Imagine this: You’re the owner of an 8-person boutique leadership and innovation training company. You and your partner have dedicated the past six years to growing your business from the ground up, and you finally landed a potentially pivotal contract that could eventually result in training up to 200,000 government employees. You're beyond elated. Then, two weeks before you’re scheduled to initiate the training, you discover that the 5-month long, multimedia program you designed will not work on the platform you planned to use. None of the trainings nor the assessments your IT department designed can be loaded into it. You're officially in a bind.
This is the story of Rebekah and Keith Christensen, founders of ORA Systems, a California-based leadership and innovation training firm. The couple spent years building their brand and reputation and creating a unique program that uses technology as the fuel to transform people to become innovative leaders at work, home, and their community.
Their optimism about the potential of humans is unwavering. They even selected the name of their business based on its many powerful meanings in different languages: now, prayer, light, and golden one.
But the normally optimistic founders were in a panic.
They had a huge opportunity in front of them where they would be using their program—and their passion for inspiring others—to train California state employees on how to incorporate 9 core leadership values into business and life. Their ultimate goal was to have employees across all state departments speaking a common language around leadership and innovation. But, now, a technology challenge was standing in the way of their success.
Rebekah says, "to put it simply, it was terrifying" and they had no backup plan to turn to.
The power of resourcefulness
Thankfully, around that time, Rebekah got an email from SurveyMonkey about the Quizzes Pro advanced feature. Since she’d used SurveyMonkey before, she was familiar with the platform and realized it might just be the solution they so desperately needed.
“With a small company, you become resourceful for how to use standard systems in different ways,” Rebekah said. “I knew I could adapt it to meet the specific need I had.”
With only two weeks remaining until the program’s start, Rebekah and Keith were able to move all 82 of their surveys onto SurveyMonkey and even get them all working with the same functionality, something Rebekah said was imperative for their program.
On top of that, Rebekah says the platform made it easy for them to integrate their existing training Playbook, made up of videos and support materials, with their SurveyMonkey quizzes and surveys.
Teamwork—and the right tools—lead to success
With their rushed timeline, Rebekah says SurveyMonkey’s Customer Support team was there to help them get the answers they needed in a way that was, “... professional, and courteous, and friendly, and they did it within 15 minutes.”
I don’t know what we would’ve done without your support team.
She noted that they were able to revamp their entire training program with SurveyMonkey at the centerpiece of their curriculum.
For Rebekah and Keith, having a Premier plan also meant they were able to personalize the surveys to fit their needs and get more advanced analysis:
- They customized their survey using their own logo, colors, and URLs to reflect their brand as well as their partnership with the state of California.
- They used text analysis, which let them easily search and categorize the answers to open-ended questions. Since a key feature of their program is what they call hybrid training, which calls for participants to be able to explain how they implemented their learnings, these questions were a big part of their surveys.
When Rebekah and Keith reviewed the data from the 1000+ survey responses they received over the course of the program, the massive amounts of analytics collected provided tangible evidence that the training program was a success. SurveyMonkey had done exactly what they’d hoped it would do.
Just as rewarding as the data was the feedback they received from the Director of the Department of General Services, one of the program’s executive sponsors. Speaking about the 8 trainees from his group in the program, he said, “It’s transformational. It’s shifting the psyche of my employees. They literally told me that how they approach their work and personal lives have changed.”
All in all, the proof of the program’s effectiveness manifested in the government renewing ORA’s contract.
Since wrapping up the first phase of the program, Rebekah and Keith took the data they collected and published an inspirational book, “Insights on Innovation.” Now, they say they’re already starting to think about how else they can implement additional quiz features, including the scoring tool, for more learnings and improvements in future programs.