DIV. 1

Chris Bower

Global Director, GM Center of Learning

When General Motors’ Chevrolet brand marketing team faced the challenge of preparing its sales force for the launch of seven new vehicles in 2017, it teamed up with GM’s Center of Learning and GP Strategies to brainstorm a ride-and-drive event that would provide hands-on training in an “experiential way.” In a highly competitive market, providing educational and motivational training is key to preparing sales consultants to discuss and compare the product to its competitors.

With that in mind, the team, led by Chris Bower, collaborated to come up with “Find New Roads Tour,” a five-city tour developed to create an exciting experiment around the new products and provide insights to share with their dealerships. The team began by analyzing the overarching learning strategy for all new product launches developed by the Center of Learning two years ago, including gaining awareness, building knowledge, putting into practice and accessing the details. The final design included three major components: hands-on driving experiences, interactive learning labs and the Possibilities Pavilion.

To enroll in the event, salespeople were able to view a video via an enrollment website and then register to sign up. Those enrolled were provided hotel and travel information as well as agendas for the dealer and sales consultant events. The events included 50 staff, 130 vehicles, tires, tents and more, with limited downtime, but paid off: More than 6,500 dealer managers and sale consultants attended.

Chevrolet has since seen the success of the event, with monthly unit sales gains of 1.9 percent in the four months following the tour (compared to the 0.3 percent gain to those who did not attend), totaling $49 million in gross profits to GM.

— Brooke Pawling

▲ Brenda Sugrue

Global Chief Learning Officer, EY

London-based EY was in need of a new strategy initiative to help reach their goal of becoming the leading global professional services organization. With a lack of comprehensible and accessible data, the strategy initiative created four years ago had to get an upgrade to meet the company’s goal of increasing market share, brand and revenue and enabling the organization to continue thriving.

Brenda Sugrue stepped in to help develop a measurement strategy that included a new program evaluation framework and methodology. The framework’s elements were developed in consultation with a firm specializing in measuring the business impact of learning, and included business alignment, readiness, quality and consumption, according to the company application. Within this framework were four phases — satisfaction, learning, application and business impact — where a qualitative and quantitative study was conducted to extract accurate data on program participants.

With 50,000 employees impacted by this specific initiative, EY has outperformed external benchmarks and experienced an increased win rate by 22 points.

— Brooke Pawling

Chris Hall

Assistant Commissioner, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Distance Learning Center successfully implemented the practice of installing a test-out option for all mandatory online training. The company’s 65,000 employees must take 58 various online courses that are required for annual completion, but many employees have limited computer access and slow network activity due to being in remote locations. With the help of Chris Hall, the center created this test-out option to verify and record mastery of the test topic with successful results. Now, 16 percent of the total mandatory courses have the test-out option and, according to the company’s application, it has seen $46.8 million in recouped time costs applied to other national security threats and concerns.

— Brooke Pawling

DIV. 2

Parimal Rathod

SVP and Head, Business Impact Group and L&D, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd.

Faced with growth sluggishness across distribution channels, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance Co. Ltd., based in Mumbai, India, was looking to rejuvenate. Various distribution models and networks were explored, and the organization eventually launched a variable agency model — Agency Partner Channel. Intended for mass affluent consumers, the channel has a unique variable compensation structure with a low fixed cost, is capable of a fast distribution scale-up, is self-propagating and has high potential for geographic spread.

A pilot project in two cities resulted in growth in distribution, customer interest, branch traffic and business numbers. The organization then gauged the potential to scale up the channel across the country. However, there were a number of concerns about scalability and sustainability, including a lack of talent availability, building processes and systems, defining roles and competencies across roles, developing recruitment and sales tools, learning and development, and more.

To make the APC scalable, sustainable and profitable, Kotak launched a robust sales enablement structure: the Centre of Excellence. The design of Agency COE enlists all stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, distributors and life advisors. A comprehensive enablement training structure was designed for the entire sales hierarchy, an effort led by Parimal Rathod, senior vice president and head of Kotak’s business impact group and learning and development.

Since its inception in 2012, the channel has seen a compound annual growth rate of 140 percent and 100 percent sales growth year over year. It is No. 1 in new agent licensing across the industry year over year, according to Kotak’s application, and the cost-to-premium ratio was achieved in three years compared with the industry benchmark of seven years. Additionally, it has the highest branch productivity across the industry.

—Ashley St. John

Elizabeth Collins-Calder

Director, Leadership Development, Suffolk

Boston-based Suffolk’s goal is to increase gross revenue from $2.5 billion annually to $5 billion by 2022. To ensure the company can sustain that trajectory, Elizabeth Collins-Calder and team created the Leadership Accelerator Series and Emerging Talent Series to strengthen the company’s pool of capable leaders by focusing on three things: alignment to business priorities, skill development and mentoring nationally.

Both programs are designed to ensure alignment to the firm’s business strategy, according to the company’s application. The LAS focuses on individual sessions such as influencing others, crafting mission, vision and strategy, delegation and situational leadership, and coaching for performance. The ETS focuses on mindfulness, managing your boss, learning the business fundamentals and giving and receiving feedback. This allowed session participants to engage in dialogue and consider different levels of experience, new perspectives and how to strengthen the company’s pool of candidates. The company has since seen the initiative excel with participants’ average ratings for the programs totaling to 4.04 out of 5 and boosting overall employee satisfaction 8 to 10 percentage points higher than the average national benchmark.

