Last month, the Learner Success Guild had the honor of hosting Seth Greenberg from Springboard and Nitzan Pelman from Climb Hire to talk about their experience growing their organizations with a flexible workforce. While their school models look different, they shared important advice that we can all learn from. Here were just a few:
Takeaway #1: Talk to Legal - There are a lot of legal implications around a flexible workforce so it’s important to consult with your lawyers before making any major plans. It’s also an evolving space so it’s important to keep up with the latest regulations.
Takeaway #2: How Climb Hire and Springboard leverages a flexible workforce -
Climb Hire invites alumni who have had success with their programs back, called Fellows, to mentor and teach students. More of a “near peer’ model.
Springboard has 3 flexible workforce communities: 1) mentors, 2) career coaching and 3) technical non-mentor advisors.
Takeaway #3: Recruiting, onboarding and system setup requires a dedicated role or team managing the workforce in cohorts similar to having cohorts of learners. Both Springboard and Climb Hire have a dedicated person or team to solely focus on supporting this talent pool. They also organize the workforce in cohorts with dedicated start dates.
Takeaway #4: Be explicit about where and how you leverage various communication platforms. Codifying what platforms, for what purpose, and in what regularity is important to establish with your flexible workforce. It sets expectations up early and makes it somewhat easier to manage/track the hours of this kind of work, which remains a challenge.
Takeaway #5: Building a consistent learner experience when there is a large flexible workforce is tough. Leveraging a tech platform or tools can help. It’s one of the reasons why Lisa and Joe are building Ribbon Education - to build a student relationship management that can be a workspace for the whole team. Operationally, establishing clear milestones and KPIs and rallying around very specific student experience moments can also help.
References made during the event:
Ribbon Education - Company started by Lisa and Joe focused on helping scaled, online schools streamline operations and improve student retention.
Who You Know Playbook - Research and resources on the notion of an ‘anchor relationship’ and how social capital can improve learner outcomes.
If you enjoyed this post and are actively building online education programs or supporting adult learners, consider applying to the Learner Success Guild.