SUCCESSFUL ORGANIZATIONS SEEK (AND FIND) EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND ENTHUSIASM WITH INNOVATIVE LEARNING PROGRAMS
BY JERRY ROCHE
In this day and age, it’s not enough for employees to be well informed and well trained. It’s increasingly important for learners at corporations, non-profits and in the public sector to be engaged and enthusiastic – and maybe even entertained.
Of all the commonalities in this year’s Learning! 100 competition, employee engagement from training and development was a major driver of these organizations’ successes.
The American Heart Association’s vice president of HR and Corporate Learning Katherine Neverdousky says participants in the AHA’s new mentoring program “are very excited. They appreciate the opportunity for them and the SMEs assigned to them, and they also get peer networking, which makes for great conversations and discussions.”
Shaw’s Chris Clement tells us: “We are constantly hearing from our audience” – meaning his salesforce. “We can’t design training how we want to deliver it, because people have different learning styles. So we’ve got to respond to their needs, or we’ll be designing training that’s obsolete.”
Vi Living’s new open-enrollment benefits education program not only received rave reviews from employees, but it also drove improvements in business-related metrics: a 69 percent increase in flex spending account participation, a 40 percent increase in the enhanced vision program, a 7 percent increase in the medical plan, and a 9 percent increase in 401(k) program participation. “And employee satisfaction grew along with participation,” Vi’s Judy Whitcomb tells us. “follow-up employee survey determined that 90 percent of employees had a good understanding of company benefits compared to 83 percent from the prior survey.”
Like the AHA, the financial services company SWBC also has implemented a mentoring program. And, like the AHA, it’s finding increased employee engagement. “One hundred percent of the participants indicated their mentor/mentee was a good match,” notes SWBC vice president of Training and Employee Development Mandy Smith. “The vast majority reported feeling more confident in their knowledge, skills and abilities. Six of the 30 participants reported receiving promotions during the program that they attribute to their mentor’s support and the mentoring program.”
Learning! 100 applicants are evaluated across three criteria: Collaborative Strategies’ Collaboration Index, Darden School’s Learning Culture Index, and overall organizational performance.
But beyond those metrics, if there is one lesson to be learned from the 2015 Learning! 100 honor roll, it’s that engaged employees are informed employees are excellent employees. To find out more about how the leading companies are being so successful with their learning programs, review the list on the following pages and watch for upcoming sessions, Web seminars, articles and events hosted by Elearning! magazine.