Each year the American Society for Training & Development
recognizes individuals and teams who advance the knowledge of the
workplace learning and performance profession and contribute to
workforce capability and organizational competitiveness through
their exemplary practices. Their work inspires and informs us all,
and their accomplishments demonstrate how learning drives the
performance of businesses and organizations worldwide.
The Excellence in Practice category recognizes organizations for
results achieved through learning and performance solutions. Awards
are presented for proven practices that have delivered measurable
results, and Citations are presented for practices from which much
can be learned.
Recognition is given this year in seven areas:
- career development
- learning technologies
- managing change
- organizational learning
- performance improvement
- training management
- workplace learning and development.
Here are this year's winner and citations in the area of learning
Lai Lai Convenience Stores Company
Institute for Information Industry
aEnrich Technology Corporation
New Product Promotion, Monthly Promotion, and Pre-Sales
Every month, Lai Lai Convenience Stores Company launches different
promotions and pre-sale activities at its store outlets
island-wide, but it cannot conduct face-to-face training at each
location because of cost constraints. As the result, most employees
are not as competent as needed to promote new products and pre-sale
activities, nor are they able to develop innovative ideas and
selling techniques to increase sales.
To resolve the problem, the company adopted a learning management
system with rapid e-learning components, sales simulations, and
collaborative e-learning 2.0 solutions that can be delivered and
updated quickly and cost effectively. The goal of the initiative
was to help employees constantly learn new products, promotions,
and selling techniques via on-demand training courses. Employees
also can share best practices with other geographically dispersed
employees, and all have access to a single company database.
As a result of the practice, 93 percent of the total workforce -
about 3,600 district sales managers, store managers, and store
employees - have received the training they need to improve sales
and the company's bottom line. Promotions and key product sales
were up 5 percent in 2008 and 10 percent in 2009. Moreover, the
return-on-investment from January through August 2009 was more than
Smart eMaintenance System
In today's semiconductor factory environment, change is rapid,
technician training cycles are shortened, and the focus is on
lowering operational costs. When equipment service personnel have
difficulty locating technical information to solve a problem, their
lost productivity incurs steep costs.
As a solution to this issue, Intel developed the Smart eMaintenance
System (SeMS) as a web-based customized performance support system
for storing and navigating equipment information. SeMS features
equipment catalogs listed by technology, supplier, model, and
subsystems. Content includes supplier service manuals, best
practices, preventive maintenance videos, equipment photographs,
schematic drawings, interactive equipment overviews, and more. The
system is controlled by a community of factory tool owners who have
access to a management console, while an integrated
access-management system controls sensitive intellectual property
at the equipment catalog level.
With SeMS, documentation is retrieved and consumed in a centralized
and protected environment. This system has reduced the time a
technician requires to locate typical information for daily
activities from approximately 30 minutes to less than five.
Aggregating this across all factories has allowed the company to
produce more at overall lower operating cost. The quantified
savings produced by this system over the past three years is more
than $4 million.
InterContinental Hotels Group
Phil Dourado Business Communications
After an annual employee engagement survey indicated that the
company's 800-person global leadership community did not feel
connected to each other or to senior corporate leaders, learning
officials wanted to develop an engaging, cost-effective way to
connect these employees and effectively align leaders behind a
major enterprise-wide change initiative.
In late 2008, learning officials launched the Leaders Lounge, a
virtual leadership development community available through the
company's global intranet. The lounge features leadership-oriented
content in a quick-read format. Executives actively share best
practices and problem-solving techniques through the lounge, and
C-level executives post video clips on current company, industry,
and leadership topics.
Approximately 86 percent of eligible executives visit the lounge in
a typical month. Since full launch in May 2009, participants have
downloaded nearly 2,000 tools from the lounge's Leaders' Toolbox
section, and 90 percent of unit managers believe they are receiving
the information they need to improve their performance. The Leaders
Lounge costs $1 per day per member, which is 5 percent of the cost
of a typical three-day leadership workshop. The company plans to
build off of the community's early success by increasing the number
of development initiatives offered via the lounge versus on site.
American Research Institute
Come Alive with Sodexo - A One-Year Growth Plan for New
Prior to 2009, Sodexo relied on an expensive 90-day paper
orientation program, followed by a two-day instructor-led
orientation class to get new hires up to speed. The program was
expensive, updates were infrequent and often outdated, and there
was no measurement for class completions and success rates.
Due to its layered and decentralized nature, the company was in
desperate need of an efficient, virtual, integrated learning
program that could track progress and provide managers just-in-time
training to help them flourish and grow in their new roles.
