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Organizational Learning & Development Excellence in Practice Awards

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Thu Jun 06 2013

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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.

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Here are this year's awards and citations in the area of organizational learning and development.

**Award: College of American Pathologists

****Northfield, Illinois

**Breast Predictive Factors Testing Advanced Practical Pathology Program (AP3)

Breast predictive factors tests play a critical role in the care of breast cancer patients. The accurate evaluation and interpretation of these tests is critical to selecting the most appropriate treatment regimen and ultimately the clinical outcome for a given patient. Unfortunately, these tests suffer from significant error rates with 20 to 25 percent of test results being misclassified. This results in patients receiving improper breast cancer treatment therapies. Inaccurate test results can be caused by the mishandling of breast tissue samples and/or by applying inaccurate test interpretation criteria.

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The College of American Pathologists collaborated with expert practitioners to develop an intensive learning program that teaches physicians who conduct breast predictive factors testing how to accurately interpret and report these critical tests, and how to appropriately process breast tissue in preparation for these tests. This fee-based program includes a two-day workshop conducted by experts in breast predictive factors testing, six related online courses, a multiple-choice knowledge assessment, a skill assessment, and job performance requirements.

Participants consistently rate the program as Excellent or Good in terms of the overall quality of the education provided. Ninety-four percent of participants report an intention to apply their new knowledge, and follow-up data indicates an impressive 98 percent of participants have made at least one change to their individual behavior and/ or laboratory procedures as a result of participating in this practice.

**Award: E\*Trade Financial

New York, New York**

Managed Account Product Launch Training

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To help investors meet their long-term investment goals, E\*Trade launched managed investment strategies to help clients keep their portfolios well-diversified and balance risk with investment performance. Managed Investment Portfolio (MIP) was launched in 2009, and Unified Managed Account (UMA) followed in October 2011. In order to offer both MIP and UMA to its clients, more than 300 sales professionals in 30 locations were trained on why these services would benefit clients, how to position the products appropriately, and how to enroll clients in the products. The training team led the training efforts through a blended approach that included face-to-face training, e-Learn modules, and live virtual sessions. In order to replicate the client sales experience, case studies, role plays, and simulations were used to support the ultimate goal of helping the sales professionals gain confidence in positioning a managed account as a way to help clients achieve their long-term investment goals.

With the sales team trained to understand and support the new products, the company has seen a steady increase in company revenue and average account size. In addition, with experience under their belts, sales people identified common roadblocks, and the training team developed programs to address those challenges. Because of the success of these efforts, the sales training team is viewed as a full business partner, and the firm is attracting and retaining premier sales talent.

**Award: Veridiam

El Cajon, California**

On the Job Training (OJT) Checklists

To ensure Veridiam could effectively train new employees and develop the skills needed to support growth, a structured On-the-Job Training (OJT) program was developed for technical training areas in the company’s most mature plant. In order to replace “tribal knowledge,” HR/Training partnered with the subject matter experts (SMEs) in Operations to develop a standardized training checklist for each job level within that department. In the first phase, an organizational analysis of the department included evaluating roles and responsibilities, determining the number of job levels required, assessing internal job level equity, and benchmarking compensation to the local labor market for each position. OJT checklists were then created through the collaboration of Human Resources, Operations management and SMEs. Each checklist included three sections: Safety & Overview, Supervised Operation, and Unsupervised Operation. The checklists require sign offs by both the trainee and trainer and include a demonstration of skills for each key performance area. Online technical training classes are required to supplement the hands-on training when necessary. Completion of the OJT checklist is now required for consideration for advancement. Training hours per employee have increased by 106 percent.

“Tribal knowledge” was transferred from the technical experts into a structured, documented, and consistent approach for technical training. With checklists and training offered for each job level, a career path has been established resulting in reduced voluntary turnover, now less than two percent, and increased morale evidenced by a 21 percent increase in employee referrals for job openings. 

