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TD Magazine Article

Self-Service Learning

Paylocity is a 2023 Best Award Winner.


Thu Jun 15 2023

Self-Service Learning

Paylocity: 2023 BEST Award Winner, #3

To compete in a crowded market that has grown more than 5 percent on average during the past five years and outpaced the technology sector and overall US economy, Paylocity has placed an emphasis on product, client, and employee growth. The HR and payroll software company supports 20 million workers from more than 33,000 client organizations. Internally, the company has grown by more than 30 percent year over year and expects to nearly double the number of internal staff by 2027.


To accommodate that kind of growth and meet related business objectives, the L&D team knew it needed to reimagine its strategy for retaining employees. That included broad changes, such as building diversity initiatives, as well as more nuanced shifts, such as updating the entire learning experience for new staff.

Delivering the most appropriate learning modalities for all new hires meant hiring a group of program managers solely devoted to that task. Of the newly developed approaches, the most successful is Paylocity's new-hire program for benefits account managers. Built in only four and a half months, the hybrid training features 10 days of two-hour facilitated sessions focused on discussion and problem solving, followed by on-the-job shadowing with a mentor and role-play scenarios with a facilitator. The L&D team combine sessions with self-paced courses, practice activities and challenges, shadowing and reverse shadowing, as well as multipoint evaluations. The program also uses new sandbox environments to create realistic client-facing phone and email interactions.

The new initiative replaced a previous mentoring program that relied heavily on subject matter experts to onboard and train benefit account managers. However, as Paylocity's software products became more advanced, the responsibilities and technical requirements of the position increased. Benefit account managers "were not only troubleshooting but also were building and setting up client products," says Joe Dusing, senior director of L&D. "This added a new level of complexity at an accelerated pace."

An integral component of the program—a self-service resource library—proved to be the most challenging aspect of building the program in a short amount of time, according to Dusing. "We had over 350 different resources that contained nuanced technical processes that needed to be fully vetted by multiple parties for accuracy," he explains. The team also needed to create and supplement 50 new resources for the library.

To solve that problem, the team hosted the content in the cloud and developed a structured review cycle in which SMEs, trainers, leaders, and knowledge management team members provided input. "We had cadenced working sessions and check-ins with each party to identify any stopgaps early on," he says.


"The key to the program," Dusing adds, "is having accessible and understandable resources that are not only available to our internal staff but for our clients as well." He credits the self-service model for the program's success: increased retention, from 52 percent to 100 percent year over year, and reduced mentor reliance by 70 percent. Data reveals that 100 percent of participants believe they can apply what they learned, and 92 percent feel prepared after training.

View the entire list of 2023 BEST Award winners.

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