Top 10 Hall of Fame Outstanding Training Initiatives (Jan./Feb. 2020)

Each year Training magazine requires all Training Top 10 Hall of Famers to submit an Outstanding Training Initiative that is shared with our readers in a print issue. Here are the details of KLA Corporation’s KT Engineering Conference and SCC Soft Computer’s InFocus Microlearning Project.

KLA CORPORATION: KT ENGINEERING CONFERENCE

KLA Corporation’s KT Engineering Conference is a fourday off-site event that brings 500 of the company’s top engineering talent together with senior management to connect, collaborate, and innovate. The Engineering Conference is built upon the company’s corporate training vision of “Everyone a Student; Everyone a Teacher” or ESET.

Program Details

The Engineering Conference impacts more than 2,500 of KLA’s 6,600 employees. The conference largely draws from KLA’s Global Engineering community, with participants attending from all of the company’s divisions and regions. The event is sponsored by KLA’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO)—who is actively involved in the entire process—and the CEO, who delivers a keynote speech and attends the event. The executive team also attends, along with senior leadership from the product divisions and engineering community, many of whom help shape the event.

The presentation content is entirely employee generated and then refined through peer review and coaching from the Corporate Learning Center. The content development process includes:

  • Identifying and preparing 30 individual presenters of papers and 60 individual presenters of posters. This is done through the use of a steering team: Employees are asked to apply to present at the conference. There is a technical paper review process. In 2018, 263 papers were submitted, with each reviewed by five reviewers for a total of 1,315 total reviews. Each of the 76 reviewers needed to review 17 papers in approximately three months.
  • Selecting industry-leading external and internal speakers. Video vignettes that highlight KLA’s past and present innovations are ideated and created for use at the conference. Panels are selected for the Panel/Tutorial section of the conference. Logistical work is also significant for the 500 global registrations.
  • Training presenters. Specific classes and individual coaching is provided to the conference presenters. Additionally, facilitators from the Corporate Learning Center are onsite for support.

The papers are presented to audiences of 30 to 60. Posters are showcased in general sessions with one-on-one conversations between the creator and attendees. External speakers present to the general audience of 500, who also watch the video vignettes. Informal mixers offer attendees the opportunity to build on the discussions and relationships formed over the four days.

All posters, papers, and presentations from the event are archived and accessible to the company through the Engineering Conference Website. The Monthly Engineering Conference speaker series at headquarters is held as a “lunch and learn.” More than 1,000 employees attend this series over 18 months.

Results

KLA held its fourth Engineering Conference in 2018; the event takes place every 18 months. One of KLA’s strategic objectives is “innovation,” defining it as technology that drives differentiation, which is measured by gross margin. KLA has grown its gross margins every year since the first Engineering Conference.

SCC Soft Computer: InFocus Microlearning Project SCC Soft Computer’s Educational Services—through HR—trains managers yearly on how to conduct effective performance reviews, provide coaching, and write narratives. But given the level of stress and change associated with implementing initiatives such as Agile software development, combined with the creation of a new project management office, SCC needed to provide managers the ability to refresh their skills on the fly so they could solve problems in real time.

In response, SCC launched its InFocus Microlearning Project, a change initiative to improve manager behaviors in the areas of writing and conducting performance reviews, and coaching employees through change as SCC expands its global presence.

Program Details

The greatest challenge faced by the Educational Services team was coordinating this initiative with the rollout of a new and more robust performance review process. HR and Educational Services sponsor a yearly live manager kickoff program that all managers and team leaders with direct reports are expected to attend. The team timed the rollout of the microlearning to follow closely behind that program so the 70 managers who had reviews coming up (they are staggered by department) could watch the microlearning videos for reinforcement. HR then monitored in real time each performance review that was completed. Coaching was done by either an HR generalist or a professional development specialist. If the feedback needed was more procedural (e.g., the manager wasn’t filling out the online review form properly), the HR generalist handled the feedback. If the feedback was more along the lines of how to write a more effective narrative or how to phrase narratives, the intervention was conducted by the professional development specialist.

