December 20, 2022
Some sort of ‘normality’ has been reached in the way companies operate, whether hybrid or fully remote. The need to be in one room for a meeting just isn’t there anymore, and the Sidekick team itself is fully remote, using the Sidekick platform for our meetings.
It’s been an enormous and exciting year for Sidekick. We’ve reached a number of important milestones, formed partnerships with some great organizations, and continue to innovate and grow.
In February, we held the soft launch for Sidekick. Early adopters had access to features that included choreographed learning events, pre-structured sequences of quizzes and polls, reflective questions and a participant spinner. We did a ton of work after this to prepare for the Sidekick 1.0 launch in October.
Sidekick 1.0 Development
We did extensive work with early adopters to address their questions, optimize functionality, and add in features to ensure Sidekick maximizes the impact of live learning. We identified that very few companies have the combination of a strong platform, good learning content, and a facilitator to deliver training now. And that’s how we landed on a focal point for our 1.0 launch.
Sidekick 1.0 Launch
Businesses typically lack trained teachers, facilitators, and Learning and Development experts. Yet 48% of employees say they would leave their company for better learning opportunities. In the competition for talent these businesses are losing because of these learning and development gaps.
At Sidekick, we are solving this problem and at the end of October, we held our V1.0 launch, where we unveiled the Sidekick solution. It was inspiring to hear real stories from Sidekick users including Rebecca White (Engineers of Tomorrow), and Shann McGrail (Haltech). And CPET Director, Dr. Roberta Lenger-Kang from Columbia University spoke about Sidekick and best practices in adult learning.
Sidekick is a live-learning platform. You may be familiar with the term VILT, or Virtual Instructor-led Training. The Sidekick Solution has three components that give companies what they need to implement a structured live learning program without the cost of hiring a learning development professional: The Sidekick Platform, the Instructional Resource Library, and Facilitator Training - virtual live workshops and pro-tips to help turn any employee into a great educator.
The Sidekick Platform pairs Zoom with tools to structure and amplify live learning. The Live Learning Library provides instructional resources created to meet your company’s needs and unlimited access to Sidekick templates for live learning events. Sidekick’s Facilitator training includes virtual live workshops and self-paced pro-tips to help turn any employee into a great educator.
After an event, Sidekick’s data visualizations help companies to measure progress and drive better workplace learning.
Sidekick’s Learning Engagement Score shows companies how learners have participated in an event and provides data from learning assessments.
By drilling down into the engagement details, facilitators can see where participants engaged and how accurately they’ve answered questions throughout the event. With this data companies have what they need to optimize their professional learning and training events.
During the year, CEO Ben Zimmer spoke to tons of people about Sidekick and our mission! A few highlights were conversations we recorded with some of Sidekick’s advisors about using technology for coaching, mentoring and training.
Ben spoke with Damon Pistulka earlier this year on his podcast Exit Your Way about the multiple decision points that have to be navigated when creating a course, and discussed how technology can be used to effectively engage employees and customers.
Carl Oxholm and Ben chatted about fostering a feeling of belonging to enhance engagement and how the technology used can either support this or become an obstacle to connection and learning.
Ben and Global sales mentor Zach Selch had an interesting conversation about the importance of knowledge transfer and engagement in mentoring. They spoke about how gamified learning can help keep learners engaged, and if you can drive engagement, you can drive competency in selling your product.
Partnerships - planning for the future of work
Thank you too, to our clients, partners and community who have supported us and helped us get to where we are today. I’m particularly proud of the partnerships we formed this year in planning for and building towards the future of work. We’re working with Enable Education, Columbia University’s Centre for Professional Education of Teachers (CPET), and we have a great budding partnership with the University of Toronto.
Thank you to the incredibly creative, committed, and innovative Sidekick team that has helped us reach these milestones. Buckle up for 2023 - it’s going to be another exhilarating year!