Weir Group - Using empathy videos for Inclusion and Diversity digital learning

Weir is one of the world’s leading engineering businesses specialising in providing highly engineered equipment used in mining and infrastructure markets. The business, which is headquartered in Glasgow, employs more than 11,000 people in over 60 countries.  

In partnering with Sponge, Weir has found an elearning provider whose solutions empower its workforce to do exceptional work. 

Weir is committed to building an inclusive culture that is built on not only the diversity of its employees but also on the pride and passion of all its colleagues around the world. In their ‘We are Weir’ framework, they focus on the importance of their people and the contribution they make to the organisation. They want Weir to be a place where people can be themselves, feel respected and heard and where they can do the best work of their life. 

Weir wanted to create an engaging learning module aimed at helping each and every employee think about the difference they can make as Weir continues to develop a more inclusive environment, as well as a comprehensive Weir elearning program, which will correspond to the company's training needs. 

Through various employee voice channels, including in their global employee survey, Weir employees shared their desire to see the business become an even more inclusive and diverse place to work. The Board and Group Executive agree that this is critically important to the future success of Weir.

Sponge’s solution for Inclusion and Diversity elearning at Weir Group 

For a learning audience of over 11,000 members of The Weir Group, at every level, in all global locations and across all operational segments, Sponge created and delivered one 30-minute elearning module and three silent empathy videos. The responsive elearning module, built in Adapt, showcases the points of ‘We Are Weir’ framework: 

  • Importance of people and the contribution they make 
  • Nurturing Weir’s unique culture  
  • Sharing a common sense of purpose  
  • Taking responsibility for shared success

Using silent empathy videos in digital learning

The silent empathy videos explore what it is meant by the tagline ‘Being You and Belong’, ‘Bringing Your Whole Self to Work’ and ‘It’s Okay to Ask’. They highlight how developing self-awareness enables better teamwork, encourage employees to ask for help, voice their opinions and speak up in an environment where every voice counts. 

The videos connect with the learners through the emphasis placed on human angle: the emotion is captured through facial expressions and body language. By exploring universal recognition of emotion played on people’s faces, learners are able to identify with characters and achieve a connection, regardless of where in the world they are coming from.  

Emotional responses elicit a greater engagement, as it allows for humans to relate to other humans, triggering a response by mimicking and empathy, so that the elearning feels less like training and more like everyday situations in which anyone can find themselves in. As they were filmed on Weir’s locations, with the signage and the branding clearly visible, the videos also foster a deep sense of belonging. 

With this type of storytelling, translation for the videos were not needed. They were designed to transcend language barriers and connect with different cultures.


Sponge's Solution for The Weir Group


Harnessing the power of digital learning for Inclusion and Diversity

The digital learning module promotes the idea of harnessing the power of inclusion and diversity on all levels, where everyone has a role to play - from team members and hiring managers, to senior leadership. As an optional extra, learners can write their own inclusion and diversity pledge, which can remain private if they so choose, or they can share it on their internal channels using the hashtag #Ibelong. The bespoke elearning module was translated into 19 languages. 

The learning outcomes of this campaign can be seen in the benefits for the Weir Group employees worldwide. At the end of the module, the learners will have: 

  • Strengthened understanding of and commitment to Inclusion & Diversity 
  • Awareness of their own part to play in creating an inclusive atmosphere 
  • Confidence to be themselves in the workplace   
  • Sense of belonging as the inclusion training is relevant to them 
  • Connection on an emotional level through the power of positive outcomes

Results of the learning experience

The measurements of success of this elearning initiative were: 

  • A high uptake of employees accessing the training  
  • Evidence of the module sparking conversation and thinking amongst employees, as seen through the feedback in the global employee survey, and an increase in I&D related conversation on Yammer 
  • Anecdotal feedback on the design, format and impact of the training which was seen as engaging and relevant to all employees  


The employee experience of inclusion in the workplace continues to strengthen across all diverse teams that make up The Weir Group worldwide.

The approach to learning course devised by Sponge - one that emotionally connects with the human need to belong to a community - has validated the need for bespoke elearning that corresponds to the unique needs of a multinational company with a diverse workforce.


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