ATD Dallas AXIS Awards recognize innovative organizations that achieve results in workplace learning and talent development. The AXIS Awards are open to small and large private, public and not-for-profit organizations from the DFW area.
Congratulations to the 2017 AXIS Awards Winners!
(Images provided by: © Scott Peek Photography)
About The Winners:
Best in Show
Game Stop - Learning Technologies
1st Place - Asurion
In 2013 the Asurion Talent Development team began developing a coaching program, referred to as Masters, that would help drive a culture shift to maximize the performance of customer-facing employees. Their mission was to create expert coaches that could support two key business goals: 1) help the customer enhance their lives through technology every day, and 2) develop leaders within the organization to support future growth.
Masters is built around a martial arts theme, consisting of five program levels, or ‘belts,’ that take a coach from the novice to master level. Each Belt is comprised of three core components – coursework, learning sessions and checkpoints that must be completed to advance to the next level. The program encompasses six skill areas including communication, technical skills, time management, coaching, problem solving and intervention.
Asurion’s focus on strong, consistent coaching has led to happier, more self-directed employees who find improved ways to assist customers. The company’s NPS score is at an all-time high and average telephone handle time has improved by 6%. Moreover, proficiency in the coaching model has proven to be a predictor in increase associate satisfaction.
2nd Place - Pariveda Solutions
As part of their overall learning strategy, Pariveda Solutions wanted to help employees become more intentional in using day-to-day work activities as an avenue for learning and career growth. Pariveda introduced a concept called DROP (Deliberate Reflective Ongoing Practice) as a mechanism for employees to be more effective in building habits that align with their longer-term goals. As part of the semi-annual review process, employees identify 2-3 focus areas for the upcoming review period and use the DROP strategy to break those goals down into tangible habits they can build.
The success of the initiative is currently being measured through the performance review process by tracking the adoption of the process. Over the most recent review cycle, the organization found approximately 80% of employees were using DROP and that the tool was proving to be a valuable resource for mentors and mentees in putting career development into action.
Design and Delivery
1st Place - Children's Health Systems
At Children’s Health, experts from the Learning Institute partnered with laboratory training experts to support the implementation of a new lab system called Beaker and hand-held device application called Rover. These new technologies would dramatically change the work environment for 221 lab members and the workflows of 2500+ clinical staff, ultimately creating efficiencies for the organization.
Using ADDIE, the team developed a 4-track learning program serving various job roles in the lab and main hospital areas, each using a multi-modality training solution. The team engaged in the process early, building partnerships with subject matter experts, clinical educators, and operations leaders to encourage buy-in and active participation in the final design. The training team built comprehensive training plans, frequently reviewing them with project owners, stakeholders, experts and users. As design plans were approved, the team developed and implemented the solutions with the active communication and support of the entire project team.
To measure the effectiveness of the training, the team assessed participant satisfaction, knowledge, skill competency and on-the-job performance through a variety evaluation methods. While it is still early, the implementation was viewed by users and stakeholders as highly successful, already showing signs of increased efficiency and productivity.
2nd Place - Apexus
In 1992, President Bush established the 340B Drug Pricing Program to help community health organizations provide prescription drugs to those who need them most. Because federally funded programs can be complex and difficult to understand, Apexus saw an opportunity to develop an educational solution that would increase program knowledge and promote operational integrity.
The 340B University consists of live events, an on-demand curriculum made up of 23 e-learning modules, and a national call center to address program operations. Over time the 340B University has become a staple of informational integrity in the 340B industry, providing more than 90,000 hours of free education. More than 15,000 individuals have enrolled in the e-learning curriculum since its launch in 2015. Many hospitals and clinics across the country, as well as other stakeholders, require completion of the curriculum as part of onboarding and staff training. The 340B University live events and the OnDemand modules are consistently rated 4.2–4.5 on a 5-point scale, and the call center’s satisfaction scores average 97% or higher.
1st Place - Sabre
After going public in 2014, Sabre recognized a need to operate in a materially different way to achieve and exceed financial goals, outpace shareholder expectations, and maximize the potential of their most valuable asset - human capital. Sabre partnered with BTS to assess organizational issues that could better align the business strategy with the people strategy. Identified opportunities for this work included common leadership challenges such as business acumen, improved collaboration across business silos, and executive talent development.
Sabre partnered with BTS in conjunction with Sabre executive leadership and stakeholders to develop a three-day immersive experience designed to address these issues and increase overall leadership capabilities. The program featured an enterprise simulation customized for the firm that included both teaching segments and practical application covering topics like decision making, value creation, balancing short-term and long-term objectives, collaboration and empowering innovation. This leadership offering became the capstone of the instructor led leadership journey at Sabre.
