DIV. 1
Kristin Cassino holding gold award
▲ Kristin Cassino
Manager, Learning Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance Global Risk Solutions
Many companies are content with finding a positive correlation between learning delivery and business impact, but Liberty Mutual found a way to separate itself from the pack. The learning services team, managed by Kristin Cassino, set out to create an entire methodology to track the relationship between training and outcomes, with hard data to back it up.

The discontent with differing measurements and communication between business partners and the learning services department inspired the need to design a new blueprint to scale how effective learning can affect business revenue. Time savings, cost savings, customer experience, retention, efficiency gained and change in quality assurance scores are all factors now being considered in new programs’ evaluations.

Learning Services not only developed an infrastructure able to support the amount of data collected from sources across the company, they also created a measurement and evaluation philosophy. Aligning their own distinct business values with practical data collection tactics proved worthwhile when presenting their findings to business partners.

With a new methodology to track effective changes in training and streamlined values across departments, Liberty Mutual can try out and assess new training techniques with relative ease.

— Kerry Snider
Mark Boccia holding silver award
▲ Mark Boccia
Director of L&D,
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
Faced with a swelling number of new hires and the need to upskill promoted current employees, Royal Caribbean departed from their rigid training model of over-the-shoulder, on-the-job training, which had proved an ineffective use of time for both crew members and managers. Mark Boccia oversaw the shift to EMBARK, Royal Caribbean’s latest learning initiative.

EMBARK increases job skills proficiency for multiple job roles onboard Royal Caribbean ships by offering short, interactive digital learning modules. Hundreds of modules have been created for different departments, including Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, Lifeguard and Guest Services. The platform offers a clean, mobile-responsive user interface, videos, interactive content, quizzes and practicals.

Consistent from ship to ship, crew members across departments were able to implement EMBARK, access it from any device they wished, both on land and at sea, and provide any feedback they had along the way.

— Kerry Snider
Angie Ballinger
Global L&D Manager, College of Business & Commercial Excellence, Cargill
From their traditional classroom training program in 2012, which had “too much information in too little time” and made learners feel as though they were “drinking from a firehose,” Cargill shifted gears to digital learning.

Under Angie Ballinger’s leadership, cost-per-person for the new training dropped by an estimated $4,900, and development for the online program took eight weeks compared with the classroom’s eight-month gestation period.

The curriculum’s medium isn’t the only component Cargill tweaked to enhance learning results. Measuring impact through a sales excellence map and rearranging metrics used to gauge outcomes meant both learners and managers could track progress easily and accurately.

— Kerry Snider
DIV. 2
Victoria Spears and Jennifer MacEachern holding gold award
▲ Victoria Spears
Talent Development Manager, West Monroe Partners
Addressing the gap between what businesses expect from consultants and what consultants can provide, the talent development team at West Monroe Partners investigated what shifts in culture and curriculum needed to happen and developed the Value Creation workshop.

Managed by Victoria Spears, the Value Creation workshop aligns focus on why consultants are hired for projects, not the different types of projects or skills they possess. By implementing this different mindset, learners at West Monroe Partners are able to track and communicate value to clients at every stage of the project, while assessing client’s needs throughout.

The Value Creation workshop was offered 11 times between 2017 and 2018, garnering 54 percent of the target population’s completion. The learners who completed the workshop had the opportunity to submit a case study revealing the effectiveness of the skills and values taught. The top three case studies were presented at West Monroe Partners’ directors retreat, demonstrating the companywide shift in mindset.

With 76 percent of workshop participants saying they’d recommend the workshop, value creation has become a fundamental company value. As a result, West Monroe Partners has seen 67 percent growth in revenue since starting the workshop.

— Kerry Snider
Kamilah Townsend
Learning & Development Manager, Ally
To improve revenue returns, Ally tried out a manager-specific training. Borrowing metrics from their department of subject matter experts, learning and development was able to find the best ways to measure impact and the specific traits team leaders would need to expect improvement in returns.

Led by Kamilah Townsend, Ally’s learning and development team designed an engaging and results-driven program that focused on participants demonstrating their ability to lead. Those learners rated the new learning program 4.5 out of 5 and showed significant improvement across the measured variables, amounting to an overall higher ROI for training and development costs.

