2023 Best Practices
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TD Magazine

2023 Excellence in Practice Award Winners List

Thursday, June 15, 2023

The Association for Talent Development's Excellence in Practice Awards recognize organizations that break boundaries and continue to progress the field of talent development. Click on company names for profiles of their award-winning talent development efforts.

These 42 winning practices across 34 organizations have demonstrated clear and measurable results of achieving organizational goals, meet a demonstrated need, have appropriate design values, and are clearly aligned with other performance improvement initiatives.


Ace Hardware
Retail Support Center New-Hire Onboarding Training
Partner: The CARA Group
Category: Onboarding

The company developed an internal training culture to establish a leadership pipeline and create career paths for retail support center workers. A newly hired full-time employee to lead the program bolstered the initiative.

People Management Program Stores (PMPS)
Partner: Relevance Learning
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The purpose of the PMPS is to set a common standard for people management. The blended, eight-week program consists of online learning modules in combination with face-to-face training sessions, offered in the native language in all countries in which the company operates.

Adani Group
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The program equips emerging leaders to develop themselves as owner-managers of the business for tomorrow through a competency framework. Each cohort experiences various modules, development plans, blended learning, and group projects.

Director Development Experience (DDE)
Partner: ArtGym
Category: Leadership/Management Development

A strategic, intensive learning experience linked to both people and performance, DDE is a blended, self-driven, peer-to-peer learning program. An 18-minute showcase talk—the penultimate task—is the highlight for many participants.

Arizona Department of Transportation
Leading Others
Category: Leadership/Management Development

Leading Others includes weekly self-guided development, weekly social learning in small "advocate groups," monthly one-on-one meetings with managers who serve as leadership coaches, and occasional large-group meetings for webinars on leadership topics.

Black Knight
Onboarding Journey and Experience
Category: Onboarding

The program includes an onboarding buddy, custom-made videos, just-in-time learning modules, and interactive quizzes to engage and promote fun among new hires as soon as they accept the job offer. For the 12-week new-hire journey, all content in the learning management system is in bite-size chunks, organized by week based on what is most important for new hires.

China Telecommunications
Performance Improvement Practice for Precision Marketing Team
Category: L&D

The practice enhances the capabilities of big data technicians, marketing executives, and sales personnel in the areas of big data modeling, strategic planning, and marketing. The practice entails certification standards and online training, resulting in improved performance, organization development, and talent cultivation.

Digital Transformation of ADM Delivery Leaders
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The practice consists of three programs: DigiToasters 1.0—Acquire digital technology from a leadership perspective; DigiToasters 2.0—Acquire end-to-end product development experience on digital technologies; and Technovative Leadership—Acquire effective technical articulation skills for improved client engagements.

HUDDLE (Hire, Upskill, Develop, Deploy, Learn, and Engage)
Category: Integrated Talent Management

HUDDLE—an integrated process during which three teams (talent supply chain, talent acquisition group, and L&D) solve a pressing business problem—comprises blended, self-paced learning components and hands-on exercises to help associates apply their learning to live projects.

Internet of Things (IoT) Learning and Development
Category: L&D

This initiative focuses on enhancing multilayer IoT skills development, provides participants exposure to real-time scenarios, and nurtures innovation in a competitive and challenging environment. Learning and skills development takes place via hackathons and collaborative learning as participants work in multiskilled teams to develop a final application.

Partner: Harvard Business Publishing
Category: Leadership/Management Development

LEAD is a virtual 4.5-month leadership development program for high-performing middle to senior managers. Participants learn and practice capabilities through LEAD's three leadership pillars: Lead boldly, partner powerfully, and inspire followership.

Learning Data Management Skills Bootcamp
Category: Onboarding

This five-day blended domain onboarding training program provides clinical data managers a comprehensive set of knowledge and skills required to become efficient. The program has consistently helped the organization build domain capability, create a culture of compliance, adhere to the service-level agreements with clients, and build credibility for the organization.

Cox Communications
Commercial Sales Onboarding Program
Category: Onboarding

The L&D team overhauled a 17-day onboarding program into smaller learning activities so employees can apply what they learn on the job. The company repeats the process across a six-month period, incrementally building new hires' knowledge and skills, supported by consistent reviews, guidance, and peer-to-peer mentoring.

CPC Corporation, Taiwan
Competency Enhancement Program for Successors to High-Level Manager
Partners: Recruitment and Employment Consulting, Dialogue in the Dark Taipei
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The program goal is to enhance participants' proficiency across seven management competencies: leadership, execution, collaboration, inspiring others, fact finding, objective management, and reaction. The company has subsequently been able to fill a shortage of positions left by retiring managers as well as cultivate a new succession plan.

