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Integrating SkillSoft Resources into Sun Life Financial’s Learning Program. Maryann Baird, Director, Employee Development Janet Holmes, Senior Consultant, Talent Development Leadership & Talent Development November 6, 2008. International financial services leader.

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integrating skillsoft resources into sun life financial s learning program
Integrating SkillSoft Resources intoSun Life Financial’s Learning Program
    • Maryann Baird, Director, Employee Development
    • Janet Holmes, Senior Consultant, Talent Development
  • Leadership & Talent Development
  • November 6, 2008
international financial services leader
International financial services leader

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers.

Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol SLF.


The world of Sun Life Financial

The Sun Life Financial group of companies, including MFS Investment Management, has operations in 22 countries worldwide.

United Kingdom









United States






Hong Kong



Mexico City




Sao Paulo

Buenos Aires


Sun Life Financial around the world

MFS headquartered in the U.S.

MFS investment and marketing / service offices

external talent development trends
Demographic shifts; need to attract, develop and retain next generation (Y and millennials)

Skills shortage in key professional streams

Employment markets changing in all geographies; varies by region

Increasing requirement for more sophisticated global leaders

External Talent Development Trends
key slf business challenges
Defined investment dollars available to meet diverse development needs; usually it’s never as much as we hope for!

Competing for senior leaders’ attention; there are always a number of business priorities on their plate

Have an evolving competency model; different stage of implementation across the globe

Key SLF Business Challenges
  • Have technology/firewall restrictions; although mitigates exposure to outside risks, it also means it limits our access to some application functionality
  • There are a limited choice of vendors to partner with who have a global mandate
  • Have an evolving HR structure; changes to the scope of learning governance and responsibility across the organization
leadership talent development centre of expertise
Leadership & Talent DevelopmentCentre of Expertise

Our Mission

Our Team

Build the capability (depth) and capacity (breadth) of the SLF workforce

Talent Performance and Review Team


Talent Development



Our Mission

Talent Planning and Measurement Team


  • Ready and able pool of talent to achieve current and future business goals
  • Enabled employees who actively manage their development and careers
our partnership with skillsoft
For 10+ years we’ve chosen to partner with SkillSoft;

Early focus – broad range of on-line courses for Canada

Current focus – tighter alignment with competencies in Canada

Future focus – expand to global audience and align with worldwide competencies (leadership & core)

Over the years SkillSoft has offered;

A quality, comprehensive library of on-line learning resources - courses & books

On-line learning solutions in multiple languages – English, French, & others

Access to quality people with experience and consultative expertise

Access to new ideas through a network of ‘global’ clients

Experience in dealing with technical issues on a global platform


Our Partnership with SkillSoft?
integration points
No explicit communications & marketing plan deployed to promote SkillSoft resources  instead our strategy is to tightly align the on-line content with key HR & business practices

SkillSoft on-line courses support:

Performance management – individual’s development planning for current role competencies

Career management – individual’s development planning for future career opportunities

Just-in-time access to development information & resources

Integration into defined curriculum within business areas

Integration Points
slf competency model

Leadership Competencies



Role-Specific Competencies

SLF Competency Model

Competency = Blend of skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary for effective job performance. Used for selection and development purposes.

  • Delivers Business Results
  • Thinks and Acts Strategically *
  • Generates Innovative Solutions
  • Drives for Action *
  • Engages People
  • Attracts, Develops and Retains Talent *
  • Leads Change *
  • Embraces Differences
  • Achieves Leadership Excellence
  • Manages Complexity *
  • Builds and Applies Self-insight

Global Exposure & Experience

  • Understands the Business
  • Takes Accountability
  • Focuses on the Customer
  • Collaborates Effectively
  • Communicates Confidently

* Priority leader competencies for development

examples of how skillsoft is integrated
Leadership development portfolio

Development Curriculum for Training Professionals

Call Centre operations

Examples of how SkillSoft is integrated…
our annual review process
Our Annual Review Process



Define Size of Library & Licenses

Assess future competency needs based on business input

Assess recent usage & User experience

Assess new SkillSoft offerings against competency model

  • interview business Learning Practitioners across the organization
  • conduct preliminary review of course content
  • review SkillSoft reports
  • conduct Zoomerang surveys to gather feedback from users

Prioritize topics & development requirements

Make choices & build library based on gaps and opportunities

our successes learnings
Key Successes

Increasing use of SkillSoft courses

Quickly consolidate the input data from various sources in order to prioritize course selection

Early utilization of SkillSoft expertise and advice

Leveraging technology for surveying users

Key Learnings

Make assessment process as simple as possible for our Learning Partners across the organization

Co-ordinate new course offering roll-out to avoid collisions with internal technology upgrades

Our Successes & Learnings
future challenges
Worldwide users …

Multiple languages

Multiple time zones

Technical system performance

Budget & license utilization

Impact measurement

Future Challenges