— Brooke Pawling

▲ James Mitchell

◄ James Mitchell

VP of Global Talent Management, Rackspace

Faced with a rapidly growing organization and no leadership development program to develop more senior leaders, James Mitchell, along with Rackspace University, facilitated a six-month global program to promote rack managers to senior managers and higher within six to 12 months.

Through learning outcomes such as expanding their Rack Leader Network, participants have had an accelerated progression promotion rate of 8 percent, higher performance ratings and higher engagement scores within the companywide annual engagement survey, according to the company’s application.

— Brooke Pawling

business partnership
DIV. 1

▲ General Motors Center of Learning

General Motors needed to think big to support the learning needs of its 180,000 employees. The automaker wanted to completely revamp its learning business model from something primarily supported by training on a local or regional basis to something that was consistent across the globe. This was vital to correcting the inconsistencies and inefficiencies in training delivery and development in different areas and to effectively create content that could be reused globally.

To accomplish this, GM had to develop successful partnerships with regional learning leaders and business partners. It developed an initiative called the Global Learning Network that consisted of learning leaders from around the world. Several company training leaders traveled to meet face-to-face with regional training leaders in order to understand their training function. From there, GM brought these regional leaders together in a learning workshop to discuss the findings of this tour.

A GLN leader was also chosen to be responsible for communicating global priorities to all regions, deciding how to use GM’s resources, and relaying messages and feedback from the regions to company leaders.

The broader GLN governance group met and developed a clear vision and mission: to build a high-impact learning organization that serves as a globally integrated business partner to deliver excellence in customer experience and drive business results. The group also developed a common learning infrastructure and focused on collaboration from the very beginning to ensure a smooth start. Finally, it partnered with GP Strategies, a Maryland-based company that provides sales and technical training, to help with training delivery.

Thanks to the GLN, regional learning leaders now act under a common mission. It has improved the effectiveness of training, developed a forum in which regional leaders can communicate and share best practices and created a process that allows for the sharing and reuse of training material, which is estimated to have save GM $1 million in costs.

— Andie Burjek

BNY Mellon

Financial service organization BNY Mellon regularly evaluates how its services and offerings align with its clients’ evolving needs, and in 2015 it discovered something new its clients wanted: strategic partnerships to improve complex problem-solving. So, it began on a multiyear journey of transformation.

Executive leadership acknowledged the need to better position the company as its clients’ strategic partner in order to grow and improve its client relationships, and BNY Mellon adopted a set of research-supported best practices called the Client Experience Program in 2016. CEP involves several key components including strategic account planning, active listening, coaching and providing feedback, and creating a common language for client communication. It aims to make the business development process more consistent and transform the relationship with the client. BNY also created a team called the Client Experience Group to help drive the initiative.

The program has received positive feedback, including high levels of engagement from participants and encouraging feedback from clients about how well-prepared the BNY Mellon teams are and how excellent their thought-processes are in tackling problems. In addition, BNY employees feel better about the new way they prepare for meetings and are enthusiastic about how much more impactful their client interactions are now.

— Andie Burjek

Dell EMC

Dell EMC Education Services had a problem with training delivery: low net promoter scores for the outsourced partners around the world who take care of customer service. So Education Services partnered with Metrics That Matter in 2017 to deploy surveys and collect data to discover areas of improvement. The analysis found that learners saw training delivery as the main contributor to low NPS and highlighted two critical areas that needed improvement — new-hire training and road map training. Dell EMC Education Services created and launched a new certification framework focused on learner experience and providing extensive feedback so that trainers can improve the training they deliver. As a result of this initiative, NPS improved by 24 percent over the course of the year.

— Andie Burjek


After it was acquired by Everise Holdings in December 2016, C3, or Customer Contact Channel, needed to redefine its organizational culture. C3 provides outsourced customer management solutions and developed an initiative called Progressively Achieving Career Experience. PACE identified and provided learning content for five key roles at C3 — agent, supervisor, trainer, quality assurance representative and workforce management — and was developed to fill positions internally.

PACE has proven to be a success for new employees getting used to the organization and its culture and for older employees interested in career progression. Meanwhile, its library of 326 custom online courses and 65 instructor-led courses continues to grow.

— Andie Burjek

business partnership
DIV. 2

Alamo Colleges

Most students who attend and graduate from the Alamo Colleges in Texas go on to stay in the area and contribute to the regional economy. However, many of the students at this community college face major hurdles to graduation, such as needing to study part-time because of family and work responsibilities, and completing their degree has often been an elusive goal.

Alamo Colleges, grasping the core belief that its success is measured by the success of its students, developed the Student Success Completion Program in order to increase the number of degrees and certificates that students earn. This required a partnership among the five colleges across the community college network, all of whom worked toward a common goal, known as the Wildly Important Goal, or WIG.

This was a multiyear effort, beginning in 2013, when community stakeholders, the business community and Alamo senior leadership convened to discuss what challenges students were facing and brainstorm potential strategies to address those challenges. In 2015, the college network accelerated the training involved in WIG and achieving those goals. Alamo Colleges cemented WIG’s place from the top down by including it on the agenda of board of trustees meetings and senior leadership meetings and including it in training for both new and current employees. The organization also made sure to publicly celebrate results to boost morale.

