Peter Brussard, VP of Product Management by Instructure, Discusses Employee Development and Learning and New Bridge Platform

By Danni White - Last Updated on January 7, 2020

In June 2019, Instructure announced the launch of the Bridge Employee Development Platform in an effort to help companies increase retention and better align employees with business goals. The product came about from findings that effective employee development across workplaces are majorly lacking. The Platform includes elements to help employers and employees in career pathing and finding employee voice.

Today, we had the opportunity to chat with Instructure’s VP of Product Management, Peter Brussard, on why companies are struggling to obtain and retain top talent, where employers can grow and evolve in delivering on employees’ expectations, and how Instructure’s Bridge Employee Development Platform can help. 

Peter Brussard serves as the Vice President, Product Management of Instructure. For over 20 years, he has been involved in all aspects of developing successful products for companies such as Rosetta Stone, Microsoft, LiveMochaDataSphere Technologies, Inc and SecondSpace.

DANNI WHITE: The Harris Poll recently noted that 70% of employees at U.S. companies would leave for another employer who is known for employee development and learning. Why do you think that is the case?

PETER BRUSSARD: Many of us want work to be a place where we can not only “get the job done” but where we can personally learn and grow. In fact, it’s no surprise that employees are hungry to find employers who are serious about investing in their growth and development. 

Consider that 1 in 3 employees say they took a new job because they wanted more career development opportunities, and 7 in 10 employees say they are at least somewhat likely to move to a new company that is better known for investing in employee learning and development. 

DW: Is this one of the reasons many companies today are struggling to attract and retain top talent?

PB: Today, more than ever, employers struggle to retain top talent and unlock the potential of each employee. 

Even though 98% of employers say they offer career development tools, they recognize that something is missing as they struggle with employee retention and satisfaction rates. Employers are waking up to the fact that engagement is a two-way street, and the most effective career development resources are those that encourage employees to play a significant—and active—role in determining the course of their professional development.

DW: What do you think employers are missing when it comes to delivering on their employees’ expectations and meeting their needs? Where is the disconnect?

PB: Growth starts with people. If we aren’t focusing on people, we are missing out. In addition to the Harris Poll research, our own research with more than 600 in-depth interviews with people working across 200 roles shows a need for a more employee-centric solution. With Bridge, companies find a true strategic solution to increase employee growth, engagement and performance.

Today’s talent management tools are not making the cut, and it’s created an opportunity for a new category of employee development tools. Most companies have too much technology, not enough time to implement learning and development initiatives properly, and need a more effective solution to help them overcome these challenges. 

DW: Instructure has aimed to reduce the gap between employers and employees by creating the Bridge Employee Development Platform? Can you tell us about that?

PB: When it comes to employee development, there is an enormous gap between how companies think they’re doing and the reality of the employee experience. Only 26% of employees rate their employers’ tools as delivering development very well. 

This research points to a specific need for more effective employee development across all industries. The Bridge Employee Development Platform helps employers address this need with a suite that includes tools for career pathing, employee engagement, performance-enablement, video coaching, and purpose-driven learning programs.

At the end of the day, we believe that fostering human connection is critical to employee development, and every aspect of the employee development platform is designed to support and encourage that.

DW: The program supports the employee, the manager, and the employer. How were you able to address the pain points of all three in one platform? 

PB: Through extensive interviews, we evaluated the pain points of the employees and then worked outward from that perspective.  What that means for the employee, is that Bridge supports productive onboarding, regular performance feedback and coaching and setting long-term career vision and plans. 

Bridge also helps managers understand their employees’ career drivers, provides a central place to track 1:1s, goals and tasks and enables regular coaching conversations. And for the employer, Bridge helps increase employee retention, fulfillment and alignment to business performance.

DW: How can the technological experience and the overall HR experience be improved for both employers and employees? 

PB: We should aim to simplify the technology experience with HR programs that integrate seamlessly into the day-to-day activities of employees and managers. They need a solution that provides value as they align on priorities, track goals and map out development. This same program should also help companies identify and deliver all the learning and experiences critical for employee growth and development. 

DW: What are some of the top methods companies can implement to ensure goal alignment, learning and development, and recognition for employees? 

PB: Maintaining an open dialogue across all levels of your business is one of the best methods to recognize employees, align them with company goals, and give them the opportunity to learn and develop. Continuous conversations between managers and employees specifically supports skill development and increased fulfillment and provides the clarity needed for personal and professional growth. 

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize businesses and nonprofits. She is the author of 17 books and hosts the #Hashtags and Habits Podcast, which merges digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

Danni White | Danni White is the CEO of DW Creative Consulting Agency, a digital marketing firm specializing in elevating the visibility of small-to-midsize busi...

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