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Babcock DST uses Hive Learning to embed new values and behaviors

With Hive Learning, Babcock DST embedded its new core values while connecting a widespread workforce of over 1,600 employees across multiple sites around the globe.

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“Hive Learning has changed the way we connect with our people. It has made it possible to share ideas and experiences in an engaging way, and enabled greater collaboration across geographical boundaries.”
Richard Drake, Managing Director, Babcock DST


Babcock International Group is a business that knows how to adapt and evolve. They have 130 years’ experience in delivering innovation as they provide critical, complex engineering services that support national defense, save lives and protect communities.

In 2019, Babcock’s Defence Systems Technology business unit refreshed their values and behaviors to reflect their 21st Century identity. These values centered on taking responsibility to make a positive impact, collaboration, innovation, bravery in challenging the unacceptable, adaptability, and respect and inclusion.

The tricky part was embedding those new values and executing this culture change at scale. Babcock DST’s new People Director Beth-Marie Norbury knew they needed to create conditions for these new values to thrive.

Embedding new values and behaviors while facing new challenges

To effectively shift their culture in line with their new values, Babcock DST needed to reach their employees who are based across industrial and non-industrial settings around the globe.

When COVID-19 hit, getting everyone to live these values became urgent. The only challenge was that employees were at risk of burnout and had little time to spend on learning. 70% of Babcock DST’s workforce were now working remotely, some for the first time.

Babcock DST wanted to give their workforce tools to manage their mental health and build resilience quickly – a long-lasting skill that remains relevant today. It had to be something that included practical actions with a social element to maximize the rate at which people could share solutions with each other.

A new peer-to-peer platform approach with Hive Learning

Realizing that they needed to act fast, they teamed up with Hive Learning to help them accelerate culture change.

Hive Learning’s mobile-first platform was a perfect fit, and with a program library of 150 pathways on leadership, inclusion and resilience available off-the-shelf, Babcock DST were able to quickly design a program that aligned to their new core values using Hive Learning’s content as a foundation. They were then able to tailor their program to their language and way of doing things, and deploy something that was relevant and valuable to their workforce without having to spend time building a whole program themselves.

This meant their forward-thinking People Team were able to launch a new program in under two weeks in an act of agility unheard of for most businesses.

Babcock DST and Hive Learning kickstarted their partnership with a cohort of 400 people managers. The initial project saw high engagement — within two weeks, 90% of Babcock DST’s people managers were registered on the platform and having conversations about how to support themselves and their teams through the pandemic and beyond.

After the success of the initial launch, Babcock DST brought the remainder of its 1600-strong workforce onto the platform with the help of Hive Learning’s activation team.

Engaging the whole organization to create culture change

Babcock DST's Rachel Barrett on how Hive Learning provided them with a tool for effective 2-way communication channels

Hive Learning helped Babcock DST prepare for the platform launch and bring their core content onto the platform in a bite-sized format with a focus on taking practical action. Babcock DST’s refreshed content was immediately useful for users and easy to navigate.

With the help of Hive Learning, Babcock DST created one designated space, a peer-learning community branded DSTeam, where people could share knowledge and advice on everything from enhancing performance reviews to working remotely.

Hive Learning’s team quickly empowered Beth-Marie and the Babcock project team to create peer learning content and run campaigns themselves. After designing their peer learning playbook with Hive Learning, Beth-Marie and the Babcock people team went on to run training sessions for the entire Babcock DST workforce.

The incredible results prompted Babcock DST to enter the Learning Awards with Hive Learning. Not only did they win the bronze award for 2021 Learning Platform of the Year in recognition of what Hive Learning’s platform has helped Babcock DST to achieve and the impact on performance — Babcock DST and Hive Learning won the award after just three months of working together.

Driving engagement with champions and ghost posting

Hive Learning’s mobile-first platform meant Babcock DST were able to quickly share updates and get content in front of colleagues wherever they were.

Site-based workers who didn’t have access were provided with additional support and prompts, from launch webinars to posters with QR codes directing people to the platform.