— Kerry Snider
business partnership
DIV. 1
Lindsey Fenton holding gold award
▲ WarnerMedia
Transitioning from a regional service delivery model to a global business services model is not one-size-fits-all. That’s why WarnerMedia’s Account Business Services partnered with their People Development team to implement the six-pronged One World, One Team strategy.

With interconnected subprojects spanning 12 countries, One World, One Team aimed to expand onboarding new business, while building on their learning program. Three-hundred-seventy-five employees in four global regions participated in the new-hire orientation, manager and mentor development and leadership programs.

While the final goal for One World, One Team is a cohesive strategy aligning core values across departments, assessment of individual sections was key for overall achievement. By looking into the strengths and weaknesses of each team, be it energy management or change agility, starting each program from scratch was found to be unnecessary. Addressing individual teams with their own workshops also proved to be an efficient way to solve problems with collaboration.

One World, One Team worked so well for Account Business Services and People Development that Finance and Accounting has decided to adopt the strategy as a model for future onboarding.

— Kerry Snider
Jeremy Sieffert and Jason Oliver holding bronze award
▲ AT&T
With continuous learning and reskilling a top priority, AT&T launched its Future Ready initiative back in 2008. During one of their most transformative evolutions yet, moving from cables and hardware to the cloud, AT&T needs a workforce equipped for the next age of technology. They are currently working to virtualize 75 percent of their network by 2020.

AT&T employees have access to AT&T University, which delivers its flagship training program, and the company invests $200 million a year in internal training programs providing about 16 million hours of training a year.

They’ve also worked with external partners to create additional opportunities leading to degrees or certifications in specialized fields. AT&T also implemented an online tool where learners can track their progress and plan their own reskilling called the Personal Learning Experience, which had 7 million logins in 2018.

— Kerry Snider
Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Office of Training and Development
Amid the opioid epidemic, there’s greater pressure on U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to detect and seize illegal drugs. Previously, there was no process for detecting fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, for both officers and canines. Fentanyl was a particularly difficult substance to train officers and canines to detect because there was no safe placebo and nationwide law enforcement agencies were still looking for safe ways to handle the substance.

To help combat the nationwide crisis, the Office of Training and Development produced a fentanyl-training program for CBP, U.S. law enforcement agencies and international partners through resident-based canine training and an award-winning safety video. This new training program has resulted in 1,214 pounds of fentanyl seized with a street value of $204 million.

— Kerry Snider
business partnership
DIV. 2
Heather Esposito holding gold award
▲ Herman Miller
Sales readiness and sales leadership teamed up to implement Conversational Coaching for Sales Leaders, a strategy designed to teach leaders to demonstrate problem-solving to their team members rather than solve the problems for them.

When the teams met to discuss the best way to implement learning initiatives, coaching became their key to success. Aligning themselves with human resources, they found an excess amount of time was being used by sales leaders to effectively develop and lead their teams. They also found the majority of sales leaders were more focused on solving present problems, without thinking about future horizons or improvements.

The Conversation Coaching for Sales Leaders consists of a three-day, in-person workshop, followed by ongoing opportunities for practice online with the company’s learning community. Instead of forced attendance for the workshop, participants of previous workshops were encouraged to promote to their peers, resulting in 100 percent of sales leaders completing the course.

One of Herman Miller’s area vice presidents attributes 75 percent of their revenue growth to the Conversational Coaching for Sales Leaders initiative, seeing a gain of $66 million in revenue after the workshop’s implementation.

— Kerry Snider
Sidley Austin LLP
Reaching far and wide for input and collaboration, Sidley Austin created the Sidley Trial Academy for further courtroom training and teambuilding for their lawyers. Researchers asked litigation experts across the country which skills were the most beneficial in the courtroom to implement in the workshop.

Four key objectives were developed for the Trial Academy. These included competency-building around trial skills in the context of complex litigations; real-world teamwork and problem-solving; candid performance evaluations and individualized coaching to address skill gaps in real time; and enhanced collaboration among trial lawyers around the firm.

The Sidley Trial Academy ultimately became a three-day, in-person workshop where seasoned lawyers serve as coaches for newer team members.

Participants received masterclass sessions, leading up to a two-day mock trial to test out skills taught in the sessions. All but one of the Sidley Austin Trial Academy participants met up later at the firm’s annual partner meeting to compare their experience in the courtroom after their training.

— Kerry Snider
Procore Technologies
To bridge the knowledge gap for new general contractors, Procore created ConEd, a construction education program that teaches learners how construction works and how their company helps.

