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October 2012
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TD Magazine

Executive Support for Learning

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Editors Note Executive Support for Learning

Paula
"We believe in demonstrating excellence at all levels of the organization, and we do it best through our in-house learning function that has played a significant role in the growth of our organization." —Cognizant Technology Solutions CEO Francisco D'Souza.

When you examine this year's BEST Award winners, you'll find organizations that support a culture of learning. But when you delve deeper into their best practices, one thing shines: executive support for learning.

At ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company—the number 8 ranked 2012 BEST Award-winning company—CEO Bhargav Dasgupta is directly engaged in the company's new learning strategies, and personally anchors the leadership class for middle management. "Learning and knowledge enhancement is a critical strategic agenda for me to drive the envisaged transformation in all parts of the enterprise," he adds.

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Kim Sponem, president and CEO of BEST Award-winning Summit Credit Union, recognizes the strategic role that learning plays in the success of the organization. "Learning is one of our core values, and we're strongly committed to employee growth and development," she says.

These award-winning companies use learning as a strategic business tool; support talent management as a critical need to acquire, retain, and engage employees; and invest significantly in learning. "We feel that a well-trained workforce plays a significant role in enabling our business," says U.S. Security Associates CEO Chuck Schneider, whose organization won a 2012 BEST Award. "From protecting people, property, and assets of our customers to management and leadership development, learning is an integral part of our culture."

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As you peruse the pages of this issue, take note of the best practices these stellar companies implemented to increase engagement, align learning to business strategies, and increase productivity. Most of these winners engaged top leaders as teachers and mentors in their workplaces. Their initiatives harnessed the strengths of the Millennial generation, re-energized onboarding programs to retain high potentials and reduce time to efficiency, and re-invigorated employee engagement.

How does your company stack up among the BEST of the BEST?

Paula Ketter
Editor, T+D
pketter@astd.org

About the Author
Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.
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