Putting People First

Successful organizations have a transparent culture, effective communication, highly capable managers, and an emphasis on valuing individuals’ contributions.

As I was contemplating the headline for this column, I was thinking about a very special woman who had a tremendous impact on the training industry and leaves a large hole after her passing May 9, 2019, following a ferocious battle with breast cancer. The founder of The Training Clinic, Jean Barbazette had a 40-plus-year career that included growing a single consultancy into an international training organization with a field staff of 25 and three international licensees. For Jean, it truly was all about “putting people first.” “Jean was not only our founder, she was our mentor, our role model, and above all, our friend,” note The Training Clinic’s Melissa Smith and Maria Chilcote.

Jean was a speaker at Training magazine events and a prolific author, with books including “Successful New Employee Orientation,” “Managing the Training Function for Bottom- Line Results,” and “The Trainer’s Journey to Competence.” She received the “Outstanding Contribution” award from the Los Angeles Chapter of ATD in 1979 for her work in “Position Referral.” Outside of training, Jean served on the Board of Directors for Precious Life Shelter and was president of the Women’s Guild at St. Anne’s Parish.

Jean’s love of training and her focus on people fit perfectly with this issue’s theme of employee engagement and talent development. Many organizations today are still trying to find that “secret sauce” that makes employees love their jobs and go the extra mile for the organization. In our cover story, “Taking Employee Satisfaction from Bust to Boom,” we explore how important it is to have a transparent culture, effective communication, highly capable managers, and an emphasis on valuing individuals’ contributions.

Scott Blanchard of The Ken Blanchard Companies recommends adding to that list positive leaders—managers who actively encourage productivity, engagement, commitment, and performance. “A good manager who is empowering and supportive can positively shift the way his or her team members think, act, and view themselves,” Blanchard notes in “The Power of Positive.” “This manager ends up with high-achieving employees who are passionate about their work.”

Kraft Heinz feels so strongly about putting an emphasis on its people, rather than processes, that it launched a 2019 global initiative about it. “The goal is to examine 12 different pillars of the employee experience (onboarding, career development, life events, technology, etc.), define the desired benchmarks for each pillar, and standardize the Kraft Heinz experience for every employee across the globe,” explains Kraft Heinz Chief People Officer for the U.S. Lisa Alteri. Read more about how the company is “Putting the H Back in HR.”

We’d love to learn how you are putting people first at your organization—please consider sharing your story via the 2020 Training Top 125 application. You can download the application and the scoring guidelines at: www.trainingmag.com/top125.

We also invite you to engage in person with experts and your peers to solve your training challenges during our TechLearn Conference this September in New Orleans. Visit www.TechLearnConference.com to register today!

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