ConEd started initially as a 14-hour course for account management and support teams so they would have a basis of understanding in construction to better serve clients. The workshop was picked up by a number of departments, from engineering to sales. This signaled a shift in Procore’s approach to construction education — from a department-specific training to a companywide initiaitve, ConEd in June 2017, was integrated into a new 40-hour orientation followed by a 14-hour construction bootcamp. More than 1,000 employees have now completed the program, nearly 70 percent of Procore’s workforce.

— Kerry Snider
DIV. 1
Eric Fusilero
VP, Global Enablement and Education, NetApp
Over the past several years, NetApp had to extend its platform to support customers as they transition to the cloud.

Faced with the increasing depth of NetApp solutions, rapidly changing technologies and the emergence of a new type of learner, NetApp needed a fresh approach to learning in order to remain relevant and effective. 

In 2018, Eric Fusilero challenged his leadership team to take a fresh look at the organization, the longer-term vision, how the team operated, what success would look like for NetApp University — and the strategy and action plan to get there.

With input and support from his team, Fusilero crafted a strategic plan that required structural and operational changes. The plan crystalized around key learning goals to be developed and delivered over a 3-year period: democratized learning; learning anytime, anywhere; and modernized learning.

Fusilero created three goal teams, each championed by one of his direct leadership team staff. Teams organized themselves around specific goals, formed a vision for each goal, and created long-term and short-term plans for deliverables, execution and milestones. Fueled by input and excitement across the broader organization, the goals came to life.

The strategy that Fusilero created and the resulting learning initiatives generated a vision for NetApp University that enabled the organization to step into the future and drive the transformation of NetApp.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
John Kusi-Mensah holding silver award
▲ John Kusi-Mensah
AVP, Global Distribution Academy, MetLife
During a time of company transformation, MetLife needed a more efficient and cost-effective approach for delivering learning that addressed increasing distribution advantage, providing accurate solutions for the right customers, driving operational excellence and transforming the enterprise through digital.

The Distribution Academy, constructed by John Kusi-Mensah, created a competitive advantage for MetLife through scalable learning performance solutions that enable distribution and talent development and deliver sales excellence. These goals are achieved through the program by providing a customized learning experience and sales curriculum, curation of external and internal content, one-on-one skills coaching and a device-agnostic learning experience. This program is now considered a crucial strategic enabler by MetLife and is being used as a tool to hire and retain sales talent.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Jason Moore
Manager, Alternative Learning Technologies and Programs, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
After facing a multitude of challenges with training delivery and refresher content, as well as poor user learning experiences on mobile platforms, Moore recognized the need for a companywide shared service that provided alternative learning technologies and programs (ALT + P) across Gulfstream’s platform.

Due to the lack of tech-enabled and self-guided training delivery methods, Moore established an ALT + P team to create sustainable content delivery. The team was responsible for meeting user expectations with training delivery methods that had a natural feel to the user learning experience. The mobile-first design thinking focused on delivering maximum functionality within the restrictions of mobile-browser content delivery that also functioned properly on less restrictive desktop browser platforms.

After extensive testing with targeted user profiles across upcoming generations to enter the workforce, there was consistent improvement. Now, the previously unsupported demand for sustainment and refresher training is fulfilled across the enterprise for the first time.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
DIV. 2
Ann Marie Sidman
Executive Director, Organizational Development and Learning, Boston University
With Boston University’s several campus locations and diverse grouping of operational organizations came difficulties in providing opportunities for staff development. The university lacked relevant and engaging development opportunities for staff populations with diverse needs.

The Organizational Development and Learning team, led by Ann Marie Sidman, wanted to expand the reach of its programming by delivering new learning opportunities in ways that would impact more learners while also aligning with the university’s strategic plan. The team recruited a group of leaders across the organization called Learning Leaders.

After identifying the need to offer development opportunities for all types of staff across multiple campuses in a flexible format, the team created Choose to Learn Live. This program is comprised of live and virtual sessions that feature internal and external experts focusing on relevant business topics. The session recordings allow this program to be used time and again as a refresher, part of a team discussion or a larger department initiative. This connection has created opportunities for more programming, making Choose to Learn Live an effective foundational program on which to build further programming.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Michael Byars holding silver award
▲ Michael Byars
Director of Learning and Organizational Development, Children’s National Health System
With the health care industry’s complex environment, Children’s National Health System needed to invest in its management team to maintain their clinical excellence. Improving the skills and engagement of its leadership team and providing an increase in support in their positions was critical. As a result, they implemented a multifaceted approach that improved the working environment.

