Behind the Learning Professional of the Year 2021

Behind the Learning Professional of the Year 2021

This blog sums up the work that led up to her achievement, which put focus on helping learners to apply behavioural science and empathy to their communications within the finance and education sectors.

Every year the Learning & Performance Institute (LPI) hosts the international Learning Awards that aim to celebrate the highest achievements in workplace learning and development. Claire was honoured with an award as a result of the learning courses she developed last year, sharing her understanding of how to write with empathy and ensure readers feel heard, understood and fully confident in the decisions they make.


Fast-paced pandemic, fast-emerging challenges

The financial anxiety and disruption caused by the Covid pandemic meant the need for empathy was high, and banks had to get it right, at scale and with urgency. Over in the education sector, upheaval to learning and emotional distress caused by covid affected children, parents, teachers, schools, governors and many more - again, highlighting a need to communicate with empathy at a critical time and facing high stakes.

Sadly, empathy doesn’t come as naturally to organisations as it does to people. While many people were up for the shift to organisational empathy in theory, the long-established ‘way we do things round here’ risked getting in the way… after all, aren’t banks and schools supposed to sound formal if they want to be taken seriously?

And when you’re looking to introduce authentic, sincere empathy at scale in a large organisation, the biggest potential barrier to effective learning is simple... everyone already thinks they’re empathetic. They’re most often absolutely right, but the challenge isn’t to make people more empathetic. It’s to show them how to do it consistently, every time they type.


Helping communicators to crack the empathy challenge

Claire created psychology-informed courses for one financial institution and school leaders across Wales to empower, sustain and measure empathetic writing at scale. The course consisted of interactive webinars with on-the-job examples and activities to put learning into practice, and combined storytelling methods and participation to allow delegates to link the content to what they already know and emotionally connect with it – all supported by a model to reinforce and repeat lessons, build confidence, measure effectiveness and embed learning.

In the case of the bank, the course was endorsed by the exec Board- the visibility of these key leaders helping to mark out this course as ’one to make time for’ with those who attended showing their endorsement by sending their entire teams on it. Over a 6 month learning programme, more than 5,000 people made time to up their empathy game. And it showed.

From reducing queries to helping people feel reassured and supported to stimulating healthy financial decisions, empathy quickly made its mark. At Copy & TV, we offer tailored coaching to help teams understand the basics of Behavioural Science and weave it into the way they write no matter what industry you’re in. We can help you reduce complaints or queries, nudge positive behaviours and decisions, and deepen relationships with your audiences.