Alamo Colleges used to place last in number of degrees and certificates earned across all community colleges in Texas; now it’s taken over as the No. 1 producer of degrees. That’s a change from 7,147 degrees/ certificates in 2014 to 12,759 in 2017. The community college network has also seen a rise in employee engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, Alamo Colleges became a member of the Achieving the Dream network, a network of more than 220 community colleges whose goal is to help low-income students and students of color achieve success.

— Andie Burjek

E. & J. Gallo Winery

The future-thinking E. & J. Gallo Winery looked at its manufacturing process and realized it needed to ensure that it would continually have a workforce with the skills needed in a manufacturing environment that is constantly changing due to technological advancements like automation and robotics.

Gallo looked toward high schools and created a talent pipeline program that includes capstone programs for high school students and a manufacturing internship program for recent high school graduates. Part of this strategic workforce development strategy was creating a partnership with several California school districts, including Modesto, Hughson and Turlock, and holding a summit where leaders from these districts could meet with Gallo and start developing plans.

Gallo considered how it could best partner with each individual district rather than creating a one-size-fits-all solution. Two of these programs for different districts include the Manufacturing Practicum for Modesto and the Gateway to Industry Program for Ceres.

Students who complete the high school program can go on to apply for a 12-week internship program and from there are eligible for entry-level manufacturing jobs.

Launched in 2014, the learning initiative has resulted in 230 high school students completing the program. Fifty-nine have become interns and 44 have been placed in permanent positions. Also, the Manufacturing Pipeline Program has grown to support up to 50 interns a year.

— Andie Burjek

Sidley Austin

Attracting and retaining clients is important to any successful lawyer, but the skills involved in this don’t always come naturally, and when a lawyer is handling a high-stakes matter, on-the-job learning just doesn’t cut it. So Sidley Austin’s learning team partnered with firm leaders to create the Litigation Skills Practice Series, a comprehensive, multiyear curriculum that has helped improve the skills of lawyers, paralegals, consultants and more through a mixture of classroom learning, hands-on simulations, personalized feedback and coaching. Since 2016, more than 85 teams and 100 lawyers have participated in this training, and firm leaders have benefited as well and earned nearly 800 hours of continuing legal education credit.

— Andie Burjek

DIV. 1

Mariam Kakkar

Chief, Talent Development Unit, United Nations Development Programme

The United Nations Development Programme is one of the oldest and largest U.N. agencies, working to eradicate extreme poverty, reduce inequalities, and ensure sustainable economic and social development in more than 170 countries. The Talent Development Unit uses an innovative approach to offer leadership and management learning opportunities to those working for UNDP, independent of their level, their contract status or their location, which is considered a game-changer in the U.N. system, according to the company’s application. Mariam Kakkar helped launch the innovative approach titled Leadership Development for All with the sole objective of driving a culture of continuous learning, innovation and knowledge creation. Additionally, the updated leadership development portfolio, which launched in 2017, added more than 10 new programs across all grade levels.

The Leadership Development Pathway will now include the three-month virtual learning program LDP Foundations; LDP1: Emerging Leaders and LDP2: Future Leaders, a 12-month virtual learning program; LDP4: Executive Education, which includes scholarships for open-enrollment programs at leading business schools; LDP RR, a customized training program for senior leaders of UNDP Country teams; a Women’s Development Programme which is a blended learning program for high-potential female staff; and last, the Senior Executive Programme. UNDP has seen a tenfold increase in reach, advancing from 200 participants in L&D programs in 2016 to 2,000 participants in May 2018. Across the globe, 56 female learners and almost 30 percent of all learners are based in “hardship locations” like Afghanistan, Syria or North Korea, where learning opportunities are low. UNDP saw major success and is now considered the benchmark within the U.N. system for offering inclusive and innovative leadership development.

— Brooke Pawling

Blaire Bhojwani

Sr. Director, Learning Innovation, Hilton

Faced with the business challenge of figuring out how to build empathy in employees who have no hospitality experience without pulling them away from their duties, Blaire Bhojwani helped implement the Business Immersion Virtual Reality Program. The VR-based learning solution combines 360-degree video, 3D objects and animation that fully immerse the learner in hotel operations, according to the company’s application. The first step in this learning initiative was to get stakeholder buy-in at the highest level, but it proved easy with the knowledge that they had a forward thinking CHRO. Next, after storyboarding and getting approval for the strategy, the team held VR 101 workshops for the HR teams and discussed equipment and tested the VR themselves.

After getting some direction, structure and adding necessary revisions such as a VR coach to guide the learner, cheer them on and provide help if needed, the VR Business Immersion was first piloted and then launched at a Hilton Leadership Group meeting in front of 300 senior leaders. After some minor obstacles were figured out, the team streamlined it down to eight tasks and added a checklist. The initiative has shifted expectations of how VR can be used for onboarding, has successfully been used to build empathy for team members and drives business performance.

— Brooke Pawling

Elizabeth MacGillivray

Strategic Learning Leader, Mercer

With the knowledge that increasing its budget was not an option and that learning is a business imperative, Elizabeth MacGillivray and her team at Mercer introduced Micro Experiences and deconstructed learning into 30-minute bites delivered within virtual festivals, according to the company. Micro Experiences offer tasks and assignments people can complete in addition to their usual work, which allows them to explore different parts of the firm. The company adopted a “peer to peer” learning model, a “work fast, fail fast” scrum approach and created a virtual festival framework, which included 30-minute-long interactive sessions delivered by volunteering colleagues. In 2017, the company reported that 6,000 additional hours of learning were recorded at zero cost.