Working with their Customer Success Manager at Hive Learning, the Babcock project team designed a content and engagement plan to keep Babcock DST’s busy employees coming back to the platform. Using simple but powerful strategies like newsletters highlighting the most popular conversations happening in the platform and in-platform nudges from senior influencers, both teams worked together to keep the platform feeling fresh and relevant to learners.

Babcock DST Champions helped foster an inclusive culture of psychological safety as they modeled openness on the platform and inspired a steady flow of conversation. Ghost posts were drip-fed into the platform by Hive Learning on behalf of People Director Beth-Marie Norbury and Managing Director Richard Drake to supercharge engagement, increase platform usage and take a pulse check to make sure the business was responding to what learners needed most.

Babcock DST's Beth-Marie Norbury on how Hive Learning helps her listen more to employees and then adjust plans accordingly

High engagement and agile results with Hive Learning

By partnering with Hive Learning, Babcock DST were able to bring their new values to life through digital, collaborative learning across the organization by connecting everyone including people managers, non-desk-based employees and Managing Director, Richard Drake.

Most of Babcock DST employees around the globe now log onto the DSTeam Hive on a weekly basis, with a third using the mobile app to ask questions or find key, bite-size content easily.

“It’s been great to be able to read information when it’s suitable for me, be able to read other people’s perspectives/views and to be able to find the information easily rather than trying to find an email sent a few weeks ago.”
Hive Learning user, Babcock DST

86% of the organization registered on the platform and gave glowing feedback. In an internal engagement survey, there were 177 unprompted mentions of Hive Learning as the most impactful change Babcock DST made in the last 12 months.

With the help of Hive Learning, Babcock DST employees have since brought the company’s Network Groups (Pride, Women’s Neurodiversity and Young Professionals) onto the platform to share resources, update group members and continue collaborating remotely. During a time when loneliness was on the rise, Babcock DST started using Hive Learning’s platform to revive the social side of work too by creating groups to stay connected through hobbies like fitness and book club discussions.

“It immediately connects me to all of my colleagues and to a whole variety of communities where I can crowdsource answers and I can figure out problems at such a quicker pace than we ever used to be able to and drawing ideas and experiences from the whole of the DST community.”
Hive Learning user, Babcock DST

Business unit leaders began to set up their own open groups to increase collaboration and best-practice sharing. Babcock DST’s innovation and leadership skills program, Raising the BAR, was moved from its previous digital platform onto Hive Learning because of its enhanced functionality and proven engagement success.

Babcock DST's Richard Drake on how Hive Learning is helping drive cultural change across the business

Babcock DST went on to focus on its DST Identity value of respect and inclusion by launching initial cohorts of Hive Learning’s inclusion program, Inclusion Works.

“Diversity and inclusion have often been a subject of misunderstanding but Hive Learning has provided the space to enable inquisitive thinking and provided a safe and non-judgemental learning ground.”
Richard Blackmore, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Babcock DST

Employees joined their peers to learn about diversity and inclusion through engaging and relevant content.

Since its rollout, participants have described their understanding of inclusion as changing from “narrow” and “minimal” to “empowered” and “informed”. Learners are developing key awareness around themes that shape high-performing teams like psychological safety and committing to everyday, inclusive actions like challenging exclusionary behavior.

Spurred on by the reception Babcock DST saw with their first Inclusion Works cohorts, the whole business unit will be enrolled onto Inclusion Works from April 2021 to continue the success so far as a key part of Babcock’s DST core respect and inclusion value.

On seeing Babcock DST’s success so far, two other businesses within the wider Babcock group have partnered up with Hive Learning to recreate the same impact in their aim to advance leadership, inclusion and agile working in their businesses. This includes over 2,000 leaders from other businesses who will be going through Hive Learning’s Inclusion Works program in May 2021.

At a glance:

Industry: Defense and Space Manufacturing

Region: EMEA

Employees: 1,600

Use Cases:

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