The organization established a leadership development capability in the Children’s National Leader Academy. This program includes 21 courses that consist of classroom and e-learning modules and a custom senior leader curriculum.

The new platform gave the Leader Academy team’s curriculum the ability to expand into web-based learning modules. Children’s National was named one of the Top 5 children’s hospitals nationwide in the 2018-2019 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll. Additionally, the Children’s Neonatology ranked first in the nation for the second consecutive year.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
DIV. 1
Samantha Hammock
Chief Learning Officer, American Express
During a period of business transformation, American Express has been executing against a multi-year corporate strategy that addresses external and internal business challenges. Increased competition due to technology, regulation and a demand for transparency has created an urgency among the organization to continuously reexamine the business and determine how to offer more services to customers.

Samantha Hammock introduced an enterprise view of leadership development in a way that inspired business and embraced new approaches for implementing leadership behaviors across the organization.

Due to their strong commitment and belief in leadership, American Express launched the American Express Leadership Academy in 2017, devoted to building a foundation of leadership for all employees. The virtual design allows colleagues to participate in a global community across American Express. The academy blends live, virtual discussions with self-paced modules, allowing participants to connect with global peers to share perspectives and expand their network. The program focuses on learning techniques that enhance work at any stage of their career and developing the skills to effectively lead in anything they do.

American Express is now expeditiously building a strong foundation among their next-generation leaders that encourages innovation, speed and agility, all required to succeed in today’s marketplace.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Tracie Ybarra holding silver award
▲ Tracie Ybarra
Senior Consultant, Talent Management & Organizational Development, Dell Technologies, Services & Digital
Dell Technologies has recently gone through large-scale acquisition and integration due to the Dell-EMC merger in 2016, which caused a lot of confusion among end users and stakeholders. This circumstance highlighted their need to integrate distinct talent strategy efforts and initiatives across a variety of business units and needs.

Tracie Ybarra comprised a team of three talent strategists to make progress in three key areas, which included leadership development, diversity and inclusion and recent graduates. The outcome helped build strong talent pipelines, inspired leaders, enabled the next generation of talent and built a brand that attracts innovative leaders.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Chris Hall holding bronze award
▲ Chris Hall
Assistant Commissioner/Chief Learning Officer, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection
One of the deadliest time periods in Customs and Border Protection’s history was between 2010 and 2012. This sparked a national dialogue regarding the use of force by law enforcement, including when force is appropriate, how it is investigated and how the results can be made transparent to the public. Chris Hall developed a multi-year strategy to reform and improve policies, training and transparency.

When this strategy launched in 2012, there were 55 uses of deadly force by CBP agents along the border. Since then, there has been a significant decrease each year. In 2018, there were 15 uses of deadly force by CBP officers. CBP officers have used their firearms 73 percent less.

Alignment of resident and field-level training and performance-based training that was implemented at the Field Operations and Border Patrol Academies were two key changes that were made to push the culture toward adapting the de-escalation of force tactics. These reforms were recognized by the Department of Homeland Security and the White House.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
DIV. 2
Roshni Rupani and Melissa Janis holding gold award
▲ Melissa Janis
Vice President, Leadership & Organizational Development, McGraw-Hill
In order to transform McGraw-Hill from a traditional textbook publisher to a digital learning technology enterprise, they needed to realign the organizational culture to a new business strategy. The first step in this transformation was conducting a leadership development program and then amplifying the desired behaviors throughout the organization. This was encouraged through their new core values that were introduced in 2017: Speak Out, Stretch Forward, Own It, Deliver Value and Win Together.

Of the core values, Stretch Forward was key for McGraw-Hill because it encouraged employees to step outside of their comfort zones, take calculated risks and continuously learn. The Stretch Forward initiative was designed to help employees embrace iteration and implement a learning culture across the workforce that would result in greater innovation. The program provided webcast presentations, learner self-assessment, interactive webinars, personalized learning plans, e-learning, on-the-job learning, meetings-in-a-box and mentoring.