— Brooke Pawling

DIV. 2

Nancy Robert

EVP, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, American Nurses Association

American Nurses Association Enterprises — a professional association and credentialing organization serving 4 million American nurses — is like many other organizations with multiple subsidiaries. Each of these subsidiaries had its own LMS and way for customers to buy content, but it was too difficult for leaders to share content with customers. This created the problem of unengaged learners unable to provide feedback to the organization. Nancy Robert and her team recognized this problem and met it head-on, coming up with the goal of finding a single, simple platform through which customers could access course material from and get more engaged with learning by personalizing it to meet their individual needs based on experience level and circumstances.

“Learner engagement is not a nice-to-have for us; it’s mandatory,” Robert said in the application. ANA Enterprise conducted a comprehensive, 18-month worldwide search before choosing D2L’s next-generation learning experience platform, Brightspace. Robert then had her team and D2L collaborate to restructure learning materials for more personalized, engaging content. Additionally, Robert and her team translated course information from 400 products into smaller chunks, while grouping courses together thematically so learners could ingest it in short bites.

Now, eight outdated delivery systems are combined into a single LMS, impacting 104,000 employees. It has since seen increases to learner customer satisfaction Net Promoter Scores and continues to deliver new, creative ways of learning to its customers.

— Brooke Pawling

▲ Joe Ilvento

Chief Learning Officer, Commvault

In an industry where career development is essential to all employees and outdated skills translate into a competitive disadvantage, Commvault empowered employees and managers to quickly asses, prioritize and develop specific skills with a global business tool. Joe Ilvento and his team’s learning strategy started with a business strategy. The project leveraged a five-phase partnership with the business. Phase one included the creation of job roles and levels and identifying a set of job core competencies, which each had a subset of three to five competencies. Phase two was an innovative strategy and one of the biggest keys to the solution’s success, where vendor-purchased job competencies were the basis of assessment before that was deemed too subjective and a Knowledge, Skills and Abilities/Key Performance Indicator description approach was applied. Phase three was the mapping of individual competency proficiency levels to training, coaching and on-the-job development activities. Phase four saw the launch of the tool in the field. And phase five was a live launch, which has since seen great success. Overall, the company indicates that individual development plans and/or the number of career conversations have increased by 454 percent for those who have completed the program over those who have not.

— Brooke Pawling

Mike Blanchette

Senior Director, Sales Acceleration, Veeam

After being hired by Veeam in early 2017 as senior director of global sales acceleration, Mike Blanchette immediately assessed the learning staff, learning strategies, content technologies and impact on business results. Blanchette’s first step was to create an organizational structure which supported the mantra “Veeam Fast,” as well as implement a major initiative to revamp the new-hire training program. Blanchette reduced the bulky six-month program to a self-guided online platform, according to the company’s application. Sellers are now trained before their quota starts, and this change required the launch of a new LMS with competency mapping and a social learning platform where recorded sales pitches and product demonstrations are viewed and rated by the sales organization.

— Brooke Pawling

Meriya Dyble

Director, Learning Reimagined, ATB Financial

After making the major investment in 2017 to transition 5,300 team members from Microsoft Office to Google’s G-suite as part of its Work Reimagined strategy, Meriya Dyble put her reading skills about peer-to-peer learning to the test. The results were a peer-to-peer learning strategy that taught team members enough competency in the G-suite to reimagine the way they work. Five hundred team members from varying levels across the company were chosen from a self-selected process and were ready to support the change. The results indicate strategic planning, consolidation and reporting are now twice as fast.

— Brooke Pawling

DIV. 1

▲ Damodar Padhi

VP and Global Head of Talent Development, Tata Consultancy Services

Technology and its network effect are changing industries worldwide. That’s something learning and development expert Damodar Padhi has to cope with daily. Our rapidly changing technological environment has resulted in the redesign of Tata Consultancy Services’ business model.

TCS used to educate its workers in classrooms, but that wasn’t enough to keep up with the digitally competent world. Something had to change. To help his 390,000-plus employees become more familiar with new technology, Padhi created a digital learning course called “The Continuous Learning Program.” CLP provides lessons on technologies, domains, leadership, behavior, culture and language. One of its main perks is that employees can use it anytime, anywhere. Therefore, employees can gradually learn and grow their skills.

Through CLP, Padhi successfully completed his goal. He found a way to have an easily accessible program that can teach his employees additional technology skills. The program has many effective features. It includes online courses, videos, gamification and simulations that can be seen on personal devices such as smartphones and iPads. The tools for learning and development are there, and it has generated a positive buzz for TCS.

Employees have gained more than three million competencies across proficiency levels with the help of this program. In addition, more than 350,000 employees have had access to nearly 14,000 learning programs. Customers have started to notice employees becoming more adaptive to technology as well. The customer satisfaction index has increased from 90 to 92 percent in the past three years.

— David Chasanov

Laurie Jeppesen

Global Assurance Learning and Education Leader, PwC

As digital disruption in business is becoming a trend, changes must be made to adapt. Business and people models are rapidly changing. To address this matter, PwC’s Laurie Jeppesen changed her company’s audit training curriculum. The curriculum traditionally involved four programs, each lasting one to two weeks. In Jeppesen’s new initiative, she created 109 training events that could be run separately or together. PwC worked with their key stakeholder group — the Assurance L&E Network — to perform the following: list every topic, replace training overlap and substitute long courses with a flexible solution. This plan was in the works for three years without a budget. With the help of three tools — an interactive Excel feature, a website to access materials and a standardized curriculum for small firms — Jeppesen’s program came to fruition. The curriculum received exceptional firm and participant ratings. In addition, there was an average of only 2.7 attempts to pass the courses. This solidifies PwC’s reputation as a top-tier professional services brand.

