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In business (and in government) weâve stopped talking about personnel administration or even human resources management. Now we are dealing with the management of human capital. . . People are the most important asset of an organization. Jac Fitz-enz Author and HR Strategic Thinker INTRODUCTION An important part of any practical application research effort is to identify successful practices used by other organizations and share those through the research report. This chapter dis- cusses successful practices used by both the private and the public sectors. In sharing these success stories, we real- ize that what works in one organization may or may not have direct transferability to another organization. However, the very concept of learning about another organizationâs suc- cess can often stimulate creative thinking and ideas that can be applied to oneâs own organization. It is in this spirit that the successful practices are provided. AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENTâBEST AWARDS ASTD is one of the premier professional societies for mem- bers of the training and development, or as ASTD has renamed the profession, the workplace learning and perfor- mance improvement profession. Beginning in 2003, ASTD has presented the annual BEST awards to organizations in the public and the private sector from around the world who Build talent, Enterprise-wide, Supported by the organiza- tionâs leaders, fostering a Thorough learning culture. ASTD has tracked the performance of both its 2003 and 2004 winners of BEST awards. The public and private orga- nizations are able to demonstrate that their training does, indeed, provide a value added contribution to the organiza- tion. In the article, âBest Practices in Learning Tied to Finan- cial Performance,â which appeared in the June 2005 issue of Training and Development, ASTDâs Research Department analyzed the BEST award winners from 2003 and 2004 . . . as well as another study of high-performing learning organi- zations conducted by other companies, [to] identify similar char- acteristics that define excellence in learning functions. ASTD has found that companies with best practices in learning functions are among those with high levels of financial performance. The 21 28 public companies that won ASTD BEST awards in 2003 and 2004 outperformed the S&P 2005 Index by 2 to 1 for the past 5 years. The BEST award is now in its fourth year. There are more than 60 public and private organizations whose training and development success stories are captured in these awards. They provide a rich source of data for state DOTs to learn how other organizations have provided exceptional training experiences for their employees. These are organizations whose training programs have a high percentage of manda- tory training time, where leaders support learning throughout the organization, where learning objectives are components of performance management, and where a corporate level learning officer is in place. In addition, training is directly linked to the organizationâs strategic goals and objectives. Examples of the 2004 BEST winners included: Accentureâlearning from experience, failures as well as suc- cesses, is a vital part of the enterprise commitment to learning at Accenture, a global provider of professional and technical ser- vices with more than 100,000 employees. A win/loss review is conducted after every sales opportunity, and lessons learned are documented in a globally accessible database that is part of the companyâs knowledge management system. Employees learn safely from mistakes made in cutting-edge simulations that cover a wide range of business-critical skills, as well as from the fail- ures and challenges shared by colleagues as part of the learning experience. American ExpressâAmerican Express recently reviewed its customer service training program to develop a more robust curriculum for its representatives. A simulated call center envi- ronment called SIMON (Simulated Online Network) was cre- ated. SIMON allows learners to practice typical tasks without the risks involved in helping a live customer. Feedback comes from the application, instructors, and coaches. The simulation curriculum is combined with a unique technology called LARA (Language Reduction Application), which helps learners meet customer needs by telephone more quickly and efficiently. SIMON has new employees meeting minimum job standards in less than half the time; some are even outperforming existing employees. Defense Acquisition UniversityâIntegrating knowledge sharing into the learning environment is one of the success stories of Defense Acquisition University (DAU), the corporate university of the U.S. Department of Defense. Keeping employees up to speed with business changes is the mission of DAUâs recent Rapid Deployment Training Initiative, which has teams create new learning materials for a digital repositoryâand be used by on-site mobile training teamsâwithin 5 days of a change. CHAPTER FOUR SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES FROM BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT
