Training Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (November 2022)

Each year Training magazine requires all Training Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that is shared with our readers. Here are the details of IBM’s pre-hire experience, Start at IBM Learning, and KLA Corporation’s Values In Action (VIA) program for senior leaders.

IBM: START AT IBM LEARNING

IBM has an integrated onboarding experience. Last year, the organization deployed a new piece to the journey: Start at IBM Learning, which serves as the initial welcome to those candidates who have accepted their offer but have not yet started working for IBM. The overall experience aims to equip, enable, and inspire pre-hires to become productive and engaged IBMers from that moment on.

IBM’s Your Learning platform provides opportunities to personalize the experience for pre-hires, to connect, and to give them a taste of what it will be like to work within IBM. This platform enables IBM to automate some of the process-related activities and better prepare the pre-hire to complete onboarding tasks.

Program Details

Through system APIs, the pre-hire Start at IBM Your Learning platform can identify the user and pre-select and recommend learning based on their location, profession, business unit or group. The program is all digital and self-paced as IBM cannot require pre-hires to take the training. There are individual learning objectives for each of the provided learning modules in subjects such as Mindfulness, Design Thinking, Cloud, Agile, Blockchain, Job Roles/Professions, and Artificial Intelligence. The program includes videos from business leaders and integration with IBM.com.

IBM has an external offering, SkillsBuild, which is a free digital learning and career readiness program that helps prepare people for in-demand entry-level information technology (IT) and non-IT roles in many industries. IBM leveraged some content from there, then partnered with subject matter experts (SMEs) on topics covering the organization’s performance management process, career development approach, and key strategic topics. In addition, IBM worked to add country-specific introductions in partnership with its geography leads and to get applicable materials translated.

Completions in the pre-hire platform are transferred to IBM’s internal platform, and pre-hires can start badges that they can continue working on after they start officially. Support continues through onboarding itself (when the candidate becomes the IBM employee) through regional Slack chats; access to a Start at IBM station, which introduces them to business unit insights and learning; a welcome session; then a series of mini-modules in Start at IBM self-paced learning (a deeper dive into some of the topics introduced in the pre-hire platform).

Results

More than 50,000 pre-hires have participated in the program, which launched in March 2021. Since launch, IBM has seen an average net promoter score (NPS) of 85 percent or higher among participants. IBM reports engagement scores are higher within the new hire population base, as well. The organization has observed a difference in how quickly new hires continue the learning they started in Start at IBM Learning—particularly in top subjects such as Agile, Design Thinking, and Cloud.

KLA CORPORATION: VALUES IN ACTION (VIA)

KLA Corporation created a program to align all of its senior leaders to the organization’s commitment to live up to its corporate values by recognizing and demonstrating its “Values In Action.”

The Values In Action (VIA) program aimed to help senior leaders:

  • Believe that KLA’s leadership is committed to a “see something, say something” culture.
  • Better identify situations where KLA’s values might be compromised by them or others.
  • Better understand the negative impact of actions that compromise KLA’s values.
  • Feel enabled to report potential issues or violations through one of KLA’s feedback channels.

Program Details

The program consisted of seven 90-minute modules delivered via Zoom:

VIA 1: Kickoff: KLA’s Values In Action

VIA 2: Anti-Bribery and Speaking Up

VIA 3: Insider Trading and Conflicts of Interest

VIA 4: Information Protection Awareness, Cybersecurity, Privacy

VIA 5: Trade Compliance and Anti-Trust

VIA 6: Inclusion and Diversity

VIA 7: Capstone: Carrying the Values Forward (Good Behavior Is Good Business)

Modules were designed and delivered virtually by internal subject matter experts (including KLA’s Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Talent Officer) and KLA’s Corporate Learning Center. Each module was a mix of:

  • Live instruction from the subject matter expert.
  • Pre-recorded videos that were subtitled in English to enhance comprehension for the global audience.
  • Polling to test the audience’s comprehension.
  • Live chat during which audience members were encouraged to ask questions, share their own stories, and support or challenge the course content.
  • Breakouts to discuss the content and experience alternative perspectives.

Results

This was the biggest, most complicated training KLA had every delivered: 100 percent of KLA’s global leadership (1,193 leaders) completed the program (nearly 100 sessions) within four weeks. Level 1 polls had a 100 percent completion rate and returned the following results:

  • 99 percent of attendees strongly agree or agree they believe KLA’s leadership is committed to a “see something, say something” culture.
  • 98 percent of attendees strongly agree or agree they are better able to identify situations where KLA’s values might be compromised by them or others.
  • 99 percent of attendees strongly agree or agree they better understand the negative impact of actions that compromise KLA’s values.
  • 98 percent of attendees strongly agree or agree that they feel enabled to report potential issues or violations through one of KLA’s feedback channels.
  • In 2021, reporting of potential issues was up 35 percent from the same period in 2020.
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.