledge of content—a whopping 97%.

In order to spread the survey love throughout Hearst Magazines, the company created a SurveyMonkey Enterprise account so that everyone involved in training can create and manage their own surveys. When more people have the power to survey and collect actionable data, there’s more to learn from which leads to better decision-making.

If you’d like to learn more about how Hearst made training more employee-friendly, check out our case study below.

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