Stretch Forward made substantial progress in implementing McGraw-Hill’s new core values, helping employees invest in their own learning and creating an advanced learning culture. The program increased career planning and development activity and sparked manager-led team building. It has also established a strong base for the change within upcoming management work to support the recently announced merger.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Meriya Dyble
Managing Director, Connected Learning & Change, ATB Financial
To navigate the changing landscape of the financial industry, ATB Financial began to focus on connecting their employees to people, information and experiences that would help them evolve, which in turn benefited their customers. Instead of looking at change as something to manage, they began to think of change as a constant, thus building adaptability into the foundation of the organization.

Meriya Dyble led the strategic shift from traditional learning and development and change teams to a connected learning and change team that provided these connections for employees. The team focused on creating a system that could react efficiently to changed circumstances.

ATB launched Degreed to support this strategy. This created a personalized and adaptive learning experience that helped employees thrive through change. Degreed allows employees to control their learning, highlights peer-to-peer learning and provides the opportunity to learn in whatever way works best for them.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Rachapol Lamee
Industrial Training and Education Manager, E. & J. Gallo Winery
Before 2017, E. & J. Gallo Winery had no established learning and development departments at the Fresno Winery. The organization decided to establish training departments throughout the production sites in 2014, which led to the development of a new learning and education organization that developed and standardized training programs.

Once the Fresno training team was established, a five-year plan was built to align with the organization’s strategic and operational goals. To supplement adopting the Training Within Industry methodology, on-site training facilities that offered programs with fully integrated TWI practices were established. A computer lab was also created to support the development of e-learning courses and make training more accessible to employees. In addition, two training professionals were hired, which resulted in high-quality training programs, higher retention of employee learning and a decrease in work-related costs.

By 2018, the Fresno Training Department had one of the most effective training organizations. The team at E. & J. Gallo Winery continues to collaborate with other departments for progressive approaches to learning and development.

— Yasmeen Qahwash
Talent Management
DIV. 1
Arnold Dhanesar holding gold award
▲ Arnold Dhanesar
Group Chief Talent Officer, Zurich Insurance Co.
Customers demand more from their insurers in the digital era. For the industry to adapt to these changing customer needs, so must talent adapt. That’s why Zurich Insurance developed a 10-point plan to appeal to the talent it was seeking.

Led by Arnold Dhanesar, this strategy was designed as a holistic approach that would take into account talent identification, readiness and development. The 10-point plan included developing Talent Acceleration Centers to deepen the overall talent pipeline, launching a training program for all senior leaders and upskilling managers with a new, global program.

The learning strategy was tailored around a few design principles. Zurich would leverage the employee’s own motivation, tying these programs to career advancement, which would naturally reinforce employee engagement. It also invested in a culture of continuous learning and provided regular training opportunities where employees got time away from their day jobs to focus on training and reskilling.

Zurich’s high-potential development strategy led to many promising outcomes. The globally consistent, leadership-based strategy has accelerated growth in the leadership pipeline and made it stronger. The insurer is seeing higher employee engagement and retention of top talent. Also, after first deploying this strategy in Latin America and North America, Zurich has been able to expand it into other countries.

— Andie Burjek
Michael Poll holding bronze award
▲ Michael Poll
Director Talent Development, AbbVie
While managers and people leaders at AbbVie knew what the best practices were to raise the bar on performance and have honest conversations in performance reviews, they were often intimidated to use those best practices and have real conversations with direct reports.

Michael Poll created an approach to support people leaders in improving their performance management processes. He developed a learning method that integrates behavior role-modeling of talent management practices with the focus of getting people leaders to take action through needed conversations with direct reports.

Now, people leaders indicate they have the confidence and skills while direct reports say they’re experiencing greater and more transparent talent practice conversations.

— Andie Burjek
Derek Blake
Divisional Vice President, PSAV
Under Derek Blake’s leadership, events experience company PSAV revamped how it deals with career development for both individuals and specific roles.

This strategy aimed to accelerate the careers and increase the confidence of all employees at PSAV, and leaders at the company believed this would lead to higher employee engagement, better business results and better customer service.

One major part of this strategy was streamlining L&D into a single LMS platform. PSAV ultimately chose to partner with SkillSoft and SumTotal Learning Management. With its new LMS, PSAV can now deliver learning anytime, anywhere, and employees can use it to work toward their career goals at their own convenience.

