Last updated: 16.11.12

Whirlpool reports positive attitude to online training

Business leaders at Whirlpool have made a U-turn in their approach to e-learning and are now rolling it out to their staff.Until recently, the US-based appliance manufacturer used face-to-face training in order to educate its employees about innovation and marketing, reports.Since its virtual learning environment Leading People was launched in 2010, it has been used to teach 6,500 of the corporation's managers at a branch in Michigan.One supervisor Corinne Gorenchan - who was enrolled into the year-long course - welcomed the e-learning and found it brought numerous business benefits.She was quoted as stating: "It was awesome to be able to share, gain insights and learn from each other. It is one of the best training sessions I've ever been involved in."The course is primarily designed to provide workers with better awareness of management issues - such as setting targets - assessment and building credibility.According to Tamara Patrick, director of Whirlpool University, Leading People was rolled out to strengthen the company's workforce and assist managers with their everyday processes.It emerged from another of the organisation's projects Foundations of Whirlpool, which is a series of 30-minute digital learning modules that guides employees through the firm's growth strategies.To make sure the training works, managers of each supervisor must take part in coaching workshops in order to help the employee put what they have learnt into practice.Ms Patrick said: "When the leaders graduate, their managers are asked to come and explain how they are going to support the continued learning and application of the supervisory skills."She noted that although the workers were initially cynical about the training, by spreading it over one year they realised the benefits of receiving ongoing feedback and periodic assessments.To enhance the standard of learning, Whirlpool has sought the advice of the course's graduates on how the experience can be improved, with suggestions including the establishment of a formal mentor for supervisors and more exposure to executive leadership.