Emerging Women Leaders
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The program is a seven-month, action-oriented learning journey where high-potential women at the senior associate level sharpen such leader­ship skills as executive presence, conflict management, and decision making. The program emphasizes on-the-job experience through stretch assignments.

Flipkart Internet Private Limited
Category: Leadership/Management Development

This 10-month journey is for leaders with 12–15 years of experience in the supply-chain business unit to prepare them for current and future roles. The program starts and ends with 360-degree assessments and includes a combination of mandatory instructor-led and optional self-paced e-learning programs as well as action learning business projects, coaching and mentoring, and an industry expert speaker series.

Captive GoLearn New-Hire Training
Category: Onboarding

GoLearn is a nine-week, immersive, hands-on, workflow-based learning experience inspired by a learn-by-doing mindset. This immersive experience upskills participants by creating application-based learning experiences that emulate the workflows new employees will perform daily.

Accelerated Sales Development
Category: Sales Enablement

The program helps participants gain traction in their role, leverage organizational resources, and build momentum in their career. ASD provides an intensive and practical experience that helps newly hired sales talent ramp up quickly and effectively.

Project Manager Training and Development Program
Category: L&D

This project management training program combines synchronous, asynchronous, and cohort learning with a robust learning support structure. Project managers worked closely with their managers and others to ensure understanding, learning retention, and practical application of skills. Throughout the process, HDR evaluated and adjusted the content to help project managers gain competency as quickly as possible.

Huatai Securities Co. Ltd.
Digitization Transformation
Partners: McKinsey, BCG, Google, Bloomberg, AWS Category: L&D

This practice uses multilevel and long-term L&D methods to cultivate the company's digital culture, deepen the digital talent pool, and produce—thus far—10 innovative achievements with a direct business income of $2.5 million. It also improved the company's capabilities in process automation and data analytics.

Integral Ad Science
People Manager Certification Program
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The first component is a 39-lesson e-learning curriculum that empowers new managers to navigate common and uncommon management-related processes and challenges, providing guidance on how to set up their teams for long-term success. The second component consists of live group check-in sessions every two weeks wherein participants discuss and ideate together.

ITC Limited
Technical University: TU for You
Category: Managing the Learning Function

A task force set out to transition from decentralized training to a centralized, state-of-the-art training center with updated training processes and governance as well as a commitment to building future-ready capabilities. TU for You serves seven divisions in the technical, behavioral, and managerial domains.

Virtual Supervisor
Category: L&D

In this practice, technicians wear a mixed-reality headset to carry out a maintenance activity via modules that provide step-by-step, on-screen instructions. The headset enables technicians to connect with a subject matter expert remotely, and the SME can see from their computer what a technician is seeing on the shop floor and offer proper guidance.

License to Lead
Partner: EarlyBridge
Category: Change Management

KPN designed this practice to activate leaders to realize strategic goals and business results through engagement, ownership, and self-organization. Ten blended online and live training modules focus on leadership knowledge and skills, whereas business coaching supports and challenges leaders to put their learning into practice.

Lenovo Group
Executive Accelerator Program
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The 12-month program develops, advances, and aligns top executives on key business and leadership topics. The goals are to build a stronger pipeline for the senior leadership team; equip leaders with knowledge and skills to lead through transformation and change; provide a platform for leaders to reflect, brainstorm, and network; and ultimately drive the business forward.

Foundations Training
Category: L&D

The two-week onboarding program enables new operations associates to perform critical job functions and responsibilities within eight business days of hire. Foundations Training also ensures participants gain 80 percent of job-critical knowledge within 10 business days.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment
Foundation Accelerated Program
Category: Career Development

The 18-month career development initiative offers short- and long-term, cross-functional placements that aim to help employees accelerate their skills through job rotations, exposure, management skills, mentorship, and career planning.

Mercado Libre
IT Bootcamp
Category: Onboarding


This intensive training program accelerates the skills learning curve of new junior employees joining technology teams, which promotes a climate of trust, collaboration, and networking as well as a sense of belonging. At the end of the program, participants can set the knowledge and technical skills expected for their roles; become familiar with the company's tools, values, and ways of working; and network with colleagues from all over Latin America.