Performance metrics indicate that since 1998 DAU has increased the number of students trained from 33,000 to 72,000 per year, reduced faculty/staff from 643 to 540, and cut student travel costs from US$531 million to $18 million per year. The sav- ings freed resources for e-learning, curricula modernization, and extended reach. This helped fund DAUâs Continuous Learning Center with over 60 modules that now has more than 200,000 registered users, and expanded the reach of DAUâs learning products into more than 116 countries worldwide. Deloitte & Touche USA LLPâThe key to effective new learning solutions is sometimes marketing and communications. Deloitte & Touche discovered that marketing and communications is the key to successful new learning solutions after launching its learning websiteâa virtual university and centralized learning hub for its 30,000+ workforce. Investment in a marketing/communications arm of the training organization significantly contributed to increases of 816% in learning website users and 745% in e-learning courses completed. PLANNING TRAINING AND MEASURING RESULTS The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the central human capital agency for federal organizations, has com- piled a âhow toâ manual entitled A Guide to Strategically Planning Training and Measuring Results (2000). The Guide defines a four-step process to assist in this endeavor: â¢ Step 1: Analyze Established Goals to Identify Training Requirements â¢ Step 2: Develop Training Strategies to Achieve Goals â¢ Step 3: Integrate Training into Strategic Plans â¢ Step 4: Evaluate Training Goal Accomplishment. The Guideâs introduction states: Chances are that you have read something lately or participated in discussions about the payoffs of investing in training. For example, two major corporations recently made front page news by providing their employees with home computers. These corporations believe that this investment will contribute to an acceleration of skills for both employees and the company throughout the 21st century. In the business world there is increasing recognition that training the workforce is a win-win business strategy. The Guide contains a wealth of best practices for learning organizations to use to increase their strategic focus on train- ing and development activities and for measuring the results achieved. The A Guide to Strategically Planning Training 29 and Measuring Results is available at http://www.opm.gov/ hrd/lead/pubs/spguide.pdf. SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES IN TRAINING PROGRAM DESIGN As part of its ongoing work to review issues relevant to human capital challenges, the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) assessed the lessons learned by six public organizations about the design of training and development programs. As part of this analysis, GAO offers its sugges- tions of successful practices (see Figure 3). This particular report was prepared at the request of Senator George V. Voinovich who, when Governor of Ohio, introduced a vari- ety of learning programs in the state to improve individual and organization performance. The report defines an ana- lytical framework for assessing training programs. The framework is anchored in GAOâs model for strategic human capital, which has four componentsâleadership; strategic human capital planning; acquiring, developing, and retaining talent; and results-oriented organizational culture (Figure 3). Under the leadership of Comptroller General David Walker, GAO has earned a worldwide rep- utation for its work in improving human capital manage- ment programs. The suggested analytical framework for training and devel- opment also has four componentsâplanning and front-end analysis, design and development, implementation, and evalu- ation (see Figure 4). The six case studies â. . . focused on ways these agencies (1) assessed agency skills gaps and identified training needs, (2) developed strategies and solutions to these identified training and development needs, and (3) determined methods to evaluate the effectiveness of training and develop- ment programs.â They provide rich detail about real experi- ences in identifying needs, developing solutions for those needs and evaluating the results achieved. SUCCESSFUL PRACTICES IN TECHNOLOGY At the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Con- ference, Dr. Allison Rossett, Professor of Educational Tech- nology at San Diego State University, and a national expert in the use of technology for training and development pro- vided some perspective into the rapidly transforming world FIGURE 3 Cornerstones of GAOâs Model of Strategic Human Capital Management (Source: GAO).
of educational technology. Her presentation, âHow Technol- ogy Is Changing Nearly Everything for Our Students and for Us,â underscored the rapid changes occurring in the training world. Among her key points were: â¢ Currently, ASTM estimates that approximately 30% of training delivery is by means of technology. â¢ The trend is that successful public and private organiza- tions are or will shortly become learning organizations. â¢ These organizations have a high level of literacy with well-educated employees who expect to be involved in their work and in the organizationâs success, and who also expect the organization to provide training and development experiences that are directly relevant and rich in applicable information. â¢ In the new world of training and development more content will be delivered on demand in learner-centered environments through multiple resources. For example, in 2005 the U.S. Internal Revenue Service delivered 70% of its learning events electronically. Before he left General Electric (GE), CEO Jack Welch set a goal of 30 100% of GEâs training and development to be learner- centered and technology-enabled. â¢ In the not too distance future, performance and learning will be totally integrated as organizations and individu- als embrace human performance technology and the increased value of on-demand, or âjust in timeâ learn- ing that is integrated into the workday. â¢ The technology of iPods and cell phones is rapidly devel- oping to provide what is literally instant access to just in time learning. Additional information and resources are available through Dr. Rossettâs website: http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/ARossett/ ARbiblio.html. MANAGING THE TSUNAMI OF CHANGE One way to understand the rate of change is by the length of various historical ages. The Agricultural Age lasted approx- imately 2,000 years, the Industrial Age approximately 350 years, and the Technology Age has lasted about 70 years. FIGURE 4 Four components of the training and development process (Source: GAO).