— David Chasanov

Alanna Corrigan

Sr. Dir., Corporate Customer Service Training, Air Canada

At Air Canada, there was one lingering issue: Employees had to leave work for a full-day class to complete training. That became problematic, as employee routine and productivity declined. Alanna Corrigan’s corporate training team introduced the Airports Digital Learning initiative so employees could complete training during work hours. This technological training method has its perks. Made in large part to combat the stressors of working in an airport environment, café-style learning stations were developed within airport locations. These stations include comfortable seating, coffee and touchscreens. The initiative has resulted in cost savings and overall satisfaction from Air Canada’s 23,000-plus employees.

— David Chasanov

DIV. 2

▲ Scott Hammond

Senior Manager, Industry Programs, Autodesk

Autodesk’s recent business model change led to an expansion of its Architecture, Engineering and Constructing market. This not only targeted enagement with new companies, but also new roles within those companies. Autodesk’s employees now had to engage an unfamiliar group — company executives. But how? At Autodesk, making good conversation with potential customers is vital to making a sale. Knowing this, Scott Hammond implemented ways to help his salesforce improve their conversation strategies with clients. Hammond’s team identified three challenges in doing this: helping sales and partners engage new customers, creating and delivering appealing content, and helping those involved retain knowledge. To address the first challenge, Hammond created an AEC customer conversation guide. The guide provided sales with resources including customer profiles, buyer challenges and how to conduct an executive conversation. With regard to the second challenge, the team created “insight videos.” These videos are short, mobile and fun pieces of learning content that Hammond’s team could absorb in just 90 seconds. For the third challenge, Hammond took into consideration that his sales team loves competition. So he created a platform that sends out two to three trivia questions per day through a mobile app. After answering the questions, employees explained why their answer was correct or incorrect. Through these three actions, change was made for the better. Partners who took advantage of Hammond’s program had 30 percent more sales opportunities than those who didn’t take the program. To make things better, the trivia platform rose sales’ retention of knowledge from 60 to 80 percent.

— David Chasanov

Kathleen McCutcheon

VP, Human Resources, Tokio Marine HCC

Despite its fast growth, Tokio Marine HCC lacked something very important: leadership development programs. As acquisitions grew, more employees proved less than ideal in terms of leadership. Kathleen McCutcheon came to the rescue. McCutcheon worked with her senior leadership team to create a leadership development function. It required numerous conversations and brainstorming sessions with executives.

The talent development team labeled Tokio Marine HCC in terms of roles and responsibilities. From there, four programs were created. The first program, Foundations of Leadership, was made for newly promoted and newly hired. Next was a program targeting evolving leaders called LEaD, or Leadership Excellence and Development. The third program focused on leaders of business units. Last, the fourth program created development opportunities for senior executives of the organization. These programs are already looking to be a huge success. Findings aren’t fully determined yet, as it will take several years to configure. However, based on early results, 20 percent of participants have received promotions.

— David Chasanov

Lisa Druet

Senior Manager, E. & J. Gallo Winery

In any business, it is imperative that employees are skilled and motivated. To meet this need, Lisa Druet created an advanced manufacturing training center to educate new employees. Her idea was divided into phases including design, construction and benchmarking. The hard work paid off. The center, which is more than 12,000 square feet, consists of three classrooms, a computer lab, a quality lab, multipurpose rooms and a large production simulation environment. Thanks to Druet’s efforts, it is estimated that the training center will reduce time to competency by at least 25 percent and deliver more effective training.

— David Chasanov

Talent Management
DIV. 1

Judith Almendra

Vice President, Human Capital, TTEC

TTEC faced a few challenges surrounding onboarding before Judith Almendra, vice president of human capital at TTEC, led a unified, cross-functional team to fix the problems and transform the onboarding process. Before the initiative, new employees were not receiving adequate equipment and system access on their first day, there was a lack of communication between new employees, the recruiter and the hiring manager when an employee accepted a job offer, and finally, there was a lack of consistent and effective new-hire orientation. The initiative, Onboarding: Creating a Wow Employee Experience, overhauled the existing, ineffective and frustrating employee onboarding process to create a unique, personalized and best-in-class onboarding experience for new global professional and enterprise services employees.

The initiative involved four simultaneous workstreams. The first workstream aimed to automate and standardize by simplifying and re-engineering the provisioning process and creating a streamlined, automated workflow model aligned to support requisitions by predefined user profiles for new employees. The second workstream aimed to connect and engage by creating a new employee, recruiter and manager communication journey map, which detailed new employees’ first-year journey. The third workstream was aimed at orientation. During this phase, they launched a “one-stop shop” on TTEC’s social platform, which included new-employee resources. The team also restructured and launched a new first-day orientation program, including an updated agenda, a CEO welcome video, a site tour, introductions, a one-on-one IT session for laptop setup and more. The fourth workstream focused on the new Year One program — a scalable and self-paced e-learning program distributed automatically during onboarding. Under Almendra’s initiative, the team exceeded their five goals for the program. They achieved an average onboarding eNPS score of plus-56; achieved a new employee onboarding overall evaluation score of 4.7 out of 5 after three months; improved the percentage of provisioning tasks completed on time from 42 percent to 92 percent; reduced provisioning work time by five hours per request; and achieved a 42 percent increase in users on the company’s social media platform.

