Making a commitment to corporate training and development doesn’t just spontaneously happen. It takes effort and planning across all parts of an organization for L&D professionals to teach the skills their teams of employees need, and for employees to be open to the learning and development experiences within their workplace.
Several companies have made it once again into Training Magazine’s list of “Top 125”. This is the 15th year the magazine has put together a roster of the companies that are most fully and most innovatively committed to L&D. The annual list ranks 125 companies with stellar employer-sponsored workforce training and development programs. The magazine bases its final rankings 70% on quantitative factors and 30% on qualitative data.
Kudos to the organizations that continue to show they are L&D superstars year after year, and welcome to the 27 newcomers to the list. We’ve picked out five special companies that we felt boasted particularly impressive training programs.
Keller Williams Realty, Inc. (Top ranked this year; ranked #2 in 2014). HQ is Austin, Texas, with more than 107,000 employees globally, and 104,000 in the US. The company offers its 7-week BOLD training program (Business Objective Life by Design) to help real estate associates increase the profitability of their franchised businesses by teaching the pursuit of leads and business-building activities. The company reported that BOLD program graduates increased their income more than 175% over non-BOLD agents in 2014.
Jiffy Lube International. (Ranked #2 this year; ranked #1 in 2014). HQ is Houston, Texas, with 20,000 employees in the US, 25 full-time trainers, 6,000 part-time trainers, and 50 subject matter experts. Certification of technical skills is required. Technicians must be certified in order to perform a service. In 2013, the company logged more than 2.2 million hours of training and awarded 175,000 certifications. The company has continued to ratchet up certifications as well as doubling its training hours over the past 3 years. Results have shown that among its 41% of retail car service stores with 100% technician certifications, both customer services scores across 15 categories are higher, as are the number of customers coming through the doors.
Capital Blue Cross. (Ranked #3 again this year, as in 2014). HQ is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with 1,725 employees in the US, and $2 billion in annual revenues. This health care firm, with an annual training budget of 17.7 million (10% of payroll), has 68 full-time trainers, 4 part-time trainers, and 429 subject matter experts. its “Breakthrough Leadership” 12-month program analyzes the leadership challenges of past great leaders as applicable to modern business decisions. As a result, the program boasts that 71% of graduates have been promoted, two to the Executive Team. 100% of grads have either served in an executive strategic advisory team or on teams dedicated to identifying process improvement opportunities.
CHG Healthcare Services. (Ranked #4 again this year, as in 2014). HQ is Salt Lake City, Utah, with 1,789 US employees. This health/medical services company offers the SOAR one-year mentoring program. Paired with a mentor, the program allows for growth and development opportunities to up-and-comers through project work. Inductees work to solve a large-scale problem facing the division, and the team produces business-altering innovations each year. This formalized blueprint for career advancement has also shown to improve scores on employee surveys up to 39%.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. (Ranked #5, up from #9 in 2014). HQ is Detroit, Michigan. With more than 7,700 US employees and $21.3 billion in annual revenue, this health insurer has 115 full-time trainers, 5 part-time trainers and 158 subject matter experts. The company built a Leadership Competency Framework to focus on employee development of the skills for success in the new healthcare reform world. Twelve competencies are grouped into three concepts: Delivering Results, Leading People, and Building For the Future. The program’s structure purposefully aligns with the company’s strategic goals, and was also woven into employee performance reviews and leadership development. Monthly, more than 400 corporate leaders take part voluntarily in a webinar designed to enhance one of the leadership competencies.
No matter the specific industry that large companies operate within, there’s always a place for a tailored L&D program that teaches the specific skills and abilities that employees need to be happy, highly productive, and become oh-so-promotable. This isn’t one-sided, of course. Training can and does help the organization solve current problems, identify new and rising star employees, and achieve their top line goals.