New LMS Platform Helps Build 'One Adecco'

Rich Thompson, vice president of Training & Staff Development for all Adecco Group colleagues across North America, saw a significant opportunity to help foster “One Adecco” through training and development, one of the few consistent touch points across the organization’s 6,300 employees.
 
In addition, Adecco found that delivering training online and on-demand was advantageous for critical new-hire training, and without equal in its ability to consistently and expeditiously convey corporate initiatives. Just this past year, e-learning has enabled Adecco to develop a training program for 700 new hires with a consistent message delivered via asynchronous, self-paced elearning content. The dissemination of corporate initiatives via e-learning powered by GeoLearning’s on-demand GeoMaestro learning management platform has enabled Adecco to influence and monitor the execution of training courses. This has given Adecco greater control while relieving its 600 field managers from the burden of conducting their own training.
 
Eliminating costs like instructors’ salaries, meeting room rentals, student travel, lodging and meals are directly quantifiable. In 2007, Adecco saved more than $100,000 in training and development costs associated with in-person meetings (a 60 percent savings). But reducing time spent away from the job by employees may be the most significant benefit of e-learning. Previously, sales training meant 50 or more field personnel would be absent from their offices for an entire week at a time. In a business focused on client service and sales, this is a critical efficiency.
 
E-learning delivered via GeoLearning’s Software as a Service (SaaS) model enables the convenience of learning that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The scala-bility and flexibility of e-learning even makes it possible to offer students and administrators an experience that is configurable by language preference, making it easy for a global enterprise to access, deliver and measure learning. It’s been a tremendous success so far with Adecco colleagues generating 49,357 logins and 53,499 training hours on the site.
 
“We have numerous learning business examples where GeoMaestro has enabled us to deliver effective training across our nationwide workforce,” says Thompson. “Whether it is a new hire who needs proper and consistent inception training or training for the tenured colleague who has taken the initiative to enhance skills to prepare for a transfer or promotion, we’ve found that GeoMaestro delivered ondemand reduces overall training costs, improves time-to competency and offers us consistency of delivery.”
 
Adecco has also found it to be a very viable option to deliver corporate initiatives like its EVA (Economic Value Add) program.
 
Recently, Adecco Group North America faced the challenge of communicating a universal and consistent message to every employee about the concept of EVA and how employees have the ability to positively influence it. In response to this need, Adecco created a customized online course describing the concept of EVA as a financial performance model. Then, using the GeoMaestro LMS, Adecco was able to deliver the training course with a consistent message about this important company initiative. The training was mandatory, and more than 3,000 Adecco team members completed the program in approximately two weeks.
 
Adecco Group North America also had a business need to prepare new employees with baseline knowledge for its High Impact Training (HIT) instructor-led training program headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 
New employees had been sent to training without any on-the-job training. Therefore, the class had been very content heavy, leaving little to no time for practical application exercises. Using Articulate, a rapid e-learning course development tool compatible with the GeoLearning LMS, Adecco created line-of-business, position- specific online learning plans containing courses and tests to measure learning and competency as a requirement to attending instructor-led training. With limited training and some hands-on experience, the Adecco Group North American training team was able to successfully create many custom courses in just a few weeks.
 
“The required learning plans each contain 25 to 30 courses that are generally no longer than 15 minutes. New colleagues are expected to complete one to two courses per day inside of 90 days, and may not attend HIT without 100 percent completion of their online curriculum,” explains Thompson. “This has enriched the classroom experience with the reiteration, repetition and practical application of concepts learned online. Live classes are also typically shorter due to the students having already learned much of the content online, therefore saving money.”
 
As a fifth and final example, Adecco Group North America has also used GeoLearning’s GeoMaestro LMS to implement effective systems training for the AdeccoWeb global front office database.
 
Adecco’s team used an elearning development tool called Captivate — also compatible with the GeoLearning LMS — to create “click-andlearn” simulations and quizzes to teach employees how to effectively work with this database used by Adecco’s direct placement recruiters. All Adecco North America systems training will be migrated to this “click-and-learn” technology, in which colleagues actually perform the functions of the system while learning.
 