As a result, PSAV delivered 218,000 learning hours in 2018. More than 11,600 employees use the career development program to set their career goals and work on acquiring the skills needed to accomplish those goals. Further, employee engagement scores have gone up 6 percentage points.

— Andie Burjek
Talent Management
DIV. 2
Michael Byars holding gold award
▲ Michael Byars
Director of Learning and Organizational Development, Children’s National Health System
The health care industry — and the task of leading its workforce — is complex thanks to many different factors, including health system mergers and acquisitions, changing regulations and labor shortages. That’s why Children’s National Health System began a program that would help it keep and develop top talent.

In 2014, the health system began reducing the size of its leadership team. Other challenges it faced were management turnover, faltering staff and leader engagement and no leadership development capabilities for the time being. Leaders were being asked to do more with less and had fewer potential peer mentors to provide them guidance. In this changing industry and business environment, the employee experience became inconsistent and employee engagement was threatened.

The organization developed the Children’s National Leader Academy in 2014 to address its various challenges. These courses focused on building leadership skills and reducing leadership turnover. With only six courses in its first year, the program has only grown over time as more resources have become available, now including 21 courses via classroom and e-learning.

Further, Children’s National also added more to its leadership support system in 2017 by spearheading an organizationwide effort to define the health system’s core values and behaviors. After a four-month process, including focus groups and senior leader board reviews, those values were defined as compassion, commitment and connection. Defining why staff did what they do helped leaders gain support from employees.

Children’s National has seen promising results from this initiative. Compared to 67 percent in 2014, staff engagement improved to 81 percent by 2019. Manager engagement increased from 75 percent to 85 percent in that five-year period as well. Annual leadership turnover improved, from 12.6 percent in June 2014 to 8.4 percent in 2018 for managers.

— Andie Burjek
Tim Mulligan
CHRO, Vulcan Inc.
Tim Mulligan set out to make Vulcan an employer of choice, not by borrowing other organizations’ best practices, but by creating their own. Whenever Vulcan rolls out a new HR program, policy or employee engagement initiative, it has to be forward-thinking, cutting-edge and different from what other organizations are doing.

Looking to improve its performance management function, Vulcan designed and launched a continuous, unique performance management program with Saba TalentSpace. This helped the organization create a culture of constant feedback for its workforce.

Surveys show that employee engagement and employee satisfaction are high, and that they find the platform easy to use and are easily able to track their goals and performance. They also know this platform isn’t just another off-the-shelf program, but something created just for them with the Vulcan culture in mind.

— Andie Burjek
Janiece Ziegler
Director, Ally
Ally Auto used storytelling through computer animation to show what the organization does and how exactly employees contribute to the company’s success. The video, “Ally Auto Overview,” shows employees a car and how it moves from the equipment manufacturers to the dealership to the person who buys the car.

Employees had previously indicated that they wanted to gain a stronger understanding of the big picture of what Ally Auto does. Janiece Ziegler understood that when considering all types of employees — from virtual to field agents to onsite — a video could reach everybody. Further, the video is designed to appeal to many audiences, like recruits, new employees, seasoned employees and leadership.

The video, available to 5,000 Ally Auto finance employees, has led to cost savings of about $425,000 compared with ILT, the previous learning method offered. It has also helped improve employee engagement survey results.

— Andie Burjek
DIV. 1
Robert Belsjo and Murika Matz holding awards
▲ Moumita Dutta
Senior Technologist, Yum Brands
Restaurant company Yum Brands was faced with a challenge: how to maintain consistent, high-quality and standardized training across its 48,000 restaurant locations and for its global workforce of 1.5 million associates in 145 countries. The restaurant industry giant is well known for its brands, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

With the help of Saba Cloud, Moumita Dutta was able to guide the company in adopting digital badging and gamification as a scalable and engaging learning delivery method for its employees companywide. Eight-hour, instructor-led training courses were replaced by shorter e-learning sessions through Saba, which allowed for more employees to benefit from the training while also cutting costs.

On the Saba platform, Yum employees onboard and take online programs and specific training courses that are unique to each of the three Yum! Brands. Upon completing a course or class, users earn a digital badge or points.

In just six months, Yum saw its employee training completion rates go from 15 percent to 79 percent with the help of the Saba platform and gamification. The company is currently exploring additions to the platform to enhance user experience, including more capability in course creation, new reward features and stronger analytics to assist learning and business leaders.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Christine Shrader, Michael Cannon and Jennifer LeBlanc holding bronze award
▲ Michael Cannon
Senior Director, Red Hat University, Red Hat
Software company Red Hat has grown a lot since its inception, and they expect to grow even more in the coming years. To ensure company expansion continues smoothly, senior leaders knew they needed strong managers.

