Lindsay Markle, Human Resources

Learning and Development Consultant, HR, Manulife Financial

“Technology can do a lot to bridge the gap!”

Lindsay designed and pitched an online leadership training program reducing the need for staff to travel, saving considerable time and money for Manulife. The training was originally a classroom function, and she had to learn how to translate that into a web-based format heavily integrated with social media learning. It's an area of training and development that is referred to as "Instructional Design" i.e. designing training programs.  “I actually built a training program that we could use in the online format. This was done in PowerPoint which works in the online venue I wanted to present it in.” Using WebEx as the platform, all Manulife employees were then able to access this training and leadership information. She not only recognized a need to have universal training through technology, but also the value in being able to bring employees together from across Canada as well as from international offices. “Technology can do a lot to bridge the gap!”

Lindsay’s CareerMash

Lindsay’s background and passion is HR, but she saw an opportunity to use IT for training. She didn’t study computer science but when she got to Manulife she saw that they weren’t using technology for online leadership development. She took a chance and pitched her leadership training program that would provide valuable information as well as make it more accessible by being online.

A Day in the Life

Lindsay’s day is full of interacting with her team where they bounce ideas off one another. “My job is full of variety, never dull, and my days never look the same.”

Lindsay’s online training program has expanded its use to meetings and she’s also begun to explore new kinds of software to make it look different.  “It has also spurred me on to continue looking at new ways of using technology for learning.  Social networks are one way. Expanding the offerings of online learning that we have is another.”

Why this Job Rocks

Lindsay always wants to help people and, when her ideas make someone’s job easier, she feels great!

Roadmap

  • Lindsay graduated with a degree in english and political science from Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • After graduating, she did an HR internship at the university for four months.
  • Lindsay moved to Ireland and worked in the legal and regulatory area of a large telecom company. She was surprised that this massive global company was not using technology to connect employees in different countries.
  • Lindsay went to South Korea and taught English for a year. Having these varied life experiences have given her an edge.
  • She got a job at Manulife in 2006 and worked her way up to learning and development consultant  in talent management.

Speed Bumps

  • At Manulife, she pitched her online training idea in 2008 before the financial markets were in crisis.  During the financial crises, Manulife looked at more economical ways of offering development to leaders.  When she pitched it again, as a cheaper option, and they approved it.
  • Technology is constantly changing and it’s hard to stay on the cutting edge of things. Right now Lindsay is in a test group on how to use social media for training.

Tips for Success

  • Get involved. Whether it’s being a part of your high school student council or participating in community work, Lindsay believes getting involved builds dynamism in people.
  • Try different things. Lindsay taught English in South Korea and lived in Ireland for a year.
  • Find a match. Pick a company that will give you what you need to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Lindsay still finds time to travel, is an avid runner and does volunteer work.
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