COVID-19 has forced all businesses to reimagine how to work efficiently overnight. While organizations work feverishly to ensure employees have productivity tools and access to video call platforms for team collaboration, the traditionally in-person work of onboarding and upskilling employees also needs to continue regardless of where employees are located. myTrailhead, Salesforce’s modern, online Learning Experience Platform meets this need by allowing organizations to leverage the power of Trailhead to make learning bite-sized, customized and gamified, all while fostering a culture of continuous learning no matter where you are.
Amy Regan Morehouse, Senior Vice President of Trailhead and myTrailhead GTM, has spent more than a decade in leadership roles at Salesforce working towards a key goal — helping people gain access to the training that will help them grow their careers.
In this interview, we asked Amy about her experience and learnings since taking over her current role, about some of her favorite examples of organizations leveraging myTrailhead, and her thoughts on the growing importance of remote learning in our COVID-19 world.
Please tell us about your background. What makes you most excited about your current role as Senior Vice President of Trailhead and myTrailhead GTM?
I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I’ve been at Salesforce for more than 12 and a half years, and much of my time has been spent around building products and programs to help people be successful and collaborate together. For the last six years and in my current role, I’ve been focused on the learning and education space, which boils down to helping individuals grow their careers, as well as helping companies be more successful using Salesforce technology. I feel very lucky that my life purpose and joy I get from the work I do is embedded right into my job.
What are some of the most common challenges that you see companies currently facing when it comes to employee learning or reskilling during COVID-19?
When I think about the challenges companies are facing in this area I generally break them into three categories:
- First, I think for a lot of companies the fact that we’re all in our homes and totally digital is a big shift. I think that the rapid shift to an all digital world has been a big learning curve. Many weren’t expecting that, and they’ve had to shift to learn and adapt to the new normal.
- Secondly, many companies are realizing that the training and processes that they need to provide their employees these days is different. Onboarding and learning programs for many companies were weighted heavily on being in-person experiences, and that option was taken away without much notice. Things like onboarding will need to be much different when employees don’t have a first day in the office.
- Lastly, companies are working to make sure that any learning opportunities they provide are really engaging. There’s a lot going on in people’s lives right now. And we want the learning to be something that people are excited about and feel like they can apply immediately.
What are some examples of how companies can leverage myTrailhead to meet their current challenges?
myTrailhead is a flexible platform that can meet a wide range of challenges. One challenge myTrailhead can help solve is onboarding new employees. Using myTrailhead, companies can engage new employees and start them on a journey to learn about company history, nuances of their job and the company culture before even meeting them in-person. The ability for customers to quickly pivot and use myTrailhead for onboarding has been a key to their success.
Another challenge myTrailhead solves is that it provides engaging learning opportunities that help employees grow, all within Salesforce. For example, companies can empower their sales teams to be more successful by embedding myTrailhead learning right into the flow of their daily work, or help service agents skill up in the console so they can be more successful by learning about a new product or process. This allows learning to take place right where the employee already is, rather than turn learning into a separate activity.
What’s an example of a customer that successfully leveraged myTrailhead in a short time frame after the COVID-19 pandemic emerged?
Employers Health Coalition of Ohio is a good example of an organization that adapted quickly due to COVID-19. Prior to the pandemic, they had multiple learning systems for new employees housed in various locations, making it difficult to track. Employers Health Coalition of Ohio helps employers understand the details of benefit packages they offer to their employees, so onboarding at Employers Health Coalition of Ohio can include a lot of nuanced details. Unfortunately they received feedback like many organizations are right now — the content wasn’t engaging in a digital environment.
To address this challenge, Employers Health Coalition of Ohio pivoted to myTrailhead where they were able to deliver the nuanced onboarding information all through an engaging, gamified experience, complete with digital confetti for correct answers and badges for completed trails. Creating this engaging environment for digital onboarding has led to better feedback from new hires, as well as opportunities for Employers Health Coalition of Ohio to showcase the organization’s culture. That’s a customer that I think is really taking advantage of a new learning system that made the whole experience much more engaging for the employees.
Why do you think it was so important for Salesforce to provide a product like myTrailhead to customers?
I think myTrailhead was an important product to provide to customers because we had built and tested it internally ourselves to start. To help grow the skills in our ecosystem, Salesforce created Trailhead to help engage admins and developers so they could quickly learn how to work on Salesforce. As the company grew and we were onboarding thousands of people each year, we realized that the technology could be repurposed to help with our onboarding of new employees, and soon every department was requesting to use our internal version of Trailhead for their own internal use. We shared these success and adoption stories with our customers, and they were the ones who actually requested that we bring myTrailhead to market. Many are seeing a similar sort of viral spread of myTrailhead within their own organizations.
What is one of the biggest learning and reskilling trends that you are seeing in the market today?
One of the biggest trends I’m noticing is that many C-level executives are realizing that their businesses are changing due to the pandemic, and they are looking for the best way to help their employees learn and adapt. These executives are looking for the best way to provide learning opportunities that aren’t the old, two hour training videos that people lose interest watching. myTrailhead makes learning bite sized and available virtually anywhere, both on your laptop and your phone.
I think that the mobile phone aspect of myTrailhead is especially useful because every now and then everyone needs to step away from the computer and take a break. Since myTrialhead is available in a great mobile experience, people can upskill whenever and where they are, and that flexibility is a reason that I think we are seeing so many customers make the shift to myTrailhead right now.
Can you talk to the development process of myTrailhead features like pre-built content kits, Trailmaker or other key updates that you think are impactful?
To help make it even easier and faster for customers to adopt myTrailhead, we decided to provide customers with some learning content pre-built. This allows customers to add their own unique spin to content and quickly deploy myTrailhead within their organization. On the other hand, Trailmaker allows organizations to publish content from scratch really quickly and easily. This is thanks to the fact that many of the core elements of Trailmaker were originally created by Salesforce for internal use. Since we can now share them with customers, they can incorporate elements into their learning cycles, helping them to save time.
What were your biggest learnings during the development process of those updates, and how will your team apply those learnings moving forward to help with future updates?
I think one thing we’re good at at Salesforce is asking our customers for feedback and input early in the process, which has helped us have really successful results. So I think my biggest learning is to continue to engage customers and learn about their challenges, especially given how quickly priorities are shifting, so we can help find ways to alleviate those challenges. We had amazing early adopters of myTrailhead who have helped and continue to help us move the product forward. We are very lucky to have such supportive customers. We also look outside of learning in the worlds of social and gaming and of course innovations we are delivering in our products and especially on public Trailhead for inspiration too.