Inland Revenue (IR) is the public service department of New Zealand charged with advising the government on tax policy, collecting tax, and disbursing payments for social support programmes. They strive to make it simpler and faster for New Zealanders to pay their taxes and receive their entitlements. Operating in multiple business units, across 26 offices, in 17 cities across New Zealand - IR needed a solution to cater to their entire workforce.
IR’s vision is to become an intelligence-led, agile and customer-centric organisation. However, during an audit in 2013, their Information Management (IM) practices were identified as a key area for improvement in order to achieve that vision. When delving into their IM further, IR identified the following pain points:
- Difficulties with quickly finding the right information
- Incorrect processes around disposal of information
- Operating in silos, only sharing information when requested
- Having closed access by default rather than open access
- Not sharing information, leading to duplication of effort and loss of information.
The aim was to increase awareness of good IM practices and behaviours at IR to ensure compliance with the Public Records Act 2005 and to support building the Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) capability. IR wanted a new approach to learning that would make an impact and change staff behaviours and mindsets. They needed an engaging storyline that would speak to the hearts and minds of all IR staff to stimulate interest and create a commitment to the training.
The IR project team’s concept focused on the themes of saving, storing, sharing and disposing of information following good information management practices. They pieced together a detailed storyline, narrative and collection of characters that would really grab people’s attention.
The storyline needed to resonate with IR staff and therefore had to be based on real-life scenarios. To get this right, extensive consultations with employees across the business were carried out. These provided much needed technical components to the storyline to make it even more realistic.
Once the direction for this training was set, the Kineo team was asked to come on board and provide the art direction to help bring this story to life. The course was made up of high-end graphics and illustrations; characters were hand-drawn and, in some instances, 3D animation was used. Combining IR’s compelling storyline with Kineo’s design experience, “The Rooms” project became an altogether stunningly visual and relatable learning module available to all staff.
The feedback from people was very positive, learners enjoyed that the content was delivered through an engaging story with a mix of visuals, activities, animation/video, audio and text.
After taking the module, learners said that they changed their old habits of not sharing their files and have moved folders from their desktop to the shared drive, demonstrating the effectiveness of the module. Comments about the course include:
‘Really well done – most interesting LearnIR course I have done’.
'I loved the way it was presented in video form. It kept me engaged and wanting to learn the next steps’.
‘I am converted and I have removed most if not all unnecessary folders off my desktop. Thanks for the great learning I loved it’.
‘The storyline approach was fantastic. We should do more storyline type training. It keeps the audience engaged’.
This project is a great example of how behaviours within an organisation can be changed through delivering learning in an interesting and engaging way.
IR and Kineo also won Gold for Best Behavioural Change Project at the LearnX Awards 2017.