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October 2012
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TD Magazine

Who Are BEST Organizations?

For its 10th year, the ASTD BEST Awards continue to epitomize excellence in workplace learning.

Best

When you examine these award-winning organizations during the past decade, several key characteristics emerge. These winning organizations have metrics that matter—inclusion of learning objectives as part of individual performance goals, a clear link between learning and performance, an appropriate blend of learning delivery methods, and visible support from senior leaders—but one dominant characteristic is a part of all of them: a culture of learning.

“We have a genuine commitment to learning,” says Tom Finegan, CEO of Clarkston Consulting, a 2012 BEST Award winner. “We invest significantly in training and professional development and expect our people to take advantage of that investment.” The firm spends more than $2,500 per employee each year.

BEST Award-winning organizations put a strong emphasis on employee learning. Employees own their learning in these companies, and value and respect learning in their workplace. These companies use learning as a strategic business tool; support talent management as a critical need to acquire, retain, and engage employees; and use social media to create a culture where innovation thrives.

“Learning continuously is woven throughout the fabric of the company,” says Bob Morrice, chief people officer at 2010 BEST Award winner Cbeyond Inc. “It’s how we demonstrate our commitment to people, and we believe it pays dividends. … We’ve now grown to the point where we have to focus on talent management, which we see as an extension to our commitment to learning.”

The critical aspect of a learning culture is learning hours used by employees. Any organization can create learning programs or initiatives, but the key is getting employee buy-in for these programs. BEST winners have received buy-in from employees, managers, and executives. How does your organization stack up with the BEST? Read on to find out.

1. NIIT Technologies Ltd.

2. Savvis, A CenturyLink Company

3. Cerner Corporation

4. Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company

5. WakeMed Health & Hospitals

6. BB&T

7. TELUS

8. ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd.

9. Suzlon Energy Ltd.

10. Summit Credit Union

11. Shell Oil Company - Jiffy Lube International

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12. Clarkston Consulting

13. U.S. Security Associates, Inc.

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14. Memphis Light, Gas and Water

15. Morrison Management Specialists

16. OptumRx

17. Cognizant Technology Solutions

18. New York Community Bancorp, Inc.

19. Terumo BCT

20. UPS

21. Tech Mahindra Limited

22. Ryan, LLC

23. Cigna Corporation

24. SSM Health Care

25. Infosys Limited

26. SunTrust Banks, Inc.

27. Fluor Corporation

28. Deloitte LLP

29. Valvoline Instant Oil Change

30. Health Care Service Corporation

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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