You Are My Mentor: New Store Managers Mentoring Practice
Category: Coaching and Mentoring

This practice supports newly appointed store managers during a six-month period. The company trains and equips mentors with L&D tools they can use in their meetings. It also shares a structured mentoring plan with the mentor and mentee. Mentors and mentees hold nine formal meetings; mentees can communicate with their mentors whenever they need a quick response.

Associate Resource Groups (ARGs)
Category: Diversity and Inclusion

The expansion of ARGs creates a strategic focus that contributes significantly to achieving the organizational goals of attracting, engaging, and retaining top talent. Since expanding ARGs, the company has seen measurable increases in employee retention and engagement as well as a sense of belonging.

Leadership Pipeline
Category: Leadership/Management Development

The program provides frontline and midlevel leaders with a structured learning path that comprises four courses across three key leadership career milestones: preparing to take on a leadership role, taking on their first leadership role, and transitioning into a second-level leadership role.

Nu Skin
Sales and Service Skills Improvement Learning and Development Project
Category: L&D

To enable salespeople, especially newly recruited staff, to quickly master sales and service skills, as well as to promote the growth of market customers and sales performance, the company created a "Sales & Service Pocket Book," which has nearly 30,000 downloads. Nearly 5,500 trainees have participated in 17 online sales and service microcourse series.

Oxford Global Resources
New-Hire Onboarding
Category: Onboarding

The 11-week practice annually serves 250–350 new hires who have no industry experience and limited professional experience. Comprised of eight cohorts in 33 offices across seven countries, the practice's purpose is threefold: establish a standardized learning program; provide new hires with the knowledge and skills they need to consistently reach established goals and performance indicators; and build and sustain strong partnerships with hiring managers.

Digital Elite
Category: Sales Enablement

Digital Elite helps top performers in sales- and nonsales-related areas lead customers as they transform to become digital businesses. It likewise helps sales executives change their approach from selling software to collaborating with customers to innovate. The program comprises customer engagement best practices; peer-to-peer discussions; training in developing pitches and proposals; and neuroscience, mindfulness, and well-being practices.

Performance Improvement for Sales and Leadership Success
Category: Performance Consulting/Performance Improvement

SAP takes a continuous cycle approach to sales executives' and managers' performance improvement. The process centers on the ongoing review and discovery of relevant skills gaps; measuring the impact of skill proficiency; and using data to understand enablement needs. The program entails personal learning plans, managerial development discussions, and progress tracking.

Sinopec Management Institute
Lead Talents Development Program
Category: L&D

Using the guiding principle of learn, reflect, practice, and grasp, this practice enhances the core competencies of senior equipment management talent. Participants who have completed the program have helped their companies tackle technical difficulties, establish workflow management, and improve business performance.

Overseas Project Managers Development Program
Category: L&D

The practice develops managers' capabilities such as global and strategic view, overseas market development and project management, international compliance and risk management, as well as cross-cultural leadership. To ensure effective learning transfer, the practice includes a development path of learn-act-reflect.

Transformation of Learning Function
Category: Managing the Learning Function

To meet the needs of six precisely segmented units, SoftServe transformed its learning function based on the principles of continuous improvement and lifelong learning. New roles include learning solutions architects (the learning designers), learning project managers for the management of complex cross-units projects, and learning partners.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Onboarding Coaching
Category: Coaching and Mentoring

Every new leader completes an onboarding coaching engagement lasting between six months and two years with an external coach of their choosing. Coaches use interactive, relationship-based processes; foster empowerment and accountability; and leverage validated assessments, debriefs, and feedback to create personalized development plans based on individual strengths.

US Customs and Border Protection
Trade Intelligence and Enforcement Course
Category: Change Management

This practice empowered trade specialists by upskilling them with advanced techniques in identifying, investigating, and analyzing trade violations as well as enforcing trade laws, allowing for greater flexibility and speed to mitigate risks and emerging threats. The practice has contributed to preventing millions of counterfeit and unsafe products from entering the US.

High-Velocity Onboarding
Category: Onboarding

This two-week sales onboarding program addresses the specific competencies and behaviors required to effectively support Veeam's customer environments and business goals. The objectives are to enable new employees with the company mission, vision, and value proposition while reducing time to productivity as well as promoting a globally consistent approach.

ZTE Corporation
Reshaping Organizational Learning
Category: Managing the Learning Function

The practice transformed the learning model from position driven to business driven. The team redefined the learning function's mission, vision, culture, and value, in addition to establishing a new L&D strategy. The team also created a new learning business model; rebuilt the learning function's structure, policy, and process; and developed a model for change management guidelines and evaluation.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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