Award: **Yapı ve Kredi Bankası

Istanbul, Turkey**

Operation Manager Development Simulation Program

To have a competitive edge in the turbulent finance sector, Yapi Kredi Bank’s branch operation team is critical in achieving the organization’s goals around sales and customer orientation, efficiency, and productivity. To help branch teams achieve success in their roles, the learning function—which operates as a business partner—designed the Operation Manager Development Simulation Program. It fosters a sales culture, cultivates a customer service orientation, strengthens coaching skills, and improves core business performance to create efficiency and improve productivity. The program combines soft-skill subjects and technical banking knowledge. It simulates real branch life in a training environment since all role plays are inspired from actual cases. The program has a follow-up application to promote culture change throughout the operation team, and is evaluated by ROI methodology.

The organization considers the program to be vital for culture change as operations managers are trained to put the strategy into action by changing participants’ business acumen. To date ROI for the program is 284 percent, and gains are being made in performance improvement, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

**Citation: Chevron Project Resources Company

Houston, Texas**

Project Management Academy

Looming retirement for many employees means Chevron will be losing approximately 65 percent of the company’s experienced workforce with an insufficient number of qualified people to fill key roles. With the “big crew change” on the horizon the need was critical to replace the previous existing enterprise competency development programs that were primarily external, generic courses with little known value.

Project Management Academy (PMA) is a program developed to improve consistency and quality in application of the company’s capital project management system, improve competencies of capital project practitioners, accelerate the development of project practitioners, and improve learning and development practices. Focusing on learning and performance needs as well as evidence-based adult learning principles and practices promoted the success of the practice.

PMA has improved competency development, standardization, and consistency. It is also accelerating on-boarding and employee development.

**Citation: College of American Pathologists

****Northfield, Illinois

**Laboratory Medical Director Advanced Practical Pathology Program (AP3)

Practitioners in the role of laboratory medical director face significant performance challenges due to inadequate continuing medical education in specific topics and on-the-job support. As a result, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) launched a multi-year campaign to transform the specialty by providing practioners with the support needed to adapt and thrive in the changing health care environment. The transformation has and will continue to have an important impact on the way specialists practice and improve patient care and outcomes.

Helping practitioners be effective leaders is critical to their future on the patient health care team. Through collaboration with multiple expert practitioners, CAP developed a practice that provides them with many of the critical skills they need to be successful. The topics were identified by expert practitioners and validated by multiple needs assessment surveys. The design of the program took into consideration how practitioners want to learn and the flexibility they need. Participants consistently rate the overall value of the program as Excellent or Good, and acknowledge they are applying key concepts learned as a result of their participation.

**Citation: HCL Technologies Ltd.

****Noida, India

**A New Approach for Scalable, Sustainable, and Business-Relevant Training by Leveraging Employee Expertise

To meet the learning requirements of a global workforce, HCL Technologies faced challenges of scalability, accessibility, sustainability, business alignment, and high costs of external training and certifications. A focused program was developed that would help build and leverage employee expertise for scalable, sustainable, and business-relevant training in the organization. A new six-step process was implemented to identify, evaluate, certify, and utilize internal trainers and subject matter experts (SMEs) on an on-going basis in the organization. The program was supported by an online portal for any employee to register. A policy was launched defining the process, eligibility and evaluation criteria, and rewards and recognition mechanism. Periodic reviews and feedback from stakeholders, followed by appropriate developmental programs for trainers and SMEs, help to ensure quality.

The implementation of this practice helped to build a pool of 1,290 internal trainers and 536 SMEs, covering 1,208 knowledge areas. The practice helped the organization meet 90 percent of its training requirements internally and also save $2.88 million. The practice also helped the company launch 72 internal certifications that more than 9,000 employees completed.

Citation: **HCL Technologies Ltd.

****Noida, India

**PMStEP: Project Management Structured Effectiveness Program

Facing the possible threat to future business growth due to lack of customer satisfaction in the quality of project management and project effectiveness, HCL Technologies needed to provide suitable training to help project managers build their competency gap. Customer dissatisfaction, escalation during project delivery, high cost of external certifications, globally spread audiences, and a need for a scalable, and customizable solution were problems that the company faced.