The video content was developed using iSpring. The videos were embedded into another iSpring presentation so they could be loaded into the learning management system (LMS) and the team could “score” the completion (acknowledgement form). Delivery is primarily via the company’s SharePoint portal (employee intranet) but also offered through SCC’s LMS. The initial posting is on a SharePoint page called LEADERSHIP YOU—a page that houses a compilation of articles and other helpful resources for managers and provides just-in-time learning (during the initial phase of the kickoff, SCC sent out leadership articles for the managers to read through its ADP system to remind the managers that they are leaders and help them get on the same page as HR). Uploading the videos to SharePoint initially encourages the managers to check out what’s new on the LEADERSHIP YOU page.

During the initial run of the microlearning, the Educational Services team had to keep reminding managers about the microlearning even though they all received an e-mail blast. However, once the link to the LEADERSHIP YOU site was made available on the Educational Services page on the employee intranet, SCC found that traffic increased by more than 50 percent. And SCC’s overseas partners who currently are moving toward a consistent review process have requested access to the page.

Results

Initial results indicate a 15 percent overall reduction in the number of managers who had their reviews returned for editing due to failure to write an effective narrative or due to copying and pasting from the previous year’s review.

SCC SOFT COMPUTER: INFOCUS MICROLEARNING PROJECT

SCC Soft Computer’s Educational Services—through HR—consistently trains managers yearly on how to conduct effective performance reviews, provide coaching, and write narratives. But given the level of stress and change associated with implementing initiatives such as staff augmentation and Agile software development, combined with the creation of a new PMO (project management office), SCC needed to provide managers the ability to refresh their skills on the fly so they could solve problems in real time. 

In response, the company launched it InFocus Microlearning Project, a change initiative designed to improve manager behaviors in the areas of writing and conducting performance reviews, and coaching employees through change as SCC expands its global presence.

Program Details

The greatest challenge faced by the Educational Services team was coordinating this initiative with the rollout of a new and more robust performance review process. HR and Educational Services sponsor a yearly live manager kickoff program that all managers and team leaders with direct reports are expected to attend. The team timed the rollout of the microlearning to follow closely behind that program so that the 70 managers who had reviews coming up (they are staggered by department) could watch the microlearning videos for reinforcement. HR then monitored in real time each performance review that was completed. Coaching was done by either an HR generalist or a professional development specialist, depending on the nature of the feedback needed. If the feedback needed was more procedural (e.g., the manager wasn’t filling out the online review form properly or completely), the HR generalist handled the feedback. If the feedback was more along the lines of how to write a more effective narrative or how to phrase narratives, the intervention was conducted by the professional development specialist. 

The video content was developed using iSpring. The videos were embedded into another iSpring presentation so they could be loaded into the learning management system (LMS) and the team could “score” the completion (acknowledgement form). Delivery is primarily via the company’s SharePoint portal (employee intranet) but also offered through SCC’s LMS. The initial posting is on a SharePoint page called LEADERSHIP YOU—a page that houses a compilation of articles and other helpful resources for managers and provides just-in-time learning (during the initial phase of the kickoff, SCC sent out leadership articles for the managers to read through its ADP system to remind the managers that they are lead- ers and help them get on the same page as HR). Uploading the videos to SharePoint initially encourages the managers to check out what’s new on the LEADERSHIP YOU page.

During the initial run of the microlearning, the Educational Services team had to keep reminding managers about the micro- learning even though they all received an e-mail blast. However, once the link to the LEADERSHIP YOU site was made available on the Educational Services page on the employee intranet, SCC found that traffic increased by more than 50 percent. And SCC’s overseas partners who currently are moving toward a consistent review process have requested access to the page.

Results

Initial results indicate a 15 percent overall reduction in the number of managers who had their reviews returned for editing due to failure to write an effective narrative or due to copying and pasting from the previous year’s review. 

 

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