Training Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (June 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 KPMG’s Launch @ Lakehouse and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World’s Sales Manager Bootcamp.

HOF2022

KPMG: LAUNCH @ LAKEHOUSE

Launch @ Lakehouse is an in-person training for experienced hires joining KPMG, held at KPMG Lakehouse, the firm’s newly reopened national learning, development, and innovation center. The $450 million learning center includes 800 guest rooms and can host as many as 1,000 learners a day. The flexible, technology-enabled classrooms of Lakehouse are custom-designed to support interactive learning. In addition, Lakehouse hallways and lobbies teem with opportunities for reflection, connection, and exploration. The center was temporarily closed during the pandemic and now has reopened at full capacity for a wide range of collaborative learning, including Launch @ Lakehouse.

Launch @ Lakehouse helps strengthen the connection between new hires and the KPMG culture. It works to empower new hires to:

  • Identify specific actions they can take to champion KPMG’s values (Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better).
  • Identify opportunities to benefit from KPMG’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and prepare to support that commitment.
  • Build their personal brand at KPMG, and employ new tools and strategies for communicating their personal brand to colleagues and clients.
  • Strengthen their network at Lakehouse and beyond, and employ new tools and strategies for establishing and bolstering relationships.

Program Details

The first challenge KPMG’s Learning team faced was to ensure that this 1.5-day training featured highly collaborative learning that introduced new hires to the most compelling dimensions of KPMG culture. So the instructional design team focused on reconceiving a traditional “onboarding presentation” as an interactive, skills-based learning experience. As such, facilitators challenge teams to apply KPMG values to situations they may face at the firm. And interrelated modules on storytelling, personal brand, and networking give learners hands-on preparation for introducing themselves to colleagues and clients.

In addition to the formal learning of Launch, every moment at Lakehouse exemplifies Thrive, the firm’s human-centered framework for establishing a psychologically healthy workplace, developed in response to employee feedback. This framework is defined in “4 C’s:

  • Care highlights the firm’s support of well-being. During Launch @ Lakehouse, learners are offered indoor and outdoor fitness amenities, and a variety of healthy food options.
  • Celebrate highlights recognition of individual and collective success.
  • Connect fosters opportunities to build a strong personal and professional network. Launch participants have the chance to reach beyond their own classroom/program, and build relationships with professionals attending other programs and with KPMG leaders while they are onsite.
  • Cultivate highlights the firm’s investment in growing capabilities and careers. Lakehouse features a variety of formal learning spaces, indoors and out, plus pop-up workshops on a range of topics.

Before, during, and after the in-person Launch @ Lakehouse program, participants anchor the learning dimension of their onboarding experience in a Learning Pathway accessible through the Degreed learning experience platform.

Results

More than 1,400 new have participated in the program to date. KPMG estimates the program will have reached approximately 2,500 by the end of 2022.

KPMG ultimately plans to compare retention rates between new hires who attended the program and new hires who did not, since no employees currently are required to travel to Lakehouse (and some have opted not to attend). Responses to KPMG’s Level 1 evaluation survey suggest a positive impact. Across all sessions of the program:

  • The average strength of agreement that “I will be able to apply what I learned from this course to improve my job performance” is 73 out of 5.0.
  • The average strength of agreement that “The learning objectives for this program were met” is 81 out of 5.0.
  • The average strength of agreement that “Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of the course” is 80 out of 5.0.

LEADING REAL ESTATE COMPANIES OF THE WORLD: SALES MANAGER BOOTCAMP

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) historically offered a nine-day in-person training program called Maestro for its network’s top sales managers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this offering was necessarily shelved, as the nature of the program—with its high networking focus, workshopping, and interactive activities—was not “translatable” to a virtual format.

LeadingRE originally conceived Sales Manager Bootcamp as a program to keep sales managers engaged and inspired during COVID, when Maestro was unavailable. As the program content and vision developed, the real estate franchise organization recognized that the offering was a standalone—complementary to Maestro as it could “live” in LeadingRE’s suite of sales manager-facing educational offerings even following the end of the pandemic.

Program Details

Sales Manager Bootcamp comprises a series of 90-minute “live” sessions offered each Friday on Zoom for six weeks. Each program is led by one of LeadingRE’s educational deans, and contains teaching modules, plus networking, activity, and breakout discussion elements. The logistics of engaging smoothly with the audience and ensuring that breakout sessions were appropriately moderated and paced was a challenge, but one that LeadingRE overcame through a combination of testing, collaboration with its technical and events teams, and, to a certain extent, maintaining a sense of humor though the initial glitches.

The program aims to provide network sales managers with tools to:

  • Foster continuity of culture and community in “work from anywhere” environments.
  • Ensure appropriate selection and adoption of new technologies, by sales managers’ brokerage and their independent contractor agents, to curb increased “shiny object” attraction during the pandemic and to minimize associated risks.
  • Provide robust tools to sales managers to recruit and retain top agent talent during a time of high industry competition and low inventory across almost all U.S. real estate markets.

Content focuses on topics such as tech selection, adoption and incorporation into existing tech ecosystems, and the interplay of technology and corporate culture; attraction, retention, and development of sales agents; and development of culture and community during the Zoom era, and the keys to continuity of culture throughout the pandemic and during “re-entry” phases as employees return to the office.

Key to the success of the program is ensuring learning continuity for all participants. So LeadingRE developed post-program events to ensure there’s no drop-off in the application of practical lessons imparted during the program. These include a “Boot Camp and Maestro Reunion” taking place at the organization’s 2022 Annual Conferences.

Results

Some 215 learners were trained over the course of three Bootcamp Series (a total of 18 modules). Sales Manager Bootcamp is designed for third-party membership. Exit Survey participants across the three bootcamp programs offered in 2021 showed the following average results:

  • 90 percent of participants reported “Very Effective” or “Effective” results in the program’s provision of tools to improve brokerage/office culture to bolster agent recruitment and retention.
  • 90 percent of participants reported “Very effective” or “Effective” results in the program’s provision of tools to improve the brokerage/office agent recruiting program.
  • 80 percent of participants reported “Very effective” or “Effective” results in providing tools to improve innovation/technology approach for sales manager implementation.
  • 83 percent of participants reported their goals for program learning were met.
  • 88 percent of participants reported they would recommend Sales Manager Bootcamp to colleagues.
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 APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.