Training Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (April 2022)

Each year Training magazine requires all Training Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that we share with our readers. Here are the details of Capital Blue Cross’ Workforce Reimagined program and Deloitte’s Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience program.

CAPITAL BLUE CROSS: WORKFORCE REIMAGINED

Workforce Reimaged is an enterprise-wide initiative focused on transforming how, when, and where work is performed at Capital Blue Cross to ensure continued strong business performance, high employee engagement, and a foundation for an inclusive culture where employees can do their best work and be their authentic selves—regardless of work location.

The initial scope targeted the alignment of the executive leadership team around the how and where work is executed within the organization, particularly as the remote/hybrid work environment continues to evolve. This led to further conversations on the organizational culture and behaviors required to enable leaders and employees to explore different ways of working with one another.

Eventually, all people managers were invited to sessions with executive team members to understand the reasons for change and their role in innovating and leading their teams through this transformational shift in how the organization works. Training then was provided to all people managers on how to manage a virtual and changing workforce, reinforcing Capital Blue Cross’ new Workforce Reimagined vision and strategy.

Program Details

A large group of managers was brought together to begin looking at culture, structural, legal, policy, technology, and other organizational drivers that would enhance and align the new vision for Workforce Reimagined. The scope of this effort included:

  • Playbooks and resources
  • Policies and procedures
  • Technology and tools
  • Real estate and office layout
  • Reboarding and office readiness
  • Employee wellness and safety checklists
  • Training courses

During the third quarter of 2021, additional self-paced learning programs were launched in organizational agility, adaptability, trust and accountability, as well as inclusion. Each of the modules had essential learning courses, as well as supplemental options, which allowed learners to select from courses they felt were key to their growth and development. Learners had an opportunity to join live “get-together” sessions hosted by a facilitator, which created an environment for learners to unpack their experiences and discuss next steps to apply the acquired learnings.

At the conclusion of the self-paced series, all leaders were invited to attend a 90-minute virtual workshop that was geared to addressing the current reality with a virtual environment and establish potential solutions to bridge any gaps they were experiencing within their teams.

Until the pandemic, the company relied heavily on in-person, instructor-led forums. So this learning program was not only a shift in experience to virtual, but also in mindset for the learners—essentially empowering them to chart their own learning course.

Benchmarks of the training program include:

  • Redesigning the hybrid work environment
  • Approaching a human-centric design in order to drive outcomes
  • Addressing mindset challenges
  • Developing leadership skills to support the hybrid environment

Additionally, “Meeting in a Box” toolkits were created to support managers to apply their learnings within their teams.

Results

This program applied to the entire organization of 2,200 employees—starting with the executive team and cascading to all organizational leaders and then to all employees.

A companywide employee pulse survey was conducted in early September 2021 with a participation rate of 60 percent. The survey found:

  • 95 percent of employees said their managers had met with them.
  • 72 percent of respondents believe there is “a clear direction for Workforce Reimagined.”
  • 76 percent of respondents believe the change will improve their work/life balance.
  • 80 percent of respondents said they are looking forward to the new approach to work.
  • 93 percent of respondents agree that Capital Blue Cross’ return-to-work efforts demonstrate care for its employees’ health.

DELOITTE: ACCELERATING YOUR DELOITTE EXPERIENCE

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 15,000 U.S. new hires have onboarded and started their experiences with Deloitte without ever having stepped foot in a Deloitte office, connected in-person with a new Deloitte teammate, or met a client face-to-face. Recognizing that engagement is a driver for performance, Deloitte designed and deployed Accelerating Your Deloitte Experience (AYDE) to create in-person connections, strengthen the Deloitte culture, and empower new hires to succeed in their role. The focus was less on what new hires would know or be able to do, but rather about how they would feel as part of the Deloitte organization and culture.

Program Details

Architected by the Career Growth & Development (CG&D) team within Deloitte’s Learning and Development (L&D) function, AYDE was an in-person event run twice weekly at Deloitte University in Dallas from early September through mid-December in 2021. The two-day/two-night program aimed to engage and connect most of the U.S. professionals hired since March 2020 who had been onboarded virtually. The intent was to offer those new hires an opportunity to make in-person connections with their colleagues, hear from business leaders, participate in both cross-business and business-specific learning programs, and experience Deloitte University for the first time. The program effectively addressed significant logistical challenges, including COVID-19 health protocols and restrictions and the comfort level of Deloitte professionals with traveling and interacting in person.

AYDE was overall a net-new program that had to be developed, piloted, and deployed in three months. It featured content custom-designed for the event, as well as some existing leadership development content that was curated—all delivered through plenary and cohort breakout activities. The CG&D team led the design and development process, validating outcomes upfront with business leadership to shape the design and impact measurement processes, assessing evaluation data from previous onboarding offerings, employing human-centered design by collecting input from recent new hires on their preferences and needs, and iterating the event structure and flow to optimize the experience and best meet desired outcomes.

The final agenda for the two days included the following modules:

  • Opening plenary to set intentions for the event
  • Real-talk sessions by level/cohorts to discuss pandemic experiences, reflect on self and future, and set intentions for the future of work
  • Well-being electives on resilience, mindfulness, and managing energy
  • Plenary session on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Leadership development electives on purpose, empathy, strategic influence, and communicating with leadership
  • Business-specific sessions on insights, priorities, opportunities, and expectations
  • Cohort breakout sessions on purpose and impact

Results

Across all deliveries, evaluation questions around overall satisfaction were at 92 percent favorable, with 83 percent favorable for learning questions, utility/applicability questions at 84 percent favorable, and questions about the impact on performance at 86 percent favorable. An additional set of evaluation questions around connection and empowerment yielded 95 percent favorable responses.

AYDE participants have noted the relationships they developed at the program and how those have driven better connections with local office and practice colleagues, and they have expressed how much better prepared they feel to lead, thrive, and be successful in the new way of working.  Business leaders also have noted stronger networks, improved working relationships, and greater collaboration among their new hires following attendance at AYDE.

Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training Top 100 and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 29 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.