Program results indicate a strong knowledge transfer shift among the organization’s leaders, especially in the categories of understanding the drivers of value creation, identifying and taking steps to align competing goals and allocating scare resources to drive value for the company. In addition, the company has seen a significant difference in voluntary attrition among leaders who have been through the program.
2nd Place - Baylor Scott & White Health
Learn. Lead. Inspire—these adjectives sum up the goals for Baylor Scott & White’s organizational-wide leadership development approach. Serving a geographically-dispersed workforce made up of healthcare professionals and clinicians, the leadership development team utilized a blended learning approach to effectively train leaders throughout the organization all while containing costs.
The Baylor Scott & White leadership development team decided to internally develop an on-demand, micro-learning video portal and virtual community accessible to all leaders across the organization. In addition, the team created customized, experiential-based classroom programming that trains leaders before and during the critical transitions a leader makes, addressing all levels of leadership within the organization.
The focus of Baylor Scott & White’s strategy is to create a culture of caring leadership. The effectiveness of their programs and its alignment to the business is continuously measured through the use of pre and post surveys, behavioral assessments, retention scores, engagement results and the use of formal feedback. As a result of their work, the team has delivered an effective learning strategy that meets the organization’s leadership development needs while improving the cost efficiency of training delivery and reducing the overall training spend.
1st Place - Associa
In 2012, Associa launched a transformation initiative to develop and implement a standardized operational model across the enterprise. Associa’s Talent Development organization was tasked with building a culture of learning that would support this transformation.
The team undertook a large initiative to evaluate skill requirements and gaps for a target audience that spanned multiple roles across the business. Associa designed a comprehensive approach that included multiple learning methodologies such as micro-learning modules which replaced traditional instructor-led courses and utilized the Degreed platform for employees to access learning.
Associa leveraged a number of tools to measure the success of the initiative including employee surveys to track learner engagement, Google Forms and Cred Spark to track learner comprehension, and functional baseline assessments to track application of learning to daily work. The team’s work has played an important support role in achieving some critical milestones and recognitions including a significant increase in financial performance and client retention in 2016, and a Great Place To Work award for 2017.
2nd Place - PepsiCo
PepsiCo is a company that stands alone in its commitment to deliver sustained growth through empowered people, acting with responsibility, and building trust. Functional Excellence is one of the key components of their Career Growth Model and is foundational to building a successful career at PepsiCo. To build functional excellence, PepsiCo University, in partnership with Infinitude Creative Group, developed an innovative new course focused on delivering engaging, impactful presentations that drive others’ thoughts and actions.
The course, titled “The Pitch,” provides associates the opportunity to build proficiency in this skill area and its uniquely designed approach incorporates storytelling, gamification, and visual engagement in a way that can be easily translated for a global audience. The result is a fun, engaging learning opportunity that helps identify and hone skills that are critical to achieving business success.
The primary evaluation mechanism for the course is an online assessment which measures proficiency improvement over time. Currently, evaluation data is revealing that a significant number of learners feel the course has enhanced their ability to learn, and improved their knowledge and skills on the behaviors necessary for ongoing success.
1st Place - Conifer Health
Conifer Health Solutions recently implemented a talent strategy and brand promise that conveys the mutual value that team members bring to the company, and the company brings to team member’s overall wellbeing. The strategy when fully realized is expected to deliver better business results, a stronger pipeline of talent, greater capability, and greater career mobility for team members.
The initial program designed to deliver on the new brand promise was an onboarding experience for new team members called Better Together Ready. The program was designed to communicate the important role that team members have in helping Conifer achieve its purpose of providing the foundation for better health, and how through that work a company culture known as Conifer Life is created that comprehensively supports the team member’s time, money, health and career needs. In partnership with SVI, Conifer Health used a 5 step design process to create the vision for the program, identify gaps, establish objectives, design the solution, validate the program and prepare the delivery.
Conifer Health measures the effectiveness of the program through training surveys, HR interviews, 90-day turnover numbers, and supervisor evaluations of new team members. Initial results are indicating improvement in all areas. In addition, Conifer is also measuring the impact on business results like patient satisfaction, productivity, and overall program costs. Finally, they will be conducting analysis around talent pipeline quality and quantity.
