The Excellence in Practice category recognizes organizations for results achieved through learning and performance solutions. Accomplishments will be recognized at two levels:
- Awards are presented to practices that 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.
- Citation are presented to practices that have yet to demonstrate clear and measurable results, but that have strong evaluation plans, meet a demonstrated need, and have appropriate design values. Citation winners are encouraged to seek an Excellence in Practice Award in a subsequent year.
Here are this year’s Excellence in Practice Award winners in the Career Development category.
Recent product line and service additions resulted in significant growth within Asurion’s core businesses, thus creating a demand for additional leadership. Feedback from key leaders, hard to fill leadership roles and internal metrics supported an increasing demand to develop a strong talent bench. Additionally, data generated from Asurion’s employee engagement survey, employee roundtables, and HR requests indicated that high-potential employees were frustrated by the organization’s lack of job skill and career development opportunities.
In response, Asurion’s HR and training departments collaborated with operations managers to create a leadership development program for high-performing employees who demonstrated the drive, initiative, and potential to become supervisors. The six-month program, called FLIGHT (Frontline Investment in Growing High Potential Talent), requires participants to complete six on-the-job training rotations during which they learn about specific departments and develop the skill sets for future supervisory roles. While shadowing a trained supervisor, participants apply key leadership skills on the job and receive real-time coaching and feedback. Each participant also works with a professional mentor and attends bi-weekly in-class training sessions.
Since the program’s launch, 71 percent of Flight graduates received promotions. Participants’ leadership skills improved from an average rating of 1.68 to 3.16 on a 4-point scale. Additionally, a variety of departments have benefitted from Flight participants’ continuous improvement projects. Some of these results include:
- improved average handle time by 11 seconds
- $6,300 yearly savings from a 5S project
- the creation of metrics for the materials department’s pre-sort function
- a quality score increase from 4.33 to 4.53 in four weeks.
Prior employee engagement surveys identified “development discussions and actions” as an area for improvement; after the implementation of Flight, employees listed this category as one of Asurion’s top three strengths.
Multi-Faceted Mentoring Program
Booz Allen Hamilton
Several factors drove the need for an improved, cohesive, multi-faceted mentoring program to support career and professional development at the management and technology consultancy:
- Significant organizational growth. For 15 years, the organization experienced double-digit growth, requiring accelerated methods to prepare staff for new roles.
- Dispersed workforce. The growing number of staff working at client and remote locations decreased employees’ sense of connection to the organization and made information sharing more difficult. Additionally, employee survey data indicated a lack of awareness about mentoring resources.
- Staff turnover. Attrition data identified high turnover among junior staff and those new to the company. This indicated a need for mentoring opportunities in the early stages of an employee’s career.
To address these issues, Booz Allen Hamilton concentrated its efforts on growing talent, engaging staff, and improving employees’ connection and affiliation with the company. The company moved away from a disparate set of mentoring services to a more integrated approach that supported three key business goals: reduce turnover, increase productivity and performance, and improve business development capability.
The philosophy of the enhanced suite of mentoring tools, resources, and services is to empower employees to choose the appropriate mentoring solution(s)—from a variety of options for both group and one-on-one mentoring—to support their particular development needs at any given time in their careers. Through a development-focused suite of tailored resources and ongoing support, the revised mentoring program has enhanced employee connection and engagement and accelerated effective onboarding, staff development, and career management.
Here are this year’s Excellence in Practice Citation winners in the Career Development category.
District FASTstart New Manager Development Program
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co.
Columbia, South Carolina
At Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Co., the District FASTstart New Management Development Program was designed to recruit, onboard, and train new managers to successfully open new districts in targeted areas for sustainable growth. District FASTstart has transformed the company’s agency expansion efforts into a simple and repeatable system, teaching new managers the sales and leadership skills they need to build a district culture of growth and accountability. Located in 40 U.S. territories, managers are charged with the task of bringing newly acquired knowledge back to their teams. The program employs an intensive hands-on training environment in which participants observe experienced insurance sales professionals recruiting and selling, followed by an application of new skills in their own districts. Colonial Life sales leaders monitor, measure, and evaluate the performance of each new district manager throughout the process. In 2011, more than 130 new district managers and 1,200 new sales representatives were recruited into the program producing more than $15 million in total sales.
Global Career Development Connection (Virtual Event)
Palo Alto, California
An annual employee survey in 2010 indicated that meaningful career development conversations between managers and employees had a positive impact on driving employee engagement. The Global Career Development Connection program was created from a vision of bringing all employees, managers, business groups, and job functions together at one time, in a 24/7 operation, aligning performance and career development tools, resources, and message. Due to the sheer size of the organization with more than 300,000 employees worldwide, a virtual forum was deemed the best approach. As a result of this program, 78 percent of employees complete a performance and career development conversation and a career development plan. Unification of a global organization in one space for the development of the entire employee population has had a significant positive impact.
The Infosys Career Pathfinder is a virtual career center designed to make career related information available to employees and host career development programs. Infosys Pathfinder provides “Optimal Role Options,” based on the concept of mass career customization and job families, which widen the options available to employees. Regular career fairs and career development events provide employees with ideas and perspectives to go beyond their day to day work. Insights into how to succeed in the current role, best practices from successful projects executed, alerts on new internal opportunities, and career lessons learned from senior leaders are also available for employees. The career guidance program along with career related policies, enable employees to initiate a career discussion with their managers. Results are promising. Attrition is trending downward and the company’s virtual career center has seen a significant rise in traffic. Employee satisfaction rates are on the rise, and a new “social works” program that develops professional skills through participation in social projects has resonated well with the workforce.
Talent Cultivation Database for High-level Civil Servants in Taiwan
National Academy of Civil Service (ROC)
Taiwan Power Company Training Institute
The National Academy of Civil Service (NACS) is in charge of the civil service obligatory training, under the Examination Yuan, the branch of government in charge of national examinations in Taiwan. Renowned as the cradle for cultivating high-level civil servants in Taiwan, this career development practice is targeted at those who will play key roles in government policy and performance. All management-level officials seeking to be promoted to the strategic level are obliged to attend the fourweek training, which emphasizes problem-solving, experiential learning, and teamwork. By combining theory and practical experience, the curriculum enables trainees to extract and share valuable insights from their own experience. This project has been in practice for seven years. Nearly 11,000 participants have been through the program and 91 percent of them have passed. Forty-one percent of the successful participants have been promoted to the “strategic level”—the highest rank for civil servants in Taiwan.