Klick Mined Their Own Big Data to Revolutionize Employee Training

Digital firm Klick Inc. avoids the pitfalls of traditional employee training and onboarding by using big data to create its innovative “relentless learning” platform.


At most companies, the traditional new employee orientation model includes a huge data dump of information that might not be immediately relevant and is, therefore, likely to get lost. In fact, up to 90 percent of new skills are forgotten when they’re not pertinent or used, according to the Wall Street Journal. Couple that with the fact that firms spend an estimated $156 billion a year on employee learning, and the losses to both productivity and profitability are clear. As corporate training expert Eduardo Salas points out, the biggest mistake most companies make is failing to take time to analyze both their employees’ training needs and the effectiveness of the training programs that are deployed.

Toronto-based Klick discovered data that would help them evaluate their employee learning needs nearly by accident. In 2004, having grown increasingly frustrated with the inefficiencies of email, company leaders began creating Genome, a robust intranet system that manages company workflow and internal communication. And while Genome’s initial purpose was to streamline interaction, over time, the system also revealed scads of trackable data on exchanges between employees, numbers of tasks being generated by various departments and the average speed at which each task was completed.

Gifted with this big data goldmine, the company set to work creating an updated employee training platform called Relentless Learning. With data from Genome, workflow paths were revealed, areas bogged down with delays or mistakes became clear and teachable moments were discovered. The company could then easily identify the patterns of behavior or processes that led to success and those that led to problems, and by catching those potential problems early, Klick could correct them with a relatively small change. The Relentless Learning platform addresses pain points with distinct training modules that are launched at certain times during an employee’s tenure with the company or triggered by specific tasks. For example, the first time an employee opens a certain form, he or she might be invited to take the training course for how to fill it out properly. These training modules are delivered in a number of formats, including written documentation, video presentations and even instructor-led workshops.

(Image: The Decoded Company)

By delivering timely training assets to employees, and making them always available, Klick is able to avoid the typical data loss associated with irrelevant training and give employees the exact information they need, exactly when they need it.

The name Relentless Learning references the company’s motto “the relentless pursuit of awesome,” which embraces the idea that there’s always room to improve and to strive for more. The philosophy is central to Klick’s culture and is outlined in the founders’ book, The Decoded Company. Genome and the firm’s e-learning platform are also major contributors to the company’s management and best places to work accolades.

Most importantly, the platform is working for employees “We’re loving the response [the platform] is getting,” Klick VP of People Operations Michelle Gorman noted in a recent press release. “On average, since the start of our roll-out late last year, Klicksters have referenced at least two learning assets and have completed one training course every week. We can’t wait to introduce more learning modules to Academy and support our team with more engaging and empowering learning content.”

Moving forward, the focus is on creating content as quickly as possible to effectively navigate uncharted territory as they expand. “Our biggest challenge with Relentless Learning, so far, has been our ability to curate new learning and on-boarding materials quick enough to meet the demands of our growing business,” says Sheryl Steinberg, Klick’s Director of Communications.

The immediate rewards of effective training in terms of empowering employees and improving productivity are clear, but for Klick CEO Leerom Segal there are also larger benefits to long-term employee satisfaction and engagement. “We are excited to roll out Relentless Learning to provide customized coaching and training that helps ensure Klicksters continue to learn, thrive, and do the best work of their careers.”