You can see people using it almost everywhere – from the coffee room, to the bus, and even between meetings. No, it isn’t Pokémon Go. It is the new WeLeap app which was launched earlier this summer that has Wärtsilians all abuzz while learning new things every day.
Coffee breaks and watercooler conversations at Wärtsilä are not the same anymore. They have become cooler, even borderline nerdy. Wärtsilä’s microlearning app, WeLeap, is definitely making the ‘in-between-work hours’ more interesting and productive.
“People have discovered that microlearning can be done if they have 15 minutes between two meetings. We also have users who are completing learning paths while commuting to and from the office: watching videos on the bus or listening to podcasts in the car,” says Carita Siponen, Manager Digital Transformation at Wärtsilä.
The app challenges the employees with small quizzes, brainstorming, and ideation activities that help them learn and update their knowledge in engaging, easy to consume, and quick sessions.
“I try to check it at least once a day, but the average is at least three times a week,” says Allana Sampson, an executive assistant at Wärtsilä.
The WeLeap app is designed to create awareness and support employees on their digital transformation journey via these learning paths. The app focuses on company targets and how the Smart Marine vision supports Wärtsilä’s transition into a smart tech company, among other areas.
This app was specially developed keeping in mind the fact that many employees find it increasingly challenging to keep up with the pace of developments at the organisation. “With this app, you can learn anytime, even when you are just relaxing at home. All you need is some curiosity and the right attitude,” says Cedric Cotton, Senior Maintenance Manager.
The app provides employees with a user-friendly space where they can learn about new technologies, products, and even other aspects of working at Wärtsilä. “It not only focuses on technology that can be used in marine solutions, but also on different aspects of the workplace,” says Sampson.
“A big challenge today is to stay technically updated about all new developments happening in the industry. It is also an opportunity to be on the frontline, shaping the future together with the customers,” says Joakim Häggblom, Agreement Sales Manager. He adds that the WeLeap app, on multiple occasions, has helped him explain the Wärtsilä Smart Marine Ecosystem vision to clients more easily.
Traditional learning methods and courses take hours, even days in some cases. Microlearning, however, is designed to be effective, engaging and enjoyable with most sessions lasting less than 15 minutes. “The app’s learning paths are short and run on a self-paced pace. We have also tried to keep all videos and podcasts under five minutes,” says Siponen.
The learning modules are designed to make users aware of and understand Wärtsilä’s core targets. A good example of this is the ‘as-a-service’ business model. “This module was a great learning path. It made us review certain things and approach some services differently,” says Sampson.
WeLeap also incorporates elements of gamification, as users earn points by completing learning paths, and also by, for example, joining events and knowledge sharing sessions online. Team members can compete against each other or as a team against other teams, which adds another fun dimension to learning. Occasionally, there can even be prizes for those with the most points.
The app is good and there is no doubt about it. “After more than 20 years in the marine industry, I am pleased to see that Wärtsilä chose to drive the digitalisation locomotive, and not just be a passenger,” says Cotton.
However, like everything else, there is always room for improvement and Wärtsiliäns have several suggestions.
Users say it will be nice to get notified when new content is available. “Linking the app to other training platforms at Wärtsilä would increase the synergies between learning experiences,” says Häggblom.
From a more technical side, Siponen feels that some localisation for non-English speaking Wärtsilians needs to be done. Other suggestions include having an inbuilt chat or discussion forum. “Currently, the development team is also working to get offline versions for the learning paths,” says Siponen.
Let the learning continue!