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Home / Resources / Sponge & AstraZeneca Win bronze at the 2021 Brandon Hall HCM Excellence Awards!

Sponge & AstraZeneca Win bronze at the 2021 Brandon Hall HCM Excellence Awards!


Sponge and AstraZeneca have won a coveted Brandon Hall Group Bronze award for excellence in the Best Use of Social/Collaborative Learning category. Sponge & AstraZeneca’s win was announced on 19th August 2021.

The 2021 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards are given for work in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, Human Resources, Sales Performance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Future of Work.

Global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca is committed to being a great place to work where everyone feels respected, supported and safe.  Embedded within their corporate value, ‘We Do the Right Thing’, is a desire for employees to Speak Up throughout the organisation. Working together, AstraZeneca and Sponge created a social learning campaign modelling a Speak Up culture in its entirety, from empowering people in everyday situations, to tackling sexual harassment and bullying.

The social channel Workplace by Facebook enabled the campaign, with high uptake, global participation and a striking increase in confidence to Speak Up at work.

“Our brains like novelty and so we decided to surprise our learners and bring learning to a space where we knew conversation and collaboration was already happening at AstraZeneca. We designed a social media campaign that piqued our learner’s curiosity and then kept them actively learning across multiple touchpoints. We were delighted with the way our informal learning space lit up with comments and discussion around the globe.” Michelle Roodt, Sponge Learning Experience Consultant

“Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards in 2021 provide much-needed and well- deserved recognition to organizations that went above and beyond to support their stakeholders during the unprecedented disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brandon Hall Group COO and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program Rachel Cooke. “The awards provide validation of best practices in all areas of HCM at a time when they have never been more important to employers, employees and customers.”

Entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts and executives based upon these criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation and overall measurable benefits.

About Sponge

Sponge is a world-leading digital learning provider, on a mission to enhance learning experiences with top-notch workplace training for some of the largest brands across the globe.

With creativity, learning science and technology, Sponge solves multiple business challenges across various business sectors, including pharmaceutical, technology, financial and professional services, retail, automotive, manufacturing and engineering, and FMCG.

Sponge Group offers consultancy, bespoke digital learning, cutting-edge learning technology and ready-to-go elearning courses. They also have a cloud-based learning management system, Spark, enabling in-depth analytics.

The Group includes microlearning specialists Skill Pill, with a particular strength in leadership and management skills training, and a library of over 500 off the shelf modules available in over 20 languages. Sponge has recently acquired Idox Compliance, headquartered in Berlin, which strengthens the Group’s presence in Europe and their highly specialised compliance offering.

The company is a trail blazer in the digital learning industry, winning more than 30 awards in the last 16 years, among which Learning Provider of the Year 2019, and Best Advance in Compliance Training (Silver) Brandon Hall Award 2019.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in the following therapy areas - Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism and Respiratory. AstraZeneca’s innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.