In the coming months, we’ll be having “conversations” with our consultants about their background in learning and development, the Xprtise projects that make them proud, and their vision on the greatest challenges in Learning & Development in the coming years. This time, it’s our consultant Neeltje de Ruijter’s turn. Neeltje is a consultant and project manager with over five years of experience in designing, developing, and implementing Performance Support solutions and training programs. Within the team, Neeltje focuses mainly on the product development and technology of the Performance Support solutions that Xprtise offers.
Who? Neeltje de Ruijter (43).
What? Consultant en Projectmanager bij Xprtise sinds 2014.
Where? Xprtise NL, ’s Hertogenbosch.
“I know what’s going on with our clients and can immediately translate that into concrete solutions.”
I live in the center of ’s Hertogenbosch with my boyfriend and two girls (one is 4 and the other 9 months). I completed two study programs: Management Economics and Law, and teacher training. This combination ensured that after a few detours, among others in financial services (as an assistant investment manager, I gave investment advice to wealthy individuals), I went to work for a cheese company. That’s where I made the switch to Learning & Development. Everything fell into place there. On the one hand, there was the link to the business process side, and on the other there was the transfer of knowledge that helped colleagues do their work better. Providing training alone had no effect, which is why we started Performance Support (PS) at the time. Once that was running successfully, I went to work for Alfred Remmits [CEO of Xprtise – ed.] and could focus completely on PS workplace learning. Since then, my role has broadened: besides implementing performance support solutions, I’m also involved in the product development of AskDelphi, a software platform that allows users to perform effectively and independently when they need it the most. I think this combination is great! I know what’s going on with our clients and can immediately translate that into concrete solutions. Alrijne Healthcare Group is a wonderful example of that.
What gives you the most energy? What is your passion?
From a personal perspective, it’s the people around me: my children, my boyfriend, family, and friends. To me, being together – while enjoying a delicious bite and drink – is the ideal way to spend my free time. And I like to make that delicious bite myself, as cooking is a big hobby. Work-wise, I get my energy mainly from working with our clients to find the best solutions to their L&D issues, and working towards a result that they themselves are very proud of. The challenge for me lies in offering the right support at the right moment, so that employees become experts in what they do. Our 5 Moments of Need™ approach in combination with the AskDelphi software platform works so well, and because I’m closely involved in the product development of AskDelphi, I can always offer the best-suited solution to the client. That gives me energy!
In 2008, you made the switch to Learning & Development. What makes this field so interesting to you?
I think it’s an interesting business because I can help people and organizations concretely by providing clarity in what they have to do in terms of learning and development. We see that there’s often a return to learning solutions that focus solely on formal learning moments, like classical training or e-learning. Often, too little attention is paid to applying what was learned in the actual workplace. That doesn’t work. I also find it challenging to develop and implement solutions with organizations that specifically take the “application of what has been learned” as a starting point. That results in solutions that cover the whole learning process, and especially learning in the workplace. This way, not only do I help the employees in their work, but more importantly, I also help the organization to realize improvements so that they can work more efficiently.
What do you think is Xprtise’s distinguishing characteristic?
What makes Xprtise unique is Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson’s 5 Moments of Need™ methodology that we work with. Within the 70:20:10, we can really shape the 70: learning and performing in the workplace. It’s a proven successful method that can be applied in every company and organization. Together with a dedicated team, we offer a wonderful track record to (international) clients and work on projects that really matter.
You work for a lot of different clients. Can you indicate which project you’re most proud of?
Alrijne Healthcare Group is a real showpiece for me. In close collaboration with Alrijne, we put together a fantastic learning strategy where content and technology really come together. Using the 5 Moments of Need™ methodology, we worked on hospital-specific learning solutions for Nursing Math where Performance Support and Adaptive Learning come together. The result: a clear training program and motivated nurses.
Besides Alrijne Healthcare Group, I’m also proud of the product development of the AskDelphi software platform that we work with. I’m involved from the “drawing board” to the actual implementation. We’ve created an innovative, modern interface that’s completely Performance Support: a nice fresh look with super functionality. We’re taking great steps to meet everyone’s personal needs.
I’m also involved in a number of projects in the US. I’m proud of my role in a project for a leading company in the technology and security industry. They use our AskDelphi platform worldwide.
What do you think the greatest challenges will be in L&D in the coming years?
It’s about personalization, so: take the individual into account! Nowadays you often see that employees are offered e-learning and other methods that don’t fit their learning needs. Either they already know it, or they don’t need it in their function. As far as I’m concerned, we need to ask ourselves the question: “How can we, in the most optimal way, personalize all the information that people need to perform their tasks, and offer them precisely what meets their individual learning needs?” Namely, there’s no uniform path for every employee. Everybody has different skills and knowledge, and therefore different needs. So how can you properly fulfil individual learning needs? What do they have to know, what do they already know and what would they like to delve into, and at what moment do they need it?