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Empowering Honda’s workforce with the tools to boost collaboration and efficiency

Until they took their first steps into elearning, Honda North America’s Engagement team had relied almost entirely on face-to-face training. Their Engagement team supplemented this with PowerPoint presentations and recordings. Most recently, their learners had been given access to a PDF guidebook, supported by informal team discussions.

To improve the learning experience as well as increase efficiencies, Honda North America’s first real NH Circle elearning programme aimed to transform the learning provided to between 30,000 and 40,000 Honda associates and suppliers in the US, Mexico and Canada.

“One of our most important aims was to make sure the training was consistent, everywhere,” says Scott Wood, Honda North America’s Engagement Leader. “I needed to make sure that the learning across North America had the same high quality and had a current look and feel while minimising costs.”

Creating a bespoke solution in line with company culture

LEO Learning’s blended learning design weaves Honda’s philosophies and core values (exemplified through the NH Circles) into the course from the outset.

NH Circles (New Honda/Now Honda/Next Honda) is a quality circle programme based on the philosophy of company founder, Soichiro Honda, who believed that we all possess the creativity and passion to pursue our dreams.

This belief led Honda to implement the NH Circle programme, which places value on the uniqueness of each individual and the power of teamwork. The NH Circle process incorporates Honda’s five Core Values: Dreams, Joy, Challenging Spirit, Passion and Respect.

Honda associates volunteer their time to learn and create their own NH Circles in order to solve problems that they identify and present their solutions to management. The NH Circles are used to continuously improve the performance of the organisation by empowering their associates.

There’s a particular focus on embedding the Honda philosophy in newly-hired associates, many of whom are from the Millennial generation and have not experienced the Honda philosophy.

LEO Learning’s 60-minute standalone elearning course consists of:

  • An introduction to the NH Circles principles of identifying and solving challenges on an individual level
  • A six-step programme (depending on role filter), where employees work in teams, to sequentially learn the theory and put it into practice. The steps follow a structure of Knowledge,
  • Scenario, Activities, Reflection and Observations.
  • Several animations explaining the key tools Honda’s associates need in their roles
  • Personalised interactive templates to practise using these tools
  • A toolkit, which learners can access at any time from the course

One of the earliest suggestions LEO Learning’s experts made to Honda was the toolkit, which comprehensively covers 15 of Honda’s key problem solving tools.

“That made me realise that LEO Learning had been paying real attention to what we needed,” continues Scott. “That preparation upfront sold me on LEO Learning.”

Creating a lasting learning resource

In the development of the course, Scott realised there needed to be a subtle distinction between the scenarios provided to manufacturing staff and administrative staff. LEO Learning used a simple but effective role filter to personalise the learning experience. Learners choose whether they’re office-based or in manufacturing, and whether they want the introduction to NH Circle or are familiar with them.

A personalised interactive template, animations and the choice of tools give the course a real sense of purpose. Learners can return to the toolkit or revisit the learning steps whenever they want to refresh their learning and build their knowledge.

“It’s not a one-time course,” says Scott. “It’s a resource. Learners don’t have to wait for somebody to come to them, or go and find someone for the information. They can go back to the learning and say ‘I want to see step number three’, for example.”

Consistent, high-quality training saves hours of time

Honda can now comfortably reach thousands more associates in a much shorter timeframe. The quality and consistency of training being delivered to all of their learners in the region and beyond is guaranteed – a crucial goal of the project.

“Annually, we will save easily tens of thousands of dollars, simply on not needing to bring associates to train and pay trainers,” says Scott.

The course will be recommended as best practice to Scott’s NH Circle colleagues at Honda around the world, including South-East Asia, Europe, the Middle-East, Africa, Japan, China, and South America.

“We wanted to create learning that really grabbed people. The course LEO Learning has made looks very modern,” Scott says. “I was really impressed by the simplicity of their solution. It has all of the tools that I needed. That was awesome.”

A gif of the toolkit LEO Learning created for Honda's NH Circles elearning course

To find out how LEO Learning can help you revolutionise learning and development in your organisation, contact us today.

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Meet our expert

I joined LEO Learning in September 2017 as an Account Manager. I was previously working as a Senior Customer Success Manager for a company specialised in collecting UGC (user-generated content) and working closely with global automotive companies and their marketing and CRM departments. I have over 10 years’ experience in marketing and I have always been working directly with clients, which is something I really enjoy doing.

What still makes my day even after all these years working with customers is being able to connect with people and to make my customers' lives easier. There is nothing more rewarding for me in my job than delivering a project that is well thought through and seeing how it helps a client be successful at what they do.

We can say I am fairly new to L&D but I love learning new things myself, especially languages. I find it very gratifying being able to interact with people in their own language. It is challenging and awkward sometimes but makes for great memories. I am currently working on my Spanish and using blended learning at its best by mixing classroom courses, one to one Skype sessions, reading magazines, listening to the radio and interacting with native Spanish speakers on a regular basis.