Yarno transforms workplace learning by improving how businesses educate their employees
Client | Yarno
|THE CHALLENGE||THE OUTCOME|
|Drafting a curriculum that was compliant with industry standards as well as an employee share scheme to motivate team members.||A curriculum drafted to meet industry standards and an employee share scheme that met the requirements of the management team.|
Just because someone works in a marketing team, it doesn’t mean they’re on top of all the digital skills and trends that enable them to do their job.
Yarno was founded in 2015 with their first solution, but did not go to market until the beginning of 2017. Their first digital product was a series of video courses. They were developed to close the skills gap between those who work in digital and those who work in marketing. Unfortunately the market didn’t see this as a big enough problem. Customers didn’t want to purchase the product and it was addressing an issue that only concerned a very niche market.
So Yarno decided to pivot.
The team created a survey to understand a bit more about the training challenges that L&D managers (and managers in general) were having. So they then went out to meet every learning and development manager they could. They sought advice on the pain points facing their companies with training. After 103 interviews with managers who worked in learning and development in various companies, the team realised that it wasn’t just digital skills that was a problem. It was embedding training and measuring its effectiveness in general that was a challenge in corporate environments.
So Yarno applied the results of the interviews to pivot to their current product offering – a performance tool that transforms training into small bites of gamified quiz-based learning.
After the first 25 interviews with learning and development managers, the Yarno co-founders took a mock-up of their tool back for feedback. They sought ongoing feedback to further develop their product. After all, these executives would ultimately be their customers. Every time they conducted an interview, they refined their product offering. By the end of the process, several clients signed up for the pilot program immediately.
The biggest challenge during their research period was trying to create a product that would make a real difference. Yarno wanted the corporate market to see that employees were disengaged with the learning and development of their business. Yarno had to convince senior management in the value of the training product. The underlying business proposition was to prove return on investment. It was also to prove there would be a change in behaviour as a result of using Yarno.
Today, the team adopt the same approach when working with potential new customers – they spend the first few meetings understanding their pain points before even demonstrating their product. They have a list of companies who have signed up to use their performance tool. Now, employees are more engaged with training and compliance.
“You’d be surprised how many people are willing to be involved if you’re not trying to sell them something. Our honest requests for help ended up created lasting relationships because people felt invested in what we were doing.”
– Mark Eggers, Co-Founder.
Yarno had two specific legal challenges on their journey.
First, Yarno wanted to know what kind of incentive scheme they could implement for employees. Yarno wanted all its employees to have a share in the company and wanted to make sure they were choosing the right employee share scheme. They’d considered Employee Share Schemes and Phantom Share Schemes. LegalVision discussed their options and explained the respective financial benefits of the options for Yarno. LegalVision then created a Shareholders Agreement and Employee Share Option Plan (ESOP) for the team.
The second challenge was related to the producing off-the-shelf content that Yarno’s customers could drag-and-drop (rather than writing custom questions from scratch). Yarno needed to draft a legally accurate curriculum based on legislation for industry mandatory rules (like bullying and harassment), and other industry-specific legislation.
LegalVision prepared a matrix that would form the basis of the new feature Yarno could use for all current and future clients, which covered:
- the Fair Work Act and Regulations (with a focus on bullying and discrimination).
- equal employment opportunity, bullying and harassment, anti-discrimination, and anti-sexual harassment State and Federal Acts and Regulations;
- State-specific WHS/OHS Acts and Regulations; and
- performance review and management issues.
To make this matrix easy and concise, LegalVision provided a summary of topic areas and key points to be covered.
Along with the ability for their clients to create custom questions, Yarno is now rolling out off the shelf content and more companies continue to sign up. The team is encouraged by the value of having employees engaged with company values, products and information.
Mark’s Startup Tips:
- Join an organisation that will help support you through the journey – these might come from something like the Entrepreneur’s Organisation (EO), a networking organisation or a networking space.
- Celebrate the small wins. We celebrate a new member starting, or signing up a new customer with a team gyros outing. Starting a business can be a daunting process so celebrating milestones with each other helps bring a bit of perspective.
Turning ideas into reality can be challenging. If you have any questions about how to involve your team in your startup, or you need to create bespoke agreements, get in touch with LegalVision’s business lawyers by calling 1300 544 755, or fill out the form on this page.
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