Blended Learning for Sales Force Safety

The behaviour

G SK’s Sales Force is spread right across the world, and they’re always on the move – driving from client, to trade show, to the next client, introducing new customers to GSK’s products.

Thing is, all that travel to unfamiliar places can put those Sales Force at risk.

No matter how rare security incidents are, GSK has a duty to protect its people. And part of that is helping people to safeguard themselves by keeping them informed about the risks they face each day.

The big question

How could we help GSK protect its global Sales Force by encouraging each person to identify, mitigate and report the risks they face at work?

A selection of design materials we delivered – as part of animations, checklists and infographics

What we did

We created a completely new blended learning programme for Sales Force staff from scratch, in 3 weeks.

That’s scripts, animations, infographics, translations, and all digital implementation. The lot.

We knew this Sales Force team was always going to be on the move, and quite frankly, probably more interested in providing products to GSK’s customers than taking a digital course. So our training had to be quick, simple to understand, but still powerfully effective at protecting people from harm.

Step by step guides in an engaging infographic format

Poster with powerful design and easy to remember messaging

The SEE, SORT, REPORT programme.

Over a series of 5 modules covering things like driving risks, tech risks and even risks of rioting and civil unrest, we used animations and checklists to show people how they could SEE, SORT, and REPORT the threats they come across at work.

The line ‘SEE, SORT, REPORT’ became a sort of mantra. A catchy instruction repeated until it was etched into people’s memories no matter how much attention they paid to the course as they logged on between sales calls.

The training closes with a reciprocal commitment device.

At the start of the course, GSK pledges a commitment to adhere to GSK’s values by doing whatever it takes to protect the Sales Force team.

In return, the Sales Force team are asked to sign their own pledge to always follow the course’s advice to protect themselves at work as a final closer to the training.

When they do, a powerful psychological contract is formed between the two.

Find out why below.

A selection of clips from the animated series we produced.

Why it worked

Using a commitment device

We like to behave consistently with what we say we’ll do. When we don’t, it creates ‘cognitive dissonance’ in our minds that feels so uncomfortable, we have to somehow resolve it.

It’s why we ask people to commit to ‘tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ before they give testimony in a court of law. Because to lie after a declaration like that just feels too uncomfortable for the majority of people.

So by asking the Sales Force to publicly commit to safeguarding themselves from the risks described in the course, we were able to create a powerful motivation for people to stay true to their own word, and use the course’s insights to protect themselves from harm.

Reciprocity bias

If you scratch my back, I’ll very likely scratch yours – we’re hardwired to return favours done for us.

GSK is fully committed to protecting its staff wherever they find their work takes them, and by reminding the Sales Force of this with a clear public pledge, we made it much easier for those sales people to make a pledge of their own to use the course’s advice to protect themselves at work.

The rhyme-as-reason effect

Not only are statements that rhyme more catchy, studies show we actually believe them more as well.

In creating the ‘SEE, SORT, REPORT’ mantra we were able to imprint a clear instruction into people’s minds. But more than that, because the instruction rhymes it feels even more like sage advice to follow.

The results

It’s still early days since we went live in 2020, but the course has now been:

Rolled out to over 8,000 staff.

Used far beyond the sales force and (our original brief!) with commercial offices and employees now taking the course as well.