Training Top 125 Best Practice: The People Leader Learning Journey at Vantiv

The development journey begins with Ignite, which introduces what effective management and leadership looks like at Vantiv. After at least six months, people leaders participate in Activate, which takes a view focused on individual and team relationships.

Payment processing and technology solutions provider Vantiv built a comprehensive learning and development path for people leaders to develop necessary skills to successfully lead. There are three levels in the learning journey:

  • Foundational
  • Skill-based learning
  • Accelerated learning

Program Details

The program reaches four types of leaders: leading self, leading others, leading leaders, and leading organizations. The collection of classes called “Vantiv University” includes industry, elective, technical, and nomination-based programs and leadership courses.

For those who lead people, the development journey begins with Ignite. This is required for all people leaders who are either new to the company or newly promoted to a leadership role. Ignite introduces what effective management and leadership looks like at Vantiv. By the end of the course, people leaders are able to represent Vantiv as defined by the Vantiv Leadership Model and demonstrate the corresponding behaviors and strong communication skills. People leaders also are able to perform appropriate performance management (including setting strong performance goals and behavioral expectations) and practice consistently strong employee development. At Vantiv, people leaders’ ability to segment their employees based on results and potential; effectively build development plans for top talent; and understand formal, experiential, and informal development practices is invaluable. Success in these areas leads to the recruitment and retention of top talent.

After at least six months, people leaders participate in Activate. This course builds on the principles of effective management and leadership that were introduced in the first course of this series, Ignite. Activate takes a view focused on individual and team relationships. People leaders who have taken Ignite and/or have been in their current leadership role for at least a year are eligible. After completing Activate, people leaders can:

  • Articulate the people leader expectations
  • Understand and implement employee development tools
  • Manage dynamically by assessing the motivation and competency of employees relative to specific tasks
  • Demonstrate advanced communication skills
  • Understand the factors surrounding a high-performing team
  • Foster an environment that encourages employee engagement

Both Ignite and Activate incorporate participant guides, discussions, activities, videos, and questionnaires to explore the substantial amount of material included in the courses. While the participant guides are essential to the two-day trainings, the long-term success of the courses relies on learners’ level of participation and implementation after the training. The questionnaires completed throughout the trainings aid in the development in people leaders’ management and leadership acumen. In addition, the post-training activities help integrate what they’ve learned into everyday practice. For example, Mobile Coach, an interactive chatbot platform, is used to continue the leadership development conversation outside of the classroom. Mobile Coach uses automated text messaging with users to reinforce training and help leaders stay connected to their progress on topics covered in the Ignite and Activate courses.


Since the class launched in July 2016, 152 people leaders have completed Ignite and 117 have completed Activate. The majority of people leaders who were surveyed said the classes were a valuable use of their time, provided useful tools for themselves and their teams, and would recommend both Ignite and Activate to a fellow Vantiv people leader.

Vantiv has seen improvements in manager effectiveness, including a 26 percent improvement in employees understanding their job responsibilities, and a 6 percent improvement in employees understanding performance expectations from August 2016 to August 2017, both indicating behavioral changes in Vantiv’s management population.

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