 
DRIVING ENTERPRISE INITIATIVES
 
In these examples of e-learning being used to drive enterprise initiatives, Adecco North America realized many benefits of online learning:
>> Reduced organizational effort, time and training costs.
>> Continuous availability of just-in-time information and “refresher” training.
>> A more knowledgeable and effective workforce. Adecco’s velocity to competency, increased employee retention, and ability to produce graduates whose core activities in sales and recruiting outpace the company average by more than 25 percent are compelling and cost-effective business results. Ondemand learning has become a central component of the company’s overall learning business strategy.
 
To learn more about GeoLearning solutions, visit: www.geolearning.com.  

Published in Ideas

Williams Scotsman cuts training costs by 30+ percent

The pace of corporate training has reached an unprecedented rate. Training departments that once had the time and money to print courseware and fly attendees to multi-day sessions are nearly obsolete. Now, it’s online or bust. With rapid changes in technology, increased expectations for productivity and decreased tolerance for non-essential travel, companies are rethinking old training policies and practices.
 
Unlike the many companies struggling to keep pace, Williams Scotsman (WS) has been ahead of the curve in building a new model for corporate training. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, WS trainers have delivered traditional live classroom training. The organization began to reach a breaking point, however, when its training staff of only five people became responsible for educating nearly 900 employees as a result of rapid growth. The company realized a clear and immediate need for a distance-learning solution to support its diverse workforce across more than 100 locations in North America and Europe.
 
“At that time with so much change and expansion, we knew we’d need to double or triple our training staff or come up with an entirely new solution,” notes Ross Thornton, the company’s training manager. “After assessing the options, iLinc proved to be the best solution for providing frequent, content-rich training.”
 
 
INCREASING TRAINING EFFICIENCY
 
WS implemented its first iLinc software in 2000, originally endeavoring to reduce sales team challenges associated with traditional training (like travel time and costs, productivity losses and retention). With iLinc, trainers could deliver more frequent sessions in shorter durations, which subsequently proved to increase comprehension and retention levels. WS quickly reduced rollout time for new sales functions and tools while increasing overall training offerings.
 
Shortly after the sales rollout, the company expanded its use of iLinc across its entire workforce, producing training on everything from software skills and regulatory compliance to new-hire orientation and HR programs. Today, Williams Scotsman’s live instructors utilize iLinc to lead and control classes of geographically distributed students with all of the interaction and flexibility of a traditional classroom.
 
Instructors choose from varied forms of synchronized content within the iLinc interface, including PowerPoint slides, multimedia authored courseware, Web-based material, streaming video, white boarding, chatting and shared software applications.
 
WS adopted iLinc as the ideal medium for introductory and enhanced function training on its proprietary Sales Force Automation (SFA) software, as well as for more personalized on-the-job training. In its initial rollout of two proprietary software tools, Williams Scotsman delivered 795 hours of training in just nine weeks with no travel disruptions or expenses.
 
 
CONTINUING TO LEVERAGE
 
Today, several departments rely on iLincWeb and audio conferencing for meetings and online collaboration. And the training department has developed a comprehensive learning program, Williams Scotsman University (WSU), which delivers both online and traditional classroom courses. WSU staff takes advantage of the ability to record training sessions and make them available for self-paced study. The result is a full-service experience for learners — synchronous, asynchronous and in-person options — and continuing success for trainers.
 
“Our blended learning model is embraced by our staff because it doesn’t force any one method,” points out Williams Scotsman senior training specialist Ronald Hoogerwerf. “The vast majority of courses are taken online via iLinc, but the perception is that individuals can choose to supplement these classes in a way that works for them. It gives our learners more flexibility and enables them to learn more, faster than ever before.”
 
 
MEASURING THE BENEFITS
 
WS touts increased efficiency as the most significant benefit of iLinc. The training staff cites its ability, for example, to roll out a new application to up to 400 employees across 100 locations in a period of two to three weeks — a dramatic reduction from the old days of traditional training.
 