The current manager development program, M-Series, had been outdated by the rapid growth. Three weeks of instructor-led training courses spaced over 12 to 18 months wouldn’t cut it anymore. More than half of Red Hat’s current managers weren’t completing the program.

These challenges were addressed by a complete overhaul of the M-Series program, overseen by Michael Cannon. The result was a program that sped manager development using social learning and technology platforms such as VR and simulation-based learning.

By the end of its first year, participation in the program exceeded the company’s intended goal, with more than 600 people managers enrolled in the program and seeing positive results.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Detlef Hold
Global Strategy Lead Knowledge Cycling, Genentech Inc./F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG
Three to four years ago, the most medications Genentech Inc./F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG needed to file per year to health authorities was five to ensure patients were accessing and trying new therapies. Today, the company submits nearly 40. Realizing they were operating at a much slower rate than other companies in the market, they began searching for a solution.

They partnered with the Faster Finding team at Knowledge Cycling, and Hold led the implementation of a new digital learning and knowledge sharing platform at Genentech.

Genentech has data that reveals filing readiness is on the rise, and Detlef Hold and his team created solutions that are closing gaps across the board.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
DIV. 2
Tim Tobin
VP, Franchisee Onboarding and Learning, Choice Hotels International
Opening one hotel, let alone several hundred hotels each year, can be a complex and tricky process, but Choice Hotels International decided to make a new learning tool that would make the experience not only easier, but also more transparent for its new franchisees.

The span of time between when a deal is struck and when the hotel first opens its doors is crucial, with more than 15 milestones and critical points to meet from start to finish. Feedback initially gathered from new Choice Hotels International franchisees revealed that while they felt supported, the rest of the current hotel opening process was often difficult to follow and left them feeling frustrated. Feedback was also gathered from the hotel opening team.

Building on the company’s existing learning management system platform, Tim Tobin and a solution design team created the Choice Hotels Opening Portal. The portal has been integrated with the company’s learning program, Choice University, and gave new franchisees learning content that helped them through every aspect of the opening process.

The portal went through a two-month pilot period, in which they introduced it to new hotel owners who were starting at the time. The Opening Portal was also introduced to Choice Hotels’ opening services coordinator team through multiple training sessions and shared across franchisee owner boards. Almost 100 new owners started using the Opening Portal in the first month, and this number grows every week.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Patricia Winchester holding bronze award
▲ Craig Lutz
Senior Manager, USA Today Network
The USA Today Network is known across the globe for its brand, as well as 109 local media companies in the U.S. and Guam. The company was looking for an updated learning solution for talent development in accounting and sales.

Deciding they needed more than just a learning management system, Craig Lutz and his team decided on Saba Cloud. It was a “unified system” that allowed them to load their own content and create workspaces and customized learning journeys for users through the selection of courses and curriculums.

The USA Today Network was able to create a unified learning tool for its account and sales teams. Since launching this new approach, the company has seen an increase in user sessions by 143 percent.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Sabine Lindner
Head of Sysmex Academy, Sysmex Europe GmbH
The challenges Sysmex Europe was facing with its customer education program pointed to a self-paced, online learning solution.

For a while, face-to-face training on Sysmex’s products worked, but the spike in product popularity demanded a different solution. Sysmex needed to figure out a way to centralize its training, resolve language barrier issues with customers and address inconsistent messages during product introduction. The company also wanted to start providing further access to scientific information that to better help users understand the products.

Sysmex partnered with Eurekos in part due to their learning management system and a “modern, appealing” experience for users. They designed the Sysmex Academy Portal, which included a personalized user dashboard, social learning communication tools and an entire coursework catalogue of relevant content and multimedia courses.

Sabine Lindner, head of Sysmex Academy, said SAO is doing very well. As a whole, the company feels like it’s found a way to successfully be a go-to knowledge provider for users.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
DIV. 1
John Rhodes
Director of Group Learning Strategy, TechnipFMC
Learning and development wasn’t a top priority when FMC Technologies and Technip, an oil company and a gas company, merged two years ago. When it was brought up, leaders from the two companies, now together named TechnipFMC, realized they were going to have to merge two very different learning strategy styles together. John Rhodes and his team were on it.

