SPOTLIGHT: Janet Stewart Is Transforming Corporate Training
WeLoveLearning Canada, led by Founder and CEO Janet Stewart, along with her team of experts, designs, builds and deploys really awesome digital learning solutions to close the gaps in employee performance issues that cost companies money and opportunities. As Instructional Designers they take an organization’s content and bring it to life in innovative ways that provide its customers with the just-in-time training that they need to be successful.
From post-course “boosting” to interactive on-line courses for the asynchronous environment and hybrid projects that include Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions, WeLoveLearning Canada stays ahead of the curve and brings innovative solutions to its clients.
Janet Stewart, WeLoveLearning Canada’s Founder and CEO, has more than 30 years of experience as a learning professional, has a Diploma in Adult Education, and is a skilled panel facilitator. She is one of Canada’s leading instructional designers of leading edge, behaviour-based change initiatives, using the full spectrum of on-line learning options available in today’s industry.
WBE Canada President Silvia Pencak sat down with Janet Stewart to learn more about her and her business.
Silvia: Tell us about you. What was your journey that brought you to WeLoveLearning Canada?
Janet: I’ve always been an entrepreneur…I even had the best-run lemonade stand in the neighbourhood as a kid and my first real business with a profit/loss sheet was in college. In the early years of my career I worked in the training departments of large organizations but I had positions that functioned like a small business within the larger corporation. During that time, I also had a small business on the side and taught evenings and weekends at the local college. I established my full time training corporation 20 years ago, designing and delivering in-person training programs for both public and private sector clients. 14 years ago, I led my company through the transition to the eLearning space and I’ve never looked back. Today, if a company is not including online learning solutions within their employee and customer training programs, they’ll be left behind.
Silvia: How did WeLoveLearning begin – what problems does your business solve?
Janet: By understanding that all businesses have information that is proprietary to them – information about their internal processes, practices, policies and/or products. And they have a need to train their employees and/or customers on this information. They can’t just go out and readily buy the training on these topics – it has to be custom-built for them. I saw the need and that’s what we do – we build really awesome eLearning solutions that help them close the knowledge and skills gaps. As a result, their businesses enjoy higher productivity and profitability.
Silvia: Who are your customers – how does eLearning benefit them?
Janet: Because our expertise is in designing really awesome eLearning solutions, we are able to work across all industries and all topics of training. Our eLearning solutions make training and education more accessible to more persons, regardless of their geographic location or economic status. With our help, companies are able to provide just-in-time training right in the workplace, even when it might be in a remote location. We design training for deployment on all types of devices from big screen desk-top computer to mobile devices in the field. We can even embed training right onto a piece of machinery using augmented reality.
Silvia: Where are you today and what’s next for WeLoveLearning?
Janet: We continue to grow our domestic and international operations. COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to the digital economy and all companies are now starting to see the benefit of highly-available online learning solutions. Employees and customers still need to be trained and WeLoveLearning is perfectly positioned to help companies transform their in-person training sessions into online learning experiences.
Silvia: Why do you like being an entrepreneur – what advice would you give to other women business owners who are just starting out?
Janet: I really love becoming a client’s partner in learning. I love helping solve problems. I love creating new and innovative ways of building and deploying learning solutions. I love technology. And I love that the training and technology industries are now completely intertwined. There has never been a better time in history to create really awesome eLearning. Any woman who is thinking of starting a business needs to be ready to learn lots of new skills and knowledge that is outside of their industry.
It’s one thing to be good at what you do, but running a business requires that you know something about marketing, sales and book-keeping for example. In the early years, you will be all of these roles and you have to be willing to learn them and take them on. Any entrepreneur needs to be committed to life-long learning – there is no finish line.
Silvia: What is your key to success?
Janet: I have a thirst for innovation every day. To me, learning a new software, skill or task is not a chore, but rather a wonderful adventure. Each day, when I wake up, I spend the first hour of my morning surfing the Internet, learning new things. Some days it’s just the news that informs me, but most days I will also pick up a new skill or knowledge of something that is leading-edge. It doesn’t even have to be directly related to my industry. But every day I collect new knowledge. This habit has my brain trained to be constantly looking for new opportunities to use that knowledge…and as a result, as I go through my day, week, month, year and have conversations with business owners and executives, my mind makes meaningful connections and together we end up generating exciting ideas for progress in their companies. I think of myself as a ‘partner in learning’ – and I actively invest time in earning and keeping that privilege.
Silvia: Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our community?
Janet: There is a lot of bad eLearning out there – PowerPoint presentations that have been recorded and posted, for example. While the topics may be interesting, the approach is a passive one and that means that the retention rates of your employees and customers is sure to be low. Your company deserves better. We will work with your Subject Matter Experts to gather the information and create effective eLearning solutions that meet the needs of your target audience, served up to them in a meaningful way. eLearning provides a spectrum of digital choices – let us help you make the right one.
About WBE Canada
WBE Canada is a Canadian non-profit organization that is opening doors for women-owned businesses to supply chains across North America. It certifies Canadian firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and introduces them to opportunities with corporations. To learn more about how we support women-owned businesses, click here. If you are a mid-size or large company looking to support women-owned businesses through procurement opportunities, we want to hear from you. Click here to learn more how you can get involved.