How we grow (and keep) the best eLearning development team in Australia

At Liberate Learning, we humbly believe we operate as the best eLearning development team we possibly can be. We dare to say this because it is what our clients across the board tell us after they start working with us, and because our industry peers voted us to be Australian Education and Training Provider of the Year (2019 MyBusiness), and Learning Provider of the Year (2019 AILP), among others. The work we do would not be possible without our team, all of them experts in their respective crafts.

So, we recently sat down and looked deeper into how we usually attract, grow, and develop our people to give us that edge, that X-Factor, which makes such a positive difference to our clients. We want to make sure we know what works well in finding the right people for us, so we can continue on this path and adjust when necessary.

Here are what we identified as our secrets to becoming the best eLearning Development team in Australia:

Liberate Learning is a complete provider of workplace learning solutions

For our clients, the reality is that our eLearning development team are a complete learning solutions partner, as we offer the entire bandwidth of training and workforce development:

  • Custom e-learning solutions
  • Instructor-led training design 
  • Blended learning consulting 
  • mLearning
  • Microlearning
  • Performance support tools
  • Video and animation.
Illustration showing different people interacting on a laptop

This breadth of service means our team covers a wide spectrum of professional skills at the highest level, from strategic learning consultants, project managers, educators, to graphic designers, multimedia developers, instructional designers, videographers, motion graphics designers, and animators.

How we find the best eLearning experts in Australia

Only once in ten years have we ever advertised any roles in our team on Seek or alike; we grow by attracting top talent to apply to us. Working with Australia’s largest corporate, top universities and governmental organisations, we see hundreds of work samples every day, and outstanding work always sticks out. Hence, the chances are that by the time such a top performer knocks on our door, we already know what they can do. 

We expect our team members to be highly proficient in the skills and tools of their trade, be it authoring tools or storyboarding, stakeholder liaison or instructional design, we need first-class skills for the client work we do. People come to us ready to hit the ground running. 

Our culture of client-centric excellence

Apart from the job role-related technical skills, we need people with the right cultural fit. There is no point in being a master of their tool/skill if this is not matched with an absolute commitment to collaborative project acumen and top communication skills.

Yes, we are learning nerds, but we do understand and speak our clients’ business languages fluently. We commit to delivering quality deliverables on time and budget, job-for-job, and we expect all our team members to manage their priorities to meet or exceed client expectations. 

Illustration of people climbing up cubes and ladders, to become the best eLearning development team

If this makes us sound like a team of workaholics, we know this is not true, as our team members entertain a lot of interesting hobbies and passions to make sure our minds keep fresh. In our midst, we have hobby-pilots, farmers, cartoon designers, photographers, golfers, surfers, gaming masters, to name a few of our quirks.

Liberate Learning is an Australian-based experts team

We work across industries and also with many Australian Federal and State Government departments, some with high-level security clearance requirements. Therefore, we have strict background and compliance checks in place, and we only engage people who have the right to live and work in Australia for the same reason.

While formal qualifications are welcome, and we hold many of them in our team including four with Doctorates and many with Masters degrees, our experience shows that current Australian industry experience is more critical for us to reach the level of client satisfaction we expect to provide. 

Innovation in eLearning

The digital learning industry is moving fast, and all of us at Liberate are passionate about being at the forefront of innovation, continually looking for better ways to design, develop, and deliver learning. Being at the cutting edge enables us to be nimble and react to changing environments like in the current COVID pandemic. For example, we recently produced an entire reel of virtual reality (VR360) footage to enable virtual university open day tours for remote or international students.

Does this sound like an eLearning development team for you?

We always welcome the opportunity to talk to new talent. If you consider yourself as an experienced learning innovator and would consider yourself suitable to join our team, contact rodney@liberatelearning.com.au, give him a call on 0410 082 712, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Let us tell you our why

Sometimes, big milestones make us stop in our tracks and look back. Liberate has just turned ten, so let us tell you our why, and what makes us excited about waking up in the morning.

Liberate started in an era of economic turmoil during the Global Financial Crisis, and when many organisations were very mature in their blended and online learning offering.

eLearning was different ten years ago

Ten years ago, digital learning was a tool to deliver training pieces to large cohorts; SCORM packages reported completions, it ticked compliance boxes, it facilitated costs savings, all involved were happy.

Or were they?

The design, development, and deployment of traditional eLearning content was often seen as a technical black box. Some eLearning vendors created platforms and tools that were configured to tie eLearning buyers to one vendor, for the purpose of getting hooks into clients and being able to charge a premium for maintenance updates and make it very difficult or expensive to separate from a given vendor.

Much like a wedding photographer withholding the photo negatives or digital copies – and if you want them, you had to pay a premium price. Additionally, a lot of early eLearning was standard “click next” information based on digital summaries of policies rather than content that was designed to engage and intrinsically motivate the learner to undergo a meaningful learning journey.

Our why – A need to challenge the status quo

Rod Beach, then working as an eLearning instructional designer, became frustrated about the lack of professional pride to deliver a solution that wasn’t self-serving, one that would stand the test of time, and a need to ensure the best outcome for the learner and respective organisation.

Rod was disenfranchised by the thought of producing solutions and quoting, and the reputational fall-out that occurs when digital learning solutions only delivered on one part of the promise – with the ‘learning’ being less of a focus to the technology mode of delivery. As a former teacher and professional educator, Rod knew there was a critical need in the L&D industry for high-quality blended learning providers, who would operate with integrity, transparency and who could fill the need for solutions that are fit for purpose. 

When Rod shared his desire to set up an eLearning company, he was asked what its differentiator would be, and his reply was to ‘liberate eLearning’ – liberate it from being boring, complicated, to unshackle organisations from lock-in contracts, and stop eLearning from getting a bad reputation through the creation of ineffective’ click next’ solutions. Hence, he started the company with exactly that name.

We start with you, the client and learner

At Liberate, we believe that we should treat everyone as an equal partner in business, we don’t “Tinder-date” clients so to speak, for we form long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships, where everyone is in the partnership for the right reasons.

Not all learning can, or should be, eLearning, and our ability to create unique and engaging blended learning solutions attest to that. We want to elevate the regard placed on learning designers and help organisations understand the critical role the L&D profession plays in achieving measured business success. As a result of our genuine desire to provide end-to-end learning solutions, Liberate eLearning was renamed Liberate Learning, given it embraces all facets of learning design and development.

Here is what happened

As a result of our global reputation, transparent business model and genuine desire to create meaningful learning solutions, we don’t need to hunt for new client relationships, for we currently have approximately 150 loyal client partners who see us as an organic part of their teams.

Living and breathing pedagogical best practice and our desire to provide long-term, fit-for-purpose learning solutions, not short term gains, has seen Liberate being awarded the Global Stevie Awards for Business Growth, named ‘Learning Provider of the Year 2019 (ILP 2019), ‘Education and Training Business of the Year (Australian MyBusiness Awards 2019)‘ and ‘Business of the Decade’ finalist (MyBusiness Awards 2018). Our strong industry reputation has also enabled us to attract and retain Australia’s best talent in the learning development sector and allowed us to keep the momentum over the past decade.

Liberate Learning CEO Melany Blackwell accepting the Global Stevie Business Growth Award in 2019

Our steadfast desire to create meaningful learning solutions, and genuine interest to put the learner and organisation’s needs above all else, is in our DNA, it remains Our Why. What’s our secret to success? It’s simple, and Rod sums it up when he is regularly quoted in saying “we’ve built our reputation by helping others build theirs”, and for Rod and his team, they take their industry reputation seriously, regardless if the project is big or small.