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ERGO Direkt: The best preparation for the digital revolution!

ERGO Direkt makes employees fit for the ‘new world’

Social media has revolutionized customer expectations. The digital revolution is so far reaching that even insurance companies have to take a pro-active approach to adapting. German direct insurance company ERGO Direkt is leading the way by ensuring that all employees have the same level of digital knowledge and are kept up-to-date on new developments. Its employees have access to a broad range of e-learning covering general digital issues and company specific challenges. Traditonal industries like insurance are under pressure to go digital. As a leading provider of direct insurance, ERGO Direkt must meet the needs of its 4.5 million customers using not only telephone, e-mail and mobile sales reps, but also using WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook, and Xing & Co. “Customers expect us to offer our advisory services across all plaforms to suit their preferences. This has dramatically reshaped insurance employees roles and employees‘ expectations of training. The HR industry has to change its mindset because training based on a ’one size fits all‘ principle is now outdated,“ says Jens Nicolas Bergner, HR Development Specialist for E-learning and New Media.

Self-orientated learning

SOL: self-oriented learning is the reason that the company radically overhauled its general training model. Employees can now not only train at their own pace, and in their own time, but also choose how to access content as it‘s available in print, on USB sticks,as a podcast, video or e-learning. For many years ERGO Direkt has beenrelying on tt knowledge force for content. “We see our role as being a companion to the learning process,“ adds Berger. “With regard to digitalization, our 1,800 employees can choose from: a ’New Media try-out day‘, an employee WLAN and a digital media center in the form of a virtual learning island complete with e-learning. We also offer an in-house digital source of reference, known as WILMA, with over 1,000 documents for our customer-facing colleagues.“ ERGO Direkt has very ambitious plans for the “digital revolution that‘s heading our way.“


Providing reassurance

Employees’ mindset is a barrier to the digital transformation. At one end there are long-serving employees who have a dismissive attitude towards Facebook and new platforms, then there are young smartphone users who have data privacy concerns, and at the other end there are older employees who “rock the internet“ in their spare time.


E-learning digitalization concept: perfectly designed

But there was one thing standing in the way of the company‘s goal of bringing all employees (from the highly motivated to the negatively dismissive) up to the same knowledge level: finding just the right training material. Digitalization is not just a rapidly evolving topic, but also an area where knowledge quickly becomes obsolete. After a fruitless search spanning six months, the eureka moment came during a long phone call with an e-learning expert from tts: “It felt like they could read my mind, there is no way I could have designed it so well myself,“ Bergner enthusiastically remembers. One week later a document landed on his desk: ’A journey through time – the ARPANET project by the US Air Force from 1968 to the present day‘. It dealt with social media and the internet, providing tips and tricks, addressing data protection issues, explaining sales models from e-business to omnichannel, and much more. “Despite everything being non-specific to ERGO, it was so well researched and engaging that even our most digital savvy employees learned something new,“ enthuses Bergner. Once fifty percent of all employees have completed the optional digitalization e-learning, the second phase – featuring ERGO-specific content – will be released.


A lifelong learning companion

The second phase will be specifically geared toward ERGO Direkt, featuring employee interviews, YouTubestyle videos, departmental profiles etc. The whole thing will be continuous learning. “We wanted to ensure that this e-learning is never fully completed,“ says Bergner. “We regard it as a lifelong learning companion that will be enhanced over time.“ Evaluations on a departmental level help with this. Requirements can be identified and content modified or supplemented on a chapter-by-chapter basis using data regarding the average length of a visit and the most prevalent errors. Content is made public via the company‘s intranet and employee magazine. Every employee will also have the opportunity to sit a test on social media competence and, needless to say, be awarded a certificate.


Facts & Figures

• One of Germany’s largest direct insurers

• 1,800 employees

• Has been using tt knowledge force since 2012

• Digitalization e-learning devised as a lifelong learning companion for multichannel-proficient employees