— Ave Rio

▲ Natasa Prodanovic

Group Talent Director, Coca-Cola HBC AG

Three Fast Forward Programs designed under the guidance of Natasa Prodanovic, group talent director at Coca-Cola HBC AG, supported the company’s growth strategy by accelerating the development of the company’s top talents. The programs aimed to prepare top employees for the transition to the next organizational level by acquiring critical experiences, developing the right leadership mindset and building prioritized leadership skills through blended learning and exposure to senior management. The three programs included: Manage Self to Manage Others, Manage Others to Manage Managers, and Manage Managers to Manage Function. The architecture of the programs involves a mixed learning approach. Specifically, the programs are 70 percent experiential learning, 20 percent collaborative learning and 10 percent formal learning conducted internally through the company’s Leadership and Capability Center of Expertise and selected external partners. Prodanovic’s effort to redesign the fast-track programs, making them more outcome oriented and more focused on development initiatives and investments, resulted in positive improvements to the company’s talent development indicators. The programs doubled the promotability rate of Fast Forward participants.

— Ave Rio

▲ Meredith Oakes

◄ Meredith Oakes

Global Head of Campus Strategy and Pipeline Development, BNY Mellon

BNY Mellon’s self-defined vision is to be an employer of choice for early career talent, building the company’s diverse pipeline of future leaders. Meredith Oakes, global head of campus strategy and pipeline development at BNY Mellon, helped develop a strategy to attract and develop early-career, high-potential talent. Through early relationship cultivation with university students, a rigorous summer analyst program, highly selective rotational leadership programs and creative talent engagement strategies, Oakes helped build a diverse, global pipeline of future company leaders. In 2018, BNY Mellon received more than 8,000 applications for positions offered through its Leadership Pathways programs. The program has a 15 percent applicant increase year over year.

— Ave Rio

Talent Management
DIV. 2

Jim Whiteford

Executive Director, Ally

Ally began with the slogan “Be an Ally for our customers” when the bank launched in 2009 after the Great Recession. Today, the company has a new slogan: Do It Right. According to the company, that means that all Ally employees do for others what they would expect themselves, with a collective desire to improve things and a genuine understanding of what really matters to the customer.

Under Executive Director Jim Whiteford, Ally Auto Finance executed an employee engagement initiative to integrate that brand slogan into company culture. The company captured innovative ideas and uncovered process inefficiencies by asking each employee for suggestions for improvement. To listen to the ideas and suggestions of more than 3,800 Ally Auto Finance employees across the country, 169 workshops were held at 11 job sites. Remote and offshore employee recommendations were captured virtually. In total, more than 3,300 employees (88 percent) participated, which led to more than 1,700 recommendations, many of which are currently being executed. In the collections department, for example, employees asked for a better coaching and feedback model to improve interaction with their team leads. In response, Ally made a significant financial investment in the CBS Management Operating System and 1,199 employees transitioned into this new working call model, which included a training effort to launch and additional departmental training going forward to maintain post-launch.

The initiative had two major positive results. First, employees learned how to infuse the brand slogan into their work, and feelings of pride and belonging to the company increased. Second, organization leaders demonstrated commitment to listening and acting, based on the collective voices of employees, and plan to continue the “Do It Right” initiative, with a new focus for 2018. In total, 98 action plans have been developed and are being executed throughout the company.

— Ave Rio

▲ Helen Rossiter

Sr. Talent Development Specialist, West Marine

West Marine, the world’s largest retailer of everything needed for life on the water, believes the soul of adventure is in the willingness to face challenges. Knowing it had to change to thrive in a new retail environment, the company made a business decision to create a culture that supports continuous learning, growth and development. Helen Rossiter, senior talent development specialist at West Marine, led the senior team to the conclusion that individual development plans would help build a culture of personal development. The IDP process was eventually expanded to create supporting resources for the program, such as a district manager development program, badges, internal job postings, social collaboration groups to develop skills such as visual merchandising and more. In the short-term, associates are more engaged in their day-to-day development. Those on a path to development now have a clearer line of sight to achieve their personal and professional goals. In the long term, IDPs have been successful in the rebranding of West Marine as a company with a culture that supports the continuous learning and development of its employees.

— Ave Rio

Kathleen McCutcheon

VP, Human Resources, Tokio Marine HCC

Kathleen McCutcheon, vice president of human resources for Tokio Marine HCC, recognized the need to create a robust talent development function in the company. She knew building leadership development programs was critical to the continued growth and health of the organization, which had no leadership development programs or strategies in place. Her initiative, Leadership Excellence and Development, or LEaD for short, developed a comprehensive framework for leadership development programs where none previously existed. The program is used to develop and deliver development programs for employees from individual contributors to the C-suite. Two leadership development programs have been implemented and a third is in final development.

— Ave Rio

DIV. 1

John Kusi-Mensah

Assistant Vice President, Distribution Capability Center of Expertise, MetLife

When MetLife found its salesforce productivity wasn’t increasing significantly over time, the company realized it needed to find a more profitable way to handle training.