PMStEP (Project Management Structured Effectiveness Program) was launched to enable participants to learn and demonstrate understanding by applying their learning within their projects. Participants gained access to various resources that enabled them to sharpen their project management skills by exposing them to various tools, templates, case studies, and best practices across the industry.

Enhancement of project management competencies, effective deployment of the existing workforce, increased best practice sharing across the organization, and effective use of social media as discussion forums for continuous learning are some of several business impacts resulting from the program. 

**Citation: Infosys Limited

****Bangalore, India

**The Learning Academy

The Learning Academy program was developed to create a robust campus-to-corporate foundation program for instructional design. The program’s purpose was to reduce time from hiring to staffing new hires on live projects, and minimize the amount of time needed to make campus hires as productive as experienced content developers.

The Learning Academy utilized the strength of effective learning practices such as experiential learning, simulated on-the-job situations, measurement of learning effectiveness, tools training, and combinations of functional and soft skill learning to ensure close-to-real-life experiences that resulted in reduced learning time.

The practice has created a method for the Learning Group to quickly ramp up the team’s size and has helped Infosys create a skilled team faster and at a lesser cost. As the program continues to be implemented, the goal is to provide significant learning on enhancing other campus-to-corporate programs. 

**Citation: MTR Corporation

****Hong Kong SAR, China

**Integrated Staff Development Programme (ISDP) – Embracing Leadership Horizons

Facing strong manpower development needs arising from business expansion and a generational shift of the workforce, a career-link supervisory development program called “Integrated Staff Development Programme (ISDP) – Reaching New Leadership Horizons” was initiated with the strategic intent to nurture a potential pool of talent at the supervisory level, and enhance their leadership competencies and promotion readiness.

A “4A” training and development approach was adopted to accelerate the growth of staff in the 4A phases: Awareness, Acquisition, Application, and Advancing. A wide range of training methodologies were capitalized, including competency-based training, benchmarking visits, action learning projects, mentoring, e-learning, and more.

In the three years since the program was launched, 800 caring and innovative supervisors were trained and became part of a growing talent pool. HR Balance Scorecard was adopted to ensure assessment across customer, learning, behavioral, financial, and organizational perspectives. Gains have been made in all areas. Financially the action learning projects delivered significant cost savings with a 46 percent ROI.

**Citation: ReSource Pro Data Technology, LLC

Qingdao, China**

Achieving Business Results Through ESL Learning

In order to improve Chinese employees’ English communication capabilities and to better serve American clients, ReSource Pro needed to improve a program that was deemed valuable but one that employees considered too difficult to apply on the job. The program is based on traditional English as a Second Language (ESL), and includes educational practices aimed at improving employees’ written English skills. The program was redesigned to focus on using ESL as a means to achieve business results, and helped employees provide better customer service by delivering clear and consistent day-to-day communication with clients. The knowledge and skills learned were effectively applied through an eight-week written course. Participants and team leaders reported increased capability and confidence in improving skills and transferring them to their work.

**Citation: Turkcell Academy

Istanbul, Turkey**

Renewed Pre-Service Training Program

To make sure call agents were ready to be effective on Day One of their employment, Turkcell Global Bilgi implemented the Renewed Pre-Service Training (RPST) Program. The goal is to accurately and effectively meet customer needs, create replicable systems that reflect and serve business priorities, build competency, and empower call agents to embrace learning skills that will help them develop throughout their careers.

Four modules comprise the experiential learning program with evaluation happening throughout the process in the form of tests, assessments, call coaching, and a final exam at the end of the 45-day program. Real call experience happens from the first day and the agents are allowed to provide solutions to customer needs, creating trust quickly. The program has been positively received and held up as an exemplary model to replicate. Turnover has decreased and customer satisfaction has increased since program implementation.

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