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Learn How 5 Innovators Take Their Training Programs to the Next Level

Written by Julie Gora

Last month, a group of Grovo Sapiens attended Training magazine’s Training 2017 Conference and Expo—one of the top events of the year for learning leaders and trainers across the globe. Along with amazing keynote speakers and an expo full of learning and training solutions, one of the highlights of the event is the announcement of Training Top 125.

Every year since 2000, Training magazine has released a list of the top 125 organizations that “demonstrate a strong focus on effective training and employee development tied to corporate strategic goals and business impact.” These companies take learning seriously, and their investment shows.

There’s a lot we can learn from each of the 125 names on the list, so we’ve chosen to highlight five standout examples of enterprises leading the way in training to inspire you.

Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Headquarters: Austin, TX
Number of employees: 144,876 globally
2017 Rank: 1
2016 Rank: 2
L&D Use Case: Sales training

Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is no stranger to the Training Top 125 list, having landed at either #1 or #2 over the last four years. The company continually focuses on training that produces results at every level starting with their foundational training course, Ignite. The 12-session, blended training program combines different types of training with “real-play” activities like calling actual consumers. The results speak for themselves: students who participate in the program increase their commissions by 79%, are 138% more likely to close sales than those who have not taken the course, and have contributed to Keller Williams’ 18% increase in agent commissions through August 2016.

Best Buy

Headquarters: Richfield, MN
Number of employees: 125,000 globally
2017 Rank: 6
2016 Rank: 11
L&D Use Case: Customer service and product training

Best Buy is consistently on the Training Top 125 list, and 2017 is their highest showing yet. They started incorporating virtual training to enhance their training strategy back in 2015 and have continued to innovate throughout the years and rise in the rankings. This year, Best Buy put on-the-go training in the hands of their employees through a new, proprietary mobile eLearning solution.  Employees now have immediate access to bite-sized videos and key product information which they can access directly through the app or by scanning UPC or QR codes on their mobile devices. In less than 10 months, employees have leveraged the new mobile training more than 1.25 million times with a 23% average increase in unit sales for those products supported by the app.

WellSpan Health

Location: York, PA
Number of employees: 14,893
2017 Rank: 11
2016 Rank: 22
L&D Use Case: New employee onboarding

WellSpan Health’s focus on new employee onboarding earned them a big jump, from #22 to #11, on this year’s list. In 2016, WellSpan Health took a step back to evaluate the purpose and meaning of new employee orientation. They ultimately decided to transform their orientation from merely an HR process to an L&D program focusing on welcoming, engaging, and inspiring employees. Since implementation, engagement has been high, training hours have reduced by 33%, and the company has saved an estimated $372,000.

New York Life Insurance Company

Location: New York, NY
Number of employees: 11,000 globally
2017 Rank: 27
2016 Rank: 27
L&D Use Case: Career development

New York Life Insurance Company, at #27 for the second year, continues to successfully focus on engagement and development of all employees. In an effort to better align professional skills training with performance management, New York Life allows each employee to take their career development into their own hands by creating individual L&D blueprints. With three integrated paths to knowledge—learning through experiences, relationships, and education—employees are continuously engaged in thousands of development activities outside of a classroom setting.

Iron Mountain

Location: Boston, MA
Number of employees: 23,727 globally
2017 Rank: 41
2016 Rank: 42
L&D Use Case: New manager training

Iron Mountain tackled the all-too-common business challenge of new manager training to grab the #41 spot on the list this year. Considering up to 40% of new managers don’t meet expectations in their first 18-24 months in the role, Iron Mountain adapted its Sentinel Program to include robust orientation training for supervisors and managers. The role-specific onboarding program, launched in April 2015, combines eLearning with on-the-job training with a peer coach and has led to an astounding 400% increase in knowledge and skills acquisition and 95% retention rate compared to 60% before the launch of the program.

It’s no secret that developing your people makes a positive impact on their lives and on your organization’s business goals and bottom line—but change doesn’t happen on its own. These five learning leaders exemplify what anyone can achieve when they take a step back, evaluate their L&D strategy, identify what business challenges could be addressed with more innovative training, and do something about it.

For more inspiration, check out the other 120 winners who round out the 2017 Training magazine top 125. Maybe next year you’ll be one of them!

Want to create your own award-winning L&D program? Speak with a Grovo learning specialist today.

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