Training Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (May 2022)

Each year, Training magazine requires all Training Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that is shared with our readers in a print or online-only issue. Here are the details of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Effective People Leadership program and Dollar General’s Inclusive Leadership Learning Journey.


Success for Booz Allen Hamilton employees starts with great leaders who are clear on what’s expected of them and who serve in roles with passion and purpose. Such people leaders include job leaders and career managers. Job leaders help Booz Allen take care of their people through direct line-of-sight leadership, demonstrating accountability through the highest standards of integrity and passionate service, and creating a consistent, empowering experience across the firm as reflected in the Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Career managers also may serve in a job leader role and perform additional duties in four key areas—administration, connection, communication, and development.

To ensure the success of the firm’s people leaders, the Leadership Development Team designed and developed an immersive Effective People Leadership at Booz Allen training program, equipping job leaders and career managers with the necessary tools and resources to grow their leadership skills and support employees’ ability to perform at their best.

Program Details

The Effective People Leadership Program is a two-month immersive blended experience providing people leaders with strategies to effectively lead, work through coaching challenges with peers, practice using role-plays, share best practices and pitfalls, and apply skills through activities back on the job.

Program content includes:

  • Pre-activities: Digital People Leadership Handbook review.
  • Two interactive virtual sessions: Content is delivered through difficult performance scenarios, interactive games, reinforcement videos, group discussions, peer coaching, and reflection journaling.
  • Mid-program online courses: In between the virtual sessions, participants are required to complete three short online Booz Allen modules on Be Inclusive, Coaching at Booz Allen, and Managing Employee Performance Issues.
  • Coaching field work activities: In between the virtual sessions, an instructional workbook and activity worksheets are provided to apply coaching skills on the job with participants’ employees.
  • MS Teams/post-training activities: Upon completion of Virtual Session 2, participants receive access to the firm’s People Leader MS Teams site with exclusive resources to continue growing and applying skills. Participants also must complete a Certification Statement in the Learning Management System (LMS) Learning Plan confirming completion and continued application of the knowledge and skills emphasized in the program.
  • Digital toolkit: Using the Degreed platform, people leaders are provided with on-the-job activities and firm resources aligned to the critical topics covered. Other curated resources include external articles and videos, plus other internal training opportunities. The digital toolkit continues to be updated with new and relevant content.

Each class has a minimum enrollment of 12 and a maximum enrollment of 24, with one main facilitator and, as needed, a supplemental facilitator to assist with the Emotional Wellness content.


Some 1,242 Booz Allen people leaders have gone through the program since its launch in late 2019. Business outcomes are measured by leadership behavior changes (and/or reinforcement) and Employee Experience Survey results, including:

  • Kirkpatrick Level 3 program results indicate an increase in building and applying Critical Relationships and Connections, Leadership Skills, and a Purpose and Values Culture.
  • The overall Employee Experience favorability score increased 2 points from the prior year (a consistent climb over the last three years), and scores improved across every question measured.


Dollar General (DG) launched a diversity and inclusion learning journey strategically focused on unlocking innovation and providing fuel for growth through engaged employees and authentic leadership. Guided by the retailer’s purpose-driven mission of Serving Others, DG understood that this Inclusive Leadership Learning Journey could not be a one-time event, but rather would support its overall culture and serve as an operational shift. As such, a cross-functional group including business unit leadership and Employee Resource Group (ERG) leadership was tasked with redefining one of the company’s operating priorities to serve as an inclusive foundation.

Afterward, the Learning and Development (L&D) team worked to identify and create relevant content workshops to support DG’s operating priority and the company’s defined goals, providing simple tools and action planning, along with defined and expected behavioral changes. Workshops aimed to fulfill multiple objectives:

  1. Educate leaders on bias.
  2. Equip leaders with a framework to mitigate bias in the workplace.
  3. Expand the understanding of the benefits of a diverse team and how a leader can take intentional action to foster an inclusive culture.
  4. Encourage senior leaders to drive business results through inclusive leadership and expand the capacity on the teams they lead.

Program Details

The Inclusive Leadership Learning Journey focuses on the implementation of 11 learning roadmaps. Program features include:

Assessment: Each of the 11 journeys begins with a self-assessment and personal reflection. Various assessment tools are utilized to ensure the learning pathway is relevant to each audience.

Learning Milestones: Each journey includes learning milestones and action planning, starting with understanding unconscious bias, managing inclusion, and meeting differentiated development needs.

Learning in Action: Each learning audience is supported with sustainment activities to put their learning into action, including serving as sponsors and ambassadors to upcoming talent; attending or hosting employee resource group (ERG) functions; and completing inclusion exercises with their supervisor, direct reports, and teams.

Delivery methods include an asynchronous approach for employees that comprises on-demand eLearning modules, instructor-led training, microlearning, video, virtual classroom, and group discussions. The program is a blend of self-paced and virtual formats. Pre-work for each session is conducted self-paced or via an assessment with a one-on-one debrief. Formal content is delivered virtually in an interactive format, with a live facilitator and producer team. Following the session, next steps are conducted in a way that makes sense for that learning pathway. For example, a leader can deliver their journey during an in-person or virtual setting. In addition, all train-the-trainer workshops with volunteer facilitators are conducted virtually, including utilizing Zoom. These workshops have been incorporated into all onboarding programs so new employees can understand DG’s inclusive culture early and can bring their authentic self to work every day.

Learning sessions are followed by surveys to understand how the content is or is not resonating with the learner, so real-time adjustments—including an adjustment/update to tools and activities—can be made for future experiences. This also is supported by business unit employee engagement surveys that measure learning impacts based on overall engagement and specifically, Dollar General’s Inclusion Belonging Index, in partnership with RILA (Retail Industry Leaders Association).


By the end of fiscal year 2022, Dollar General expects at least 300,000 employees will have participated in more than 100,000 hours of learning. As a result of the training and development to date:

  • Dollar General’s Internal Placement Rate (IPR) is 71.9 percent, exceeding its goal by 2,190 basis points.
  • Dollar General exceeded the 79 percent retail norm for the Inclusion Belonging Index by 600 basis points.
Edited by Lorri Freifeld
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.