One company’s L&D model was fully centralized but had an “overabundance of prescribed training,” and the other was decentralized and access to learning solutions was inconsistent. Roughly 20-30 learning catalogues between the two offered more than 20,000 courses and sessions, many of which were duplicates or near duplicates.

The goal was to create a unified program in which learners had ownership over which courses they took, one that was also easy to access, even while home, traveling or away from the office.

In the span of a year, Rhodes and his team were able to do a complete overhaul of all the material and fit it into a single learning catalogue. The result was a unified learning platform that serves roughly 37,000 employees globally in 48 countries. In just six months, 93 percent of employees had accessed the learning platform.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Jim Woolsey holding silver award
▲ Jim Woolsey
President, Defense Acquisition University
The U.S. Department of Defense had a challenge for its acquisition business, the Defense Acquisition University: After concluding that technical expertise alone is not enough to prepare a leader for success on the job, officials determined there was a need for more leadership training and development.

The defense acquisition workforce has a lot of responsibilities, namely negotiating prices, enforcing requirements and managing delivery on acquisitions, as well as addressing issues regarding interoperability, sustainability, cyber protection and supply chain security. Every year, these could be added to, removed or subject to change by Congress.

Jim Woolsey identified changes DAU needed to make to its business model and worked with his team to devise the Acquisition Leadership Development Initiative, a redesign of the university’s leadership training framework, based on stakeholder input.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Traci Weiss and Summer Davies holding bronze award
Summer Davies
Global Senior Manager, Talent and Leadership Initiatives, Mars Inc.
People leaders at Mars have a new leadership development program. The team partnered with BetterUp to create coaching and leadership training for its 11,000 managers around the world.

Mars had been looking for a way to make its managers more successful faster. Training and coaching couldn’t scale at just a classroom-level, which made Summer Davies think their solution was going to be a virtual one. The solution also needed to be accessible at different times for different types of managers.

Davies came across BetterUp, and with its technical support, Mars was able to successfully create a development and coaching platform, the Great Line Manager’s Experience Program.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
DIV. 2
Meriya Dyble
Managing Director, Connected Learning and Change, ATB Financial
ATB Financial felt a responsibility to help drive its employees’ skills and professional careers toward success. To fulfill this goal, the company realized it would need to invest in a new learning initiative that would help its employees continuously grow in the face of automation and other talent-facing challenges.

Meriya Dyble led the company in reconstructing what was once a traditional workplace learning and development team and strategy into a more connected, personalized and strategic learning experience.

Dyble began by consulting company stakeholders, as well as industry leaders, when seeking out their options. She wanted to find something that would align with their business goals and create the most positive employee learning experience possible. She guided and ultimately decided to rebrand the Learning and Development and Change teams into the Connected Learning and Change team. Then, they focused on developing learning content that would continuously improve employee experience and help achieve personal and professional goals.

With Degreed, ATB employees can have access to learning at any time, and on any device, during the work day.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
Stella Cannon holding silver award
▲ Stella Cannon
Talent and Organizational Development,
SAC Wireless
For years, new hires at SAC Wireless had to go through a long and expensive training program that was disjointed from the actual work environment.

In 2018, the company hired Stella Cannon as head of talent management, learning and organizational development, and one year later, the training program had done a complete 180.

Cannon built out an entirely new L&D function for the company, which included more efficient new-hire training. SAC’s new L&D function includes six training centers across the U.S. that train work crews to successfully deploy 5G towers across the country.

Cannon also formed a team of 12 professionals to help oversee learning, performance management, employee engagement, change management and leadership development for the company’s 2,300 employees spanning 26 different locations.

— Elizabeth Loutfi
April Gross
Senior Manager of Learning and Development, SolarWinds MSP
In order to boost sales and support business consistency across the globe, April Gross, senior manager of learning and development at SolarWinds MSP, helped launch a new learning function, Sales Enablement.

It was determined in 2017 during a companywide engagement survey that training was a top opportunity area for the sales team. However, at the time, the team had yet to adopt any standardized learning tools or processes.

Gross first identified what gaps they had. With the help of stakeholders in the company, she was able to lead efforts in designing a new-hire training program, which is comprised of 10 courses and on-the-job activities for learners to complete.

— Elizabeth Loutfi