The Distribution Academy was created by John Kusi-Mensah, assistant vice president of the Distribution Capability Center of Expertise at MetLife. It focuses on the training and development of MetLife and partner sales associates through learning and performance solutions. The main goal is to enhance salesforce proficiency, productivity and performance. The program is a working partnership between global, regional and local units. The Distribution Academy comprises an online core curriculum, a sales curriculum and practical practice of executing a sales task, among others. The training tools provided help employees since they have access to online tools when meeting with customers. A part of the program also includes one-to-one sales skills coaching meetings. These meetings are used for sales managers to review the progress the sales associate has made and whether or not they’ve grasped the key learning points in the online modules.

The Distribution Advantage Platform is the backbone of the program. The platform encourages interactions that enable learners to collaborate for social learning and knowledge exchange, according to the company’s application. It does this through the digital platform that is built on artificial intelligence engines providing users with a unique experience.

Before the introduction of the Distribution Academy, training organizations at the company operated separately from overall enterprise strategy. Learning and development solutions were duplicative and cost the company more than $80 million annually. By integrating the training organizations and making the necessary changes, performance and productivity of sales associates has improved with retention increasing by 10 percent.

— Aysha Ashley Househ

▲ Edward Bell

Director, Dell EMC Education Services

When senior leadership in Education Services at Dell EMC asked the team to expand their knowledge-sharing capabilities to educate more people, they proved they were up to the task.

Companies that have been involved with MOOCs are usually involved externally. Dell EMC Education Services, however, used the EdCast platform to develop and host its own MOOCs. The company was faced with learning and development challenges such as amplifying innovative industry-leading education and reaching a broader audience globally.

The team has produced its learning content through instructor-led training and e-learning. But senior leadership wanted Edward Bell, director of Dell EMC Eductaion Services, and the rest of the technology team to expand educational reach. On a quarterly basis, sales and technical professionals take part in courses. The team realized they could broaden their learning audience by appealing to EMC customers and college students. Now, they learn through recorded videos within modules.

The team also created the Global Services Associate Program — a recruitment, training and mentoring program to provide learning for the next generation of service professionals.

— Aysha Ashley Househ

Paul Lutmer

Global Commercial Learning Leader, GE Corporate

GE Corporate didn’t want its learning program to be generalized. It wanted one that could deliver personalized learning to employees.

To achieve that goal, GE’s learning team, led by Paul Lutmer, global commercial learning leader, uses four learning strategies: going through a decision-based simulation that follows the path of a sales deal flow, receiving feedback for their decisions submitted through the simulation, receiving additional microlearning assets if they get low scores and generating results to show which subskills need more learning investment.

The business moved to unbiased behavioral assessments and provided a learning solution that applies to global employees at a low cost.

— Aysha Ashley Househ

DIV. 2

◄ Walter Davis

▲ Walter Davis

Global Learning Systems and Delivery Manager, Aggreko

Swap out the heavy binders and bring in the digital platform. That’s what Aggreko did in an effort to transition from a training-focused organization to a learning-focused one. The company realized they needed to begin embracing technology.

The Houston-based company created its Be Your Future learning program to create a digital learning experience that is collaborative and engaging, according to its application. To build upon the program, Aggreko teamed up with Guidebook to create “My Guide.” This phone app allows employees to build connections, socialize and collaborate, while allowing them to “be together,” which is one of the company’s core values in the learning journey. Now any learning handouts, handbooks and courses are easily accessible on the app.

The transition from paper to digital has not only helped employees in terms of learning, but it’s also made their meetings with clients easier and more efficient. Instead of carrying a heavy binder with multiple training manuals as they previously did, all the Aggreko employee needs is a digital device when meeting with a client.

“This is an exciting time of digital transformation,” said Walter Davis, global learning and talent technologies manager at Aggreko. “With Guidebook, we’re investing in a smarter, more strategic way. We’re investing in our employees’ futures.”

By the end of the year, Aggreko is on track to offer more than 3,000 courses to more than 2,000 employees across the globe. While they are increasing the number of courses, they are decreasing the amount of print costs thanks to their transition to digital. It hopes to further decrease printing volume 50 to 60 percent by 2020.

— Aysha Ashley Househ

Brent Boeckman

Global Learning and Development Manager, Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes realized it needed to increase productivity and efficiency. To do this, it upskilled its team with new technology through Udemy for Business, an effort led by Brent Boeckman, global learning and development manager.

Malwarebytes partnered with Udemy for Business to provide employees with dynamic content from industry experts for continuous learning and growth, according to its application. The manager of the Quality Assurance team at the anti-malware software organization realized QA processes were too manual and slowing the team down. He proposed that new technology was needed, but with that came the need to learn a new programming language called Python.

Even with this obstacle, the company provided the team with a budget to receive training and certification with the goal to finish in six months. In their search, they came across Udemy for Business and got training from their desks, and finished training in just 30 days versus the six-month goal. The QA team’s productivity improved while allowing the company to upskill its technology.

— Aysha Ashley Househ

DIV. 1

▲ Patricia Aquaro

Managing Director and Head of Risk and Professional Excellence, BNY Mellon

In an effort to assess and train 6,000 managers, Patricia Aquaro at BNY Mellon led a team to create EmpowerTheUser Simulations. The bank offers investment and investment services, meaning its workers must understand and manage risk to have continued success.

After seeing the success of a 2015 session, “Managing Risk in Your Team,” BNY Mellon created its next program in 2017, Effective Risk Management for Managers, in three simulated sessions. The first taught them to act as relationship managers to meet with prospective clients to negotiate contracts and onboard the client. The second simulation acted as operations managers to onboard the client, take ownership of their issue and find next steps. The third had participants act as risk managers to examine an issue. These simulations helped staff understand their role in mitigating and managing risk.

