Howden’s Induction Process Gets The Edge Through Learning Innovation

by | Sep 30, 2014 | Case Studies

Read how Howden managed to Get The Edge with their new engineers up and running faster. Read how they worked with eCom Scotland to develop new learning content that produced a host of benefits to Howden, then find out how your organisation can Get The Edge using a tech-enabled strategy.

Howden is an engineering company that designs, engineers and installs air and gas handling equipment in most industries, particularly in the power generation, petrochemical, mining, steelmaking and cement manufacture sectors. They operate in 17 countries with a workforce numbering 3,800.

The Business Objectives

Howden had a vision for developing the Howden Group Academy – an initiative designed to speed up the induction of over 350 new graduate-level engineers into the company over five years. Topics would cover subject areas such as Howden organisation, Howden markets, Howden products and Howden job role. The teaching style would be very interactive and hands-on, with classroom tutorials supported by online learning and site visits to Howden facilities.

The challenge:
  • Compress four weeks of training into three weeks – a utilisation of 30%
  • Reduce the amount of face-to-face training required from Howden Engineers
  • Reduce training costs by £80,000 per year
  • Deliver topics in a much more understandable way
  • Reduce the time taken by new engineers to become efficient in their role
  • Pass on expertise to the next generation of Howden Engineers
  • Facilitate training at any location, any time, at the learners own pace

Getting the Edge:
 How Howden Aligned Learning and Business Needs

These objectives lined up with Howden’s business requirements and aligned the need for learning with the need within the business environment. A tech-enabled strategy that enabled graduate engineers to learn anywhere, at any time, ensured that learning content would reduce the need for face-to-face training from more experienced engineers; this was a surefire requirement, since only 22% of learners that enrolled in the academy were office-based. This freed up the workforce and reduced the time to competency where graduates were prepared to engage with the content.

Some screenshots of the Howden Academy content, designed by eCom Scotland

The Solution: Tech-Enabled Learning that Beats with the Heart of the Business

Over the past 3 years, 40 learning modules have been produced, serving to rapidly train their new staff without dibilitating the current business.

Howden have achieved some outstanding results. At the time of writing, 92% of Line Managers have affirmed a reduced time to graduate competency, which has allowed their new engineers to be up and running faster than ever before.

Howden also went on to win an eLearning Award for Excellence in the Production of eLearning (Private Sector) in 2011.


Introducing Get The Edge…

Ten years of data proves that organisations who embrace learning innovation Get The Edge – winning over their staff and customers, and beating their competitors. This story is brought to you via our ambassador eCom Scotland as part of the Get The Edge campaign, to illustrate how you can stay sharp, agile, and ahead of the game.

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