Leadership training: how we used Yarno to upskill our leaders

Ellie Doyle, 3 min read
Lady holding phone with Yarno displayed

Leadership training is a hot topic in the learning and development space right now – and for good reason. More than 77% of organisations report their leadership skills are lacking. Poor management is a leading cause of staff turnover, with staff four times more likely to leave if they have a poorly rated manager.

Recently, our leadership team went through a microlearning learning campaign on the fundamentals of managing people, with Amplify HR. The purpose was to give Yarno’s leaders foundational knowledge in key HR areas like measuring performance, leave entitlements, and other employment principles. 

Spoiler alert! Performance increased by 36%! 

The training was facilitated by Karen Kirton, MD of Amplify HR, and introduced the Find, Grow, Keep methodology. Karen delivered the training in three key parts, with two virtual sessions and a learning campaign:

  • The first session provided an overview of the key elements of employment law, including the National Employment Standards, and how it applies when managing people.

  • The second session covered performance improvement and how to approach critical conversations with your team. In this session, Yarnoers were given the opportunity to role-play different scenarios that may come up when managing people.

  • The Yarno Leadership Team (YLT?) was then put on a Yarno embed learning campaign, 'Managing People Fundamentals’ using cognitive science principles, like microlearning, gamification, and spaced repetition, to reinforce the learning from the virtual sessions. 

Employment law is complex – people spend years studying it to only see the tip of the iceberg. For this reason, it is a challenging thing to teach. It’s detailed information to remember, but vital for managers to be across. We also had the challenge of being a fully remote team – it’s hard to get everyone into one room for training! 

That’s why running the training virtually was ideal – we’re pretty up to speed on how to get the most out of working remotely, and that extends to learning as well.


I recently had a chance to sit down with Karen Kirton, MD at Amplify HR, and Lachy Gray, our MD, and co-founder, to hear how they found the experience. 

Ellie: What was the thinking behind running the leadership training?

Lachy: The purpose for us was to give Yarno’s leaders foundational knowledge in key HR areas such as managing people, leave, and performance. I wanted our leadership team to be aligned on our obligations to our team, both as an employer and as leaders. We’re always looking to upskill, plus we have a few fresh faces in our leadership team, so it felt like a great opportunity to learn together.

Ultimately, we wanted to continue growing a healthy culture at Yarno. Our leaders need to show they care about the team and that they can advise them on their rights and industry best practices. I’d like our leaders to be confident and accurate in conversations about leave requests, employment contracts, and performance improvement.

Karen: The Team Leads were incredibly enthusiastic. They asked so many great questions and we had a lot of discussion around the content which is where the learning actually happens, rather than me just talking about theories and legislation. When we talk about the content we’re actually applying it to real situations that are happening in Yarno, then talking through potential solutions.

E: How did you find using Yarno to support the virtual training sessions?

L: Good! We started a Yarno embed campaign called ‘Managing People Fundamentals’ in the week after the second session, which was timely because I’d already started forgetting information from the last session! The questions covered what we’d learnt and included several scenarios that engaged us to think critically about how we could apply what we learned in a real-life situation.

K: I wasn’t sure what to expect because a lot of the training we were doing was quite technical – I wasn’t sure how much would actually be retained by the team. However, I did know they were familiar with the Yarno platform, so I was really pleasantly surprised with the results, and happy to see an improvement over the course of the campaign as well.

Using Yarno kept the learning alive, and helped the Team Leads reinforce and embed the learning. It’s also great to have the Learning Library as a resource where people can easily access and refer to information later.

E: What were the highlights?

L: Karen is such an engaging presenter, and I think we were all surprised at how much we covered in the campaign. Role-playing difficult conversations in the second session was really beneficial. We were also probably a bit surprised to learn that employment law can be somewhat interesting!

E: Karen, why do you find companies want to do HR and leadership training?

K: I think leaders are starting to recognise they can't divorce business from people matters. Years ago, there was a tendency for any difficult conversations to be pushed to the HR manager, and thankfully we’ve come a long way from there. We’ve started to understand the importance of leadership as a role that requires trust and empathy.

Qualities such as transparency and openness have really started to appeal as leadership traits, and leaders are expected to have honest conversations with their employees and have the confidence to support their staff.

E: Any plans for future training, Lachy?

L: We plan on running the Yarno embed campaign again in a few months' time as a refresher. We’ll probably continue to run the campaign every 3–6 months for the foreseeable future, to give us the best chance at remembering and applying what we’ve learned.

To find out more, read the full case study here.

Ellie Doyle

Ellie Doyle

Ellie is the resident Yarno wordsmith. If she's not writing a million words a minute, you'll probably find her trying to smash her New York Times daily crossword time while listening to 3 podcasts at once.

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