These simulations centered on the Kirkpatrick Model, following four levels: measure engagement and satisfaction, assess transfer of learning, determine behavioral change and quantify business impact. A new level of the model that uses neuroscience and artificial intelligence to predict future behavior was also created.

To build this program, BNY Mellon had to host design workshops with stakeholders, consult on design, script the simulations, produce the simulations, edit them and launch the program to 6,000 managers globally.

The simulations proved successful, saving more than $700,000 and rolling out 350 percent faster than industry benchmarks, according to the Learning In Practice application. User satisfaction was also high, with 80 percent of participants agreeing that the program delivery “was an effective way for me to learn the content.” Feedback included requests to deliver the training to direct reports, resulting in the program rolling out to an additional 10,000 participants in 2018.

— Lauren Dixon

Charles Atkins

Vice President, Dell EMC Education Services

After Dell Inc. and EMC Corp. merged, their learning functions also needed to combine. Dell EMC Education Services then faced the challenge of having a globally dispersed team that must serve stakeholders efficiently. To do so, Charles Atkins led his team to open communication across silos and define a new operational model, while helping employees understand their roles in the new company.

To start, the leadership in Education Services mapped out the learning function as it was, followed by identifying gaps and requirements from stakeholders. The operating model that came out of this needed to manage customer needs and portfolios of learning offerings, then develop and deliver courses. The organizational structure then needed revamping to support that model.

The resulting plan, “Designing Our Success,” involved a leadership workshop, an online course and an ongoing communications plan with the goal of every member of the team fully understanding the new operating model and their individual role in the changing company and business unit. Results from these efforts include 99 percent of participants finding value in the leadership workshop and the intranet site having an 84 percent participation rate.

— Lauren Dixon

David Sylvester

Principal, Leadership and Development, Booz Allen Hamilton

When Booz Allen Hamilton wanted to become a leader in data science, the company needed to create a learning initiative and employee value proposition to both upskill current employees and retain them. The business decision meant retaining the existing 600 data scientists and training 3,500 data analysts at the company through a Data Science 5K Challenge, which featured a 110-hour course. This effort was in conjunction with the company launching its employee value proposition, which promises “to invest in employees’ career growth and satisfaction in return for their commitment to the firm’s success.” Although the DS5K is still in progress, a communication plan and partnership with 10 subject matter experts aided in making this multiyear effort an early success.

— Lauren Dixon

DIV. 2

▲ Tim Tobin

Vice President, Franchisee Onboarding and Learning, Choice Hotels International

As a leading hospitality franchising firm, Choice Hotels International needed to better serve its nearly 50,000 franchisees through elective and required content about proprietary systems, operations and brand programs. The LMS, ChoiceU, originally launched in 2008 and has since grown to include videos and e-learning modules. Students of the platform grew frustrated with the ChoiceU experience, sparking a need to change while connecting learning and performance.

In stepped Tim Tobin, who joined Choice Hotels as dean of Choice University in 2016. His first assignment was to evaluate the program, finding out through more than 75 interviews that learners wanted user-friendly navigation and content that is short and aligns with their roles. To start on implementing these necessary changes, Tobin had a multiday offsite meeting with all 30 members of the Choice University team, working to identify a new vision for their program.

The first priority was the LMS, and creating the new program involved regular communication with the company’s executive team, quarterly sessions with owner groups, creative sessions with the LMS provider and, finally, user experience testing. New features and functionality began to go through changes, resulting in new learning taxonomy organized in four areas: systems/operations, brand/service, leadership/management and functional topics. The new also features five language options, curriculum road maps and business solution maps. Videos, branded as ChoiceU TV, are between three and 15 minutes. Additionally, is mobile-enabled and has an enhanced search functionality, as well as many other add-ons and improvements. went live in May 2017. The results from these efforts include more than 47,000 active student accounts and an increased completion of content from 336,000 in 2015 to more than 1.7 million in 2017.

— Lauren Dixon

Ross McLean

Global Program Manager, Veeam

Veeam Software, a company that develops backup, disaster recovery and intelligent data management software, is growing quickly. Between 2016 and 2018, the team swelled from 2,000 to 3,500 employees. This, along with customer growth, meant the sellers needed a strong onboarding program.

Ross McLean, global program manager, faced creating onboarding for salespeople that meets the following criteria: flexible to various hire dates, unique to different geographies and roles, provides critical knowledge, reduces travel costs and more. The program, called RAMP, features an LMS and knowledge reinforcement app, which is released at 30, 60 and 90 days after employee start-dates to remind new salespeople of key topics.

At the time of the application submission, RAMP had only 16 weeks of post-training data that already proved a 6.16-times return on investment.

— Lauren Dixon

Anil Santhapuri

Director, Learning and Development, Altisource

Anil Santhapuri led Altisource’s L&D team to support initiatives at the real estate and mortgage services and technology provider. A learning initiative for more than 7,500 employees involved three main pillars, which aligned to business initiatives such as supporting objectives and key results, creating compelling learning experiences and launching a new-hire onboarding program. To accomplish necessary goals, Santhapuri’s team needed to shift company culture for the employee population spread across five countries, organize to reach all workers and redesign existing course material. This all proved successful, with participants reporting effectiveness scores of at least 4 out of 5 regarding the material and usefulness of training.

— Lauren Dixon