How Aya Data built a high-performing team amidst their fast-paced scaling environment

April 23, 2024


Written by UJJI Team

How Aya Data built a high-performing team amidst their fast-paced scaling environment

Aya Data provides leading-edge services across the AI value chain, from data acquisition to annotation to building, deploying, and optimising bespoke AI solutions. With people at the heart of the Aya culture and value proposition, leaders continue to innovate and adapt to modern work conditions through sustainable tech and software to support its continuously growing team.

The challenge: tap into teams’ strengths and skill gaps amongst an ever-growing business

Aya Data rapidly scaled to 120+ employees. Something we see happening often in the scale-up world. Within such accelerated growth environment, Aya leaders quickly realised the need for training while scaling in a past-paced work environment. Teams required becoming more agile, collaborative and up-to-date with the technical skillset required in the AI industry.

As the group responsible for implementing learning strategies and developing employees' skills and knowledge within the organisation, the Learning and Development (L&D) team knew how important it would be to make training accessible and engaging for everyone.

In spite of having tried more traditional training methods, Aya couldn’t see the effects of professional development coming through as expected, particularly amidst increasing workloads and expanding responsibilities. The one-size-fits-all approach failed to consider individual learning styles and paces.

L&D seeks to give back to our employees and tell them we care about them and their professional journey. — Rita, Head of Learning and Development

Following UJJI’s proprietary ‘Move the Needle’ metrics, Aya scored 64 out of 100. Not bad, but some way to go when compared to the wider UJJIverse.

The challenge was clear. Leveraging UJJI’s on-the-go, gamified micro-training, Aya would need to close the skills gaps and if possible, further accelerate teams’ strengths so that ultimately, the overall ‘Move the Needle’ score could improve beyond the UJJI average.

The solution: bringing about a frictionless professional development plan that'd weave into team’s routines regardless of where they’re at

Aya employees are sharp, technical, and always on-the-go. It became clear that passive, lecture-based learning didn’t match employee learning styles - the best training fit needed match their schedule and learning approach. Implementing UJJI’s on-the-go, social and gamified training was the perfect fit. UJJI’s focus on micro-learning delivered bite-sized, engaging training modules that quickly captivated Aya Data’s teams. Within 20 days, Aya Data witnessed a remarkable 94% adoption rate.

UJJI offers a flexible approach to development that allows employees to access on-demand learning material wherever they are to learn at their convenience. By breaking down learning material into smaller, more manageable pieces, employees could easily fit learning into their busy schedules, making it a more efficient and effective way to learn.

“I now learn everywhere! Sometimes on my way to work, on public transport. Even if it’s noisy, you’ll find me reading the transcripts.” — Kevin, Quality Assurance Lead at Aya Data

The process: making training a habit, not another work task added to people’s plate by piggybacking on our routines

Like in any organisational transformation, leadership buy-in is key to determine success. At Aya Data, this was no exception.

Following UJJI onboarding and kick off, the Aya leaders had not only the clarity around teams’ strengths and skill gaps, but also, the training & development plan to accelerate individuals performance. Aya leadership split teams up in order to get to the granular detail of their people data & analytics and allocated a team leader for each group. Assigning specific pathways of the week for each team, Aya was ready to hit the ground running with their team’s new L&D plan.

Aya set up the 'UJJI hour' for individuals every week and combined it with with one-on-one feedback and group sessions led by the L&D team to promote a more granular look into individuals' career progression. This was key to analyse how internal knowledge sharing was going through to the application of practical learning.

"Now, learning and developing yourself has become quite consistent because you know it is part of the work system, it is part of the workflow." Roselyn, Quality Assurance Lead at Aya Data

“Normally, I would have to designate a specific time for learning. But now, every morning, I watch a video in the UJJI app.” — Dorcas, Data Specialist at Aya Data

Each Aya Data team has its own leaderboard, showcasing progress and achievements. This added a competitive element to the learning experience, motivating employees to surpass their own limits.

“Not only do I feel more relaxed, but I also feel more confident, like I’m on top. I’m not seeing anyone getting close to me on the UJJI leaderboard, so I feel good to be leading the whole thing.” — Michael, Data Specialist at Aya Data

Leadership's commitment set the stage and UJJI’s proprietary methodology added a thrilling dynamic to the learning experience, motivating employees to surpass their own limits. To a point in which adoption translated into engagement whilst keeping retention at an all-time high. The Aya team has truly made UJJI a part of their work routine which is proven by the incredibly high 90% 90-day retention rate. This means 9 in 10 employees were using UJJI to develop themselves weekly still after 3 months of implementation.

The results: driving incremental team progression via new skill sets acquired in a cost-efficient manner

In a scale-up world in which career progression and training takes the back seat and ends up being kicked down the road, Aya, In collaboration with UJJI, turned learning & development a collective journey where teams aspired to reach new heights together.

Aya capitalised on their teams' innate desire for learning and development. Realising that Aya culture was underpinned by individuals motivated to continue their professional growth journeys, they wanted to equip them with the tools to make that growth possible.

"I’m learning a lot in a few minutes or seconds, so I can learn, adjust in real life and then move on to learning something new. It’s more effective." Dorcas, Data Specialist at Aya Data

Over the period of Aya’s first three months utilising UJJI, 195 pathway completion certifications have been issued across the business. This is an average of 1.6 certificates per person. There have been however a few UJJI heavy users amongst Aya that went above and beyond to achieve new heights adding 8 certificates to their professional development milestone wall. Congratulations to Aya’s life-long learners!

On an annual starter plan, the business is paying £4.99 per employee/month. Having navigated 510 hours of training throughout their first three months on the UJJI platform, simple maths show Aya is paying £4.70 per hour of training considering their 120 employees. On average, however, employees went through 4.3 hours of training on average. This means Aya ended up seeing close to 5x the value of their training & development with UJJI. That’s the bang for the buck right there!

Beyond ROI, after just three months of UJJI scale-up specific training applied to the business, Aya leaders have already been able to see the needle moving, quite literally, following our “Move the Needle” metrics, as per the chart below.

Compared to initial scores, by leveraging UJJI, Aya has delivered exceptional high standards, matching their business growth with the personal growth of their team.

Additionally, the enhancement of individual skill sets, Aya Data's commitment to learning has positively impacted how employees perceive the company. The message was clear: Aya Data cares deeply about its employees' growth and development.

"It has affected my perception of Aya in a positive way because now I know the company is helping me grow and acquire knowledge, and it's a good thing." — Dorcas, Data Specialist at Aya Data

Dorcas’ words reflect a sentiment echoed by many at Aya Data. The investment in learning was a tangible demonstration of care, and it had a profound impact. Employees feel valued, supported, and empowered to take charge of their own growth journey.

And with this came leaders’ great satisfaction in implementing UJJI as their training & development solution across their scaling business. A whopping 9.5 Net Promoter Score has been issued to UJJI by Aya Data’s management team. Not bad when compared to the 64% E-Learning NPS industry benchmarks, right?

Need support extracting the A-game of your teams?

We can work with you unlock your team’s full potential in our fast-paced work environments. UJJI’s easy and fun e-learning experience helps teams develop skills around problem solving, productivity, communications leadership and adaptability. Check out this short video or book a demo with our team now!

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