In 2009, Sodexo implemented Come Alive with Sodexo - an innovative,
one-year growth plan in a five-phase program with an integrated
approach to virtual and classroom learning. It uses a flexible,
blended learning approach, including interactive online courses as
well as engaging live sessions that stimulate business networking
and high-quality interaction with peers and senior leaders. It
offers just-in-time training so that all new managers gain
awareness of the company and explore initiatives that foster an
inclusive environment. Four of these phases are virtual and one is
a two-day instructor-led class. With this new orientation approach,
managers are able to get an immediate connection to the
organization on the first day of employment. Results show that
Sodexo meets or exceeds corporate benchmarks for all five phases of
L3 Communications, Command & Control Systems and
Emergency Response Preparedness Course
The U.S Coast Guard provides emergency response services during
crisis situations. Reserve members are on-call and must be ready to
mobilize at a moment's notice, and certain administrative
requirements and personal affairs must be satisfied prior to
mobilization. Particularly during hurricane season, there is a high
demand for large numbers of mobilization-ready personnel, yet many
members are disqualified or delayed because of incomplete
administrative requirements. Additionally, mobilized members often
experience avoidable complications with their regular employers and
families while deployed. Officials attributed these problems to
members' lack of knowledge about preparation requirements and
inconsistent access to updated information.
To mitigate this personnel shortage and better equip members, the
organization developed an online Emergency Response Preparedness
Course. The course explains pre-departure requirements and
responsibilities in five key areas: dependent care, medical
readiness, legal planning, employer relations, and financial
preparedness. It generates a customized readiness checklist to help
members evaluate their level of preparedness, identify barriers to
mobilization, avoid complications for their families while away,
and assist with common transition difficulties when returning home.
The program has had an overwhelmingly positive response from
members, indicating that the course provides one-stop,
comprehensive, need-to-know information that significantly affects
members' mobilization readiness status and ultimately
U.S. Navy - Naval Education and Training Command, Surface
Warfare Officers School
University of California, Los Angeles
Full Spectrum Surface Warfare Training
The mission of the U.S. Navy's Surface Warfare Officers School is
to prepare the corporate leaders for their next challenging job.
These jobs often involve intense operations and demand a broad
range of complex skill sets, including high-risk tactical actions
against adversaries and threats, high-risk ship handling and
seamanship evolutions, and machinery-intensive engineering drills.
Past experience with simulation training proved to be expensive,
manpower-intensive, and cumbersome to operate, resulting in most
learners receiving more familiarization training rather than the
necessary skills-based training. A new practice was initiated to
bolster those simulations with intensive skills-based training that
also would reduce instructor loading and maintenance costs and
increase student retention and throughput.
The organization collaborated with internal partners to design,
build, and implement a complete set of training systems that
provided high-fidelity simulation for high-risk scenarios. They
require fewer instructors, cost less than the previous simulators,
and allow for extra simulation time for participants who desire it.
Moreover, integration with other courses is continuously monitored
for improvement, and feedback from participants and instructors'
feedback is used to make the simulations more realistic and robust.
Since bringing the learning technologies online, students have
sought out additional time in the simulators and are more confident
in their skills set.
U.S. Navy - Naval Service Training Command, Recruit
Computer-Based Adult Reading Comprehension
Many positions within the U.S. Navy require a 12th-grade or higher
reading comprehension level. After many new recruits scored below
an eighth-grade level on employment qualification examinations, the
organization developed a practice to address the preparedness of
employees, whose limited skills hinder their ability to perform at
Seeking to bolster its current remedial program and improve
participants' reading ability during a one to two-week time frame,
the organization developed three computer-based tutorials. Designed
within an artificial intelligence framework, the tutorials were
incorporated into a study conducted between August and December
2008. Students were randomly assigned to one of three groups to
assess the effectiveness of the tutorials compared with the
organization's existing instructor-led reading program.
Although study results indicated that both the current remediation
program and the computer-based tutorials facilitated reading
improvements of two grade levels, the computer-based tutorials did
so in half the time of the instructor-led program. A skills
retention assessment conducted two months after the study showed
participants using the tutorials retained a greater percentage (84
percent) of their reading skills compared with the existing
instructor-led remediation program (24 percent). Ultimately, the
organization expects this practice to serve as a springboard of
opportunity for improved performance, promotion, and workforce
U.S. Navy - Naval Service Training Command, Recruit
Game-Based Casualty Response Training System
All U.S. Navy employees, drawn from an increasingly diverse
population, must be cognitively ready and able to contribute in
emergency-response situations from their first day in the field.
Operational challenges, such as reduced personnel, time to train,
instructor availability, and access to traditional training
resources hampered the organization's ability to achieve this
To improve the readiness of new employees, learning professionals
developed a series of game-based training simulations designed to
introduce complex technical skills into realistic settings with low
costs and high reliability. In addition to training specific
operational skills, this practice facilitates development of the
general skills underlying cognitive readiness, such as decision
making, communications, and situational awareness.
The first prototype simulation and a pilot study were completed in
September and December 2008, respectively. An enhanced prototype
was completed in May 2009 and is currently undergoing large-scale
testing. Results from the pilot study indicate a marked improvement
in employee performance when exposed to the computer-based training
simulation. Participants committed 53 percent fewer communication
errors, performed key tasks in almost half the time, and displayed
a 20 percent improvement in readiness compared with a group of
employees that did not participate in the simulation.