Wellstar Health Improves the Employee Experience through Innovative LMS Governance


Imagine that you’ve just been hired into a new job, but due to training you can’t really start your actual duties for a week and a half. Now add to this the fact that you’re a healthcare worker whose expertise is very much in need. This was the scenario at Wellstar Health System prior to the start of its learning management system (LMS) governance initiative.

As a customer of multiple SAP SuccessFactors solutions, Wellstar is familiar with the power of SAP and knew it could be getting more out of its SAP SuccessFactors Learning solution. Danielle Mecum, manager of Learning Technology at Wellstar, believed that improved governance of the system was part of the road to getting there. “When governance is lacking, the employee experience suffers,” Mecum explained.

With a nursing background, she knew firsthand the need to get new hires trained properly and quickly, and that reducing the time from hire to actual work was key. She added, “In addition to our non-clinical employees, our medical employees were taking longer to get to the patient floors to start providing care because of how the required onboarding training was organized and set up. There were inaccurate training assignments, courses not marked as required, and, in some cases, no required-by dates.”

In addition, users said that their learning assignments were too cluttered and disorganized, Mecum explained. And there were instances where new employees would get to a patient floor and realize that they were not able to enter a patient’s chart, for example, because a course hadn’t been assigned to them in the correct sequence.

The need to get employees onboarded faster could have been enough to justify the governance project, but to add to the complex nature of the project – and completely out of Wellstar’s control – the organization faced the impending deprecation of Flash content and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help tackle this challenge, Wellstar decided to work with its customer engagement executive to start a solution adoption engagement. This type of engagement is intended to provide recommendations to a customer to help them create an action plan to optimize their use of their system – in this case SAP SuccessFactors Learning. A recommendation came out of this engagement that confirmed the needed for the governance initiative.

Mecum’s nursing background helped her understand the urgency of the situation. She and her team looked at the issues already discussed and began to build a governance model. For example, they instituted a content life cycle management process that incorporated a formal method for requesting the creation of new items, curricula, and assignment profiles. In addition, they implemented an ongoing review procedure that included automated notifications to course owners to review material that had reached expiration. Additionally, Wellstar leveraged and configured custom fields within SAP SuccessFactors Learning to track key data and report on it from within the system to ensure compliance with the new governance process.

Other governance steps included reviewing and consolidating LMS admin roles to ensure the right administrators had the right permissions to perform administrative tasks as appropriate in the system – without giving them freedom to add to the problem at large. A formal process for vetting new LMS administrators was created to ensure they weren’t simply giving just anyone these permissions. “We knew we needed to define what goes into the system, so we could control what comes out. This helps when we need to get rid of old, outdated courses,” Mecum explained.

These changes, among others, were implemented as part of the governance initiative. The result is that Wellstar is now reaping greater benefits from SAP SuccessFactors Learning and, most importantly, employees now have an improved experience with the system. Frustration levels are down and new hires are able to start their actual jobs much sooner than before – in three days rather than a week and a half!

Learn how an LMS can help your organization.

Mark Tarallo is a solution marketing fellow for SAP SuccessFactors.