2nd Place - Sendero Consulting
As a professional services organization, Sendero Consulting faces unique risks relative to employee retention and engagement. Due to great delivery and strong relationships with their clients, they face the challenge of balancing client demands and their employees’ career growth. Understanding this, the company’s leadership team invested heavily in initiatives to help employees prioritize their career development and feel connected and valued.
Growth Opportunity Planning is a process that provides employees with critical development opportunities while proactively preventing burnout. Essentially, the Organizational Development team facilitates a process to review the roles, responsibilities and reporting structure for all employees and recommend staffing changes / reassignments to promote career growth.
Since implementing the program, Sendero has seen a significant increase in the number of role changes, client changes and transition plans. Employee feedback indicates they appreciate the investment in their career growth and the company expects to see an increase in employee engagement in their upcoming survey as well. Overall, GO planning is having a tangible effect on engagement and satisfaction.
1st Place - GME/GameStop
Within the last 5 years especially, GME/GameStop has grown, evolved and diversified to include multiple brands operating in more than a dozen countries. This evolution as resulted in a need to identify more ‘portable’ leadership talent capable of leading any of its businesses. To meet this need, GME introduced a series of calibrated assessments and development interventions to answer 4 question questions regarding the future business landscape, future talent needs, current talent available and strategies for closing the gap. This approach has been central to its long-term talent planning strategy.
GME’s assessment process focuses on the global competencies identified by senior organizational and OD leaders. During the process, nearly all assessment activities are observed and assessed by senior executives in the organization, including the C-suite and other leadership executives. It includes a 360 assessment, 1-2 individual activities that demonstrate financial and operational acumen, and 1-2 team scenarios that involve solving complex business problems, under pressure, working with others.
Effectiveness of the program is measured continuously with each candidate’s business performance, 9-box placement, retention rate, growth rate, and success in new placements. Post-assessment discussions are conducted to assess progress with individual development plans and business-related development plans. Finally. the team evaluates how well they are able to fill omni-channel, multi-brand leadership roles with internal talent. As a result of this program, the team is promoting over 50% of candidates in the assessment process, has minimized sourcing fees for many roles, has increased the speed of opening new stores and retained talent at a greater rate among program participants.
Diversity and Inclusion
1st Place - GM Financial
The GM Financial IT Training team was tasked with helping the IT group become a more cohesive team. Due to rapid expansion, a large acquisition, and a diverse workforce, the team was disjointed and siloed. The IT team began devising ways to integrate teambuilding and employee appreciation with their diversity and inclusion strategy to encourage employee participation and enthusiasm to foster cross-department collaboration.
The IT training team planned a series of initiatives designed to facilitate networking across the organization, including employee appreciation events, a department-wide newsletter, cross-organization team building events, diversity celebrations, and Coffee with the CIO events.
Each of these initiatives was measured via feedback surveys and the current trends indicate a significant increase in new partnerships, which has resulted in more proactive face-to-face meetings and conversations, cross-department collaboration and less rework due to poor communication. Overall, the IT team is much more inclusive which has impacted business in a very positive way.
1st Place - PrimeLending
The training team at PrimeLending was challenged to design and develop a new learning program for Loan Processors to help them master the critical tasks of their role. The team began with a deep analysis of the entire workflow for the role, identifying the weak points and pain points in the process. With this information in hand, the team began developing the program content including small improvements that would ultimately make the process more effective and efficient.
The final program was designed to incorporate as many learning methodologies as possible, including infographics, videos, screen demonstrations, test cases, instructor-led sessions and games! Results are measured through a variety of surveys of both participants and their managers to determine how performance is impacted.
In the past, loan processes were trained ‘on-the-job’ in the branch. Now they are trained at our corporate office on company-wide best practices which ultimately allow the branches to focus on serving our customers instead of trying to train new employees. And at the same time, the Loan Processors return to the branch and contribute immediately to the success of the team.
2nd Place - Anheuser-Busch
Anheuser-Busch recognized a need to update and upgrade their selling skills training to better serve a mobile audience of 20,000 + US distributors. Because the organization is focused on their people first, they wanted to create a program that would be completely learner centric and focus on a core business strategy of building win-win relationships.
The team partnered with LEO Learning to develop a micro-learning model that uses a blend of learning techniques including video-based scenarios, story-based learning, elements of gaming and concludes with 2 capstones to provide real practice with relatable simulated situations.
Because the audience is sales focused, the organization is able to capture a good deal of data on how participants are performing post training and quantify the extent to which the program is truly improving the sales performance of the organization. Early results indicate a promising correlation between sales performance and the program in some locations across the US.