What can Scripps Health, the U.S. Center for Leadership Development and other diverse private- and public-sector organizations like Cricket Wireless, WD-40, High Tech Academy and the U.S. Defense Acquisition University (DAU) have in common?
Easy: Their learning/training personnel and programs are undisputedly among the cream of the crop nationally. And this year’s Learning! 100 list celebrates their excellence.
These honors are unlike any other, in that they have a solid, research-based approach that offers organizations a level playing field despite size. Applicants are evaluated across three criteria: Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration Index, Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, and overall organizational performance.
There is much to be learned from these winners and other applicants, many of whom had instituted thorough leadership training initiatives.
For instance, Stan Sewitch of WD-40 notes a couple reasons why leadership training is so important:
“One is that there is no substitute for quality leadership. No process, procedure, strategy or any amount of financial resources can succeed without leaders who are experienced, capable, trustworthy, values-based and invested in providing service to the organization.
“Another is that we have recognized that attracting, retaining and developing our talented members is a strategic driver of our business. We methodically apply resources, people and effort to accomplishing this strategic objective, with metrics attached.”
And Stephanie VanGilder of Mercy Technology Services says:
“Executive sponsorship is key to the success of any major culture shifting initiative. When senior leadership gets behind an initiative, it is a powerful motivator. Our leaders have been visible helping to change the culture of the organization. They have provided course suggestions and book recommendations and have even helped to lead book club discussions.”
Brian Cooksey of Shaw Industries reveals that his company’s leadership training isn’t just for leaders:
“We’re trying to build a leadership toolkit of different skills that any member of our organization on the operations side would have. We also have a relief supervisor program when hourly associates fill in for supervisors from time to time. They go through this training as well and become a pool we try to recruit from. We like to see them move into supervisory positions over time. We also have some full-time hourly leadership employees who go through training and can move into the pool.”
Kate Kearney of Choice Logistics suggests methods for keeping training real, among them:
>> “Make an immediate with follow-up discussions after training sessions to engage employees in a dialog about their key take-aways.”
>> “Develop case studies based on real situations they have encountered that are related to the training topic.”
>> “Keep department heads in the loop, so they can help support employees.”
To find out more about how the leading companies are being so successful with their learning programs, review the list and watch for upcoming sessions, Web seminars, articles and events hosted by Elearning! magazine.
TOP 10 PRIVATE SECTOR LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS
1) Scripps Health
2) Cricket Wireless
4) Shaw Industries
5) ADI, a Honeywell Company
10) Underwriters Lab
TOP 10 PUBLIC SECTOR LEARNING ORGANIZATIONS
1) U.S. Office of Personnel Management
2) High Tech Academy San Diego
3) U.S. Defense Acquisition University
5) PGA of America
6) American Heart Association
7) U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
8) International Society of Technology in Education
9) Team Orlando
10) Wounded Warrior Program
—More information: Elearning! magazine, September/October 2014