31 With the identification and modeling of DNA, scientists and scholars are now beginning to speak of the Biological Age, which they estimate may last 35 years. Another way to understand the rate of change is that more information has been created in the last 30 years than in all of the rest of mankindâs recorded history. It is within this context that Amy Whitten, a Principle of the Whitten Group based in Jackson, Mississippi, discussed successful practices for managing organizational change at the 2005 National Transportation Training Directors Confer- ence. She identified four types of reaction to change: â¢ Entrenched individuals who want minimal change, â¢ Overwhelmed individuals who withdraw and avoid changing, â¢ The learner who embraces change who is engaged and growing, and â¢ The individual who simply makes it up as he or she goes along. Understanding these types and their approach to and impact on change is essential to developing strategies and plans for designing and implementing successful change. Keys to reducing resistance to change include powerful communi- cation of the vision for change (which means that a vision was developed), a realistic implementation plan and time- frame supported by an appropriate level of resources, a sense of humor to get through the tough times, strong expectations of success and of employee and managerial contribution and participation, tough love, and calculated wins (ensuring that there are visible, measurable successes along the way and that those are both recognized and cele- brated). Those interested in learning more about this approach to change can contact Ms. Whitten at www.the whittengroup.com. TRAINING METRICS Although each state DOT must establish its own set of met- rics that reflect the quality, quantity, and timeliness of its training and development efforts and their contributions to improving individual and organizational performance and to achieving the organizationâs strategic goals and objectives, there are a few measures that can be compared with national figures. For example, the ASTD 2005 State of the Industry Report contains 9 years of data about such issues as the aver- age training expenditures and other relevant metrics. For example, according to the 2005 report, the average annual expenditure was $820 per employee, an amount that has remained stable since 2002. The report further disaggregates the data for three major groups. For example, Benchmark- ing Forum (BMF) (Fortune 500 and large public sector) organizations spent $1,190 per employee, which is a reduc- tion from the average expenditure of $1,366 in 2002. Another useful comparative metric in this report is the average percentage of payroll that public and private orga- nizations invest in learning. This metric showed an increase from 2.2% in 2002 to 2.5% in 2005, and then disaggregates these data by its three categories. For example, BMF orga- nizations also decreased their percentage of payroll expen- diture from 2.47% in 2002 to 1.99% in 2005. The report also provides useful comparisons about the sources of trainingâ internal versus external. For example, some 25% to 30% of expenditures were for outsourced learning. It also has an excellent section on the use of technology in learning. Inter- esting data from the 2005 report show that nearly 30% of learning is now delivered by means of technology and that more than 50% of that was online. Of the online learning, 75% or more was self-paced. The WatsonWyatt Worldwide Human Capital Index is a second source of comparative data for training, development, and other human capital programs (see http://www.watson wyatt.com/research/resrender.asp?id=W-488&page=1). As ASTD does with its BEST award winners, WatsonWyattâs Human Capital Index develops metrics that demonstrate the values, or lack thereof, that flow from various human capital investments. This database has multiyear information from 750 corporations and a growing number of public-sector organizations. A third source is the comparative data that can be found at the Saratoga Institute, a subsidiary of PriceWaterhouse Coopers. This database contains workforce diagnostics that can provide insights on issues where training and develop- ment may be the solution (see http://www.pwc.com/extweb/ service.nsf/docid/623831886DE2BC6A85256EBA0058B C4). NAPA worked with the Saratoga Institute in the late 1990s and early 2000s to incorporate public organization data in the databases. SUCCESSION PLANNING Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, was famous for his attention to succession planning for key leadership positions within GE. He believed that succession planning was the key to organizational success. The following except from a 1998 Business Week article about Welch demonstrates his partici- pation in and commitment to succession planning. He was never âtoo busy.â Selecting and grooming the next genera- tion of leaders was his job (Byrne 1998). Welch knows by sight the names and responsibilities of at least the top 1,000 people at GE. âHe knows their names. He knows what they do. Thatâs an incredible reinforcement to the individ- ual that he or she counts,â says Dunham of GEâs Medical Systems business. . . . That message has been consistently hammered home by Welch since he became CEO in 1981. Nowhere does Welch put greater focus on people and performance than in the companyâs annual Session C reviews that begin in April and last through May. With three of his senior executives, Welch travels into the field to each of his 12 businesses to review the progress of the companyâs top 3,000 executives and keeps closest tabs on the upper 500.
. . . . These are intensive reviews that force those running the units to identify their future leaders, make bets on early-career ââstretchââ assignments, develop succession plans for all key jobs, and decide which high-potential executives should be sent to Croton-on-Hudson for leadership training. . . . How can Welch possibly weigh in with intelligent comments about so many diverse managers and executives? Largely, itâs because he has met so many of them. In an average year, Welch directly meets and interacts with several thousand GE employees. At the session, moreover, he sits behind a briefing book that contains every employeeâs assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, 32 developmental needs, and short- and long-term goals, together with their supervisorâs analysis. Photos of the employees being tracked and reviewed accompany the package. In every potential leader, Welch is looking for what he now calls ââE to the fourth power,ââ his term for people who have enormous personal energy; the ability to motivate and energize others; âedgeââthe GE code word for being instinctively competitiveâand the skill to execute on those attributes.