“We’re able to focus our time and energy on content because we don’t have to worry about the iLinc tool,” says Hoogerwerf. “Even in compressed timeframes, we’re able to focus on curriculum, rather than hassling over the technology.”
 
Williams Scotsman’s long term success with iLinc stands out as an example of how to achieve technology-driven efficiencies. In 2003, a staff of nine trainers delivered 4935 hours of training (including a small percentage of self-paced study). By 2006, a staff of only six delivered 13,852 hours — a productivity increase of 321 percent per trainer. During that same span, Williams Scotsman reduced training costs by more than 30 percent and increased online training participation by 195 percent.
 
To learn more about iLink solutions, visit: www.iLink.com

Published in Ideas

Using speech recognition to teach on a global scale

Because past results were inconsistent and pricey, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) needed a way to provide consistent, top-quality language learning to its employees all over the world. Furthermore, GSK needed to demonstrate a positive return on its investment. With operations running on a large global scale, GSK acutely understands the importance of language training. Historically, it leveraged local instructor-led language schools to provide the much needed language learning the company required. After piloting multiple programs, GSK chose TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog’s e-learning solution. TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog allows the organization to complement traditional instructor-led programs with an innovative, internationally recognized language system. Additionally, it can be deployed on a standalone basis to every employee. Via built-in tools, management can easily track individual/ group progress, monitor usage, identify trouble areas, assign exercises, administer tests, and conduct numerous other functions all in real time.
Auralog pioneered the use of speech recognition technology in language learning software. Every language in the TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog language library integrates this incredible technology effectively. In fact, Auralog developed SETS® (Spoken Error Tracking System) so trouble areas are identified and users can pattern native speech and reduce their accents while improving pronunciation. Instant feedback using imagery, video demonstrations and real life scenarios provides a multi-sensory learning environment that engages learners and instills confidence.
 
RESULTS
 
Since adding TELL ME MORE to its enrichment curricula, GSK was able to dedicate one in-house instructor to the elearning language project. Using the advanced tracking and reporting tools of TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog, the instructor manages the program, ensures employees make sufficient progress, and monitors all learning criteria. The tracking tools show detailed progress of each individual, identifying areas of excellence and difficulty as well as making it easy for the instructor to provide supplemental learning recommendations.
 
“In the Information Age, it is impossible to ignore the numerous advantages that new technology offers in terms of learning practices,” says Guy Debande, former training manager at GSK. “Elearning allows us to coordinate our training programs with greater ease, in addition to giving us increased flexibility. In choosing Auralog, we have a complete solution [composed of] the TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog method and the tools designed to facilitate student follow-up. Auralog also provides technical support services that assure the maintenance of the application. Now, our employees spend more than 80 percent of their foreign language learning time on TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog.”
 
Additionally, GSK provided a valuable service for employees needing, or wanting, to acquire skills in additional languages. The anytime- anywhere model has proven extremely popular among employees, who now spend more than 80 percent of their language learning time on TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog.
 
To learn more about TELL ME MORE Powered By Auralog, visit www.tellmemore.com.

Published in Ideas

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Measuring and evaluating learning is one of the most critical issues in the learning and development field.

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Published in Executive Suite

GP STRATEGIES COMPLETES ACQUISITION OF SANDY CORPORATION

General Physics Corporation completed its acquisition of Sandy Corporation (Sandy), a leader in custom product sales training and part of the ADP Dealer Services division of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. The purchase price at closing was $11.7 million. In addition, GP may be required to pay ADP up to an additional $8.0 million, contingent upon Sandy achieving certain revenue targets.

Sandy offers custom sales training and print-based and electronic publications primarily to the automotive industry and generates approximately $60 million of revenue on an annual basis. The acquisition of Sandy will enhance GP’s existing service offerings by adding custom product sales training to its offering mix.

An important feature of this acquisition is that Sandy remains fully staffed to continue delivering client services with the same creative teams and the same leadership. Sandy was acquired as a complete business unit with all the leadership and management intact. For more details, visit: gpworldwide. com.

Published in Deals
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