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Unum scales manager development with Torch

Unum, a leading provider of financial protection benefits in the US and UK, leverages Torch’s Collaborative Learning to develop and empower managers to lead the company through innovation and change.

Create a manager development program that will lay the foundation for every Unum manager to be able to effectively lead the company forward.

Program Needs

  • Integrate with busy schedules
  • Enable peer to peer learning
  • Ability to make real-time updates
  • Create a habit of learning

Leverage Torch software to build, deliver and scale the Unum Manager Academy that integrates experts, facilitation, and content.

Key Results
On track to scale program 9x in year 1
75% increase in participant confidence and usage of key concepts after the pilot program

Solution: Learning made social

Leveraging Everwise’s Academy Builder, Unum launched a 6-week pilot course on “Interpersonal Effectiveness” for 50 managers. The curriculum encouraged peer to peer interaction and could be consumed in about one hour per week, allowing for bite-sized but ongoing, social learning. The program  was structured through a mix of individual and group assignments, internal and external resources, and practical challenges to drive engagement. Peer groups fostered connections and discussion between experienced and newer managers. Learners are always encouraged to share insights and learnings with each other.

Solution: Measuring and encouraging engagement

The facilitation and reporting tools provided in the software enabled Unum to measure ongoing program engagement, keep discussions moving towards desired outcomes, and guide the participant experience throughout. The program is moderated by an experienced Unum leader who serves as a coach and facilitator. Facilitators can ask questions, encourage the group to stay on track with learning, and share their own expertise. The reporting dashboard enables the program director and facilitator to quickly measure engagement across all or by individual groups and offer support to those who are less-engaged.

“Watching activity in the peer group space is like an ongoing focus group to see what’s resonating, where learners might be struggling, and where you can improve resources – directs you to topics where deeper dives might be helpful.”

Kim Bolton, Program Director


The managers who went through the training program found great value in further developing their management skills and seeing their impact to the business. The manager feedback below showcases the speed of impact, lessons in leadership, and accountability.

  • “I realized how to use my communication style to greater advantage to achieve business results and I’m seeing a difference already.”
  • “I am brand new to a leadership role, so having an outlet and resources for me to read and work through for my development was what I needed.”
  • “It’s very difficult to find time in your day to focus on yourself when the needs of your people and business tend to take over. I hope there are more opportunities for leaders like this in the future.”

A successful pilot

With the success of this pilot, Unum is now rolling out 4 courses (Interpersonal Effectiveness, Elevating Performance, Strategic Decision-making, and Leading through Change) to all managers in a phased approach, all powered by Torch’s software.

What’s Next

Unum will be building out more high-level competencies training throughout this year and will use the interactions observed in the peer groups and feedback from this program to inform that build.

Interested in seeing what Torch can do for your company?