Thursday, August 28, 2008

The High Impact Learning Organization (HILO) 80

I take a lot of pride in the awards my company wins: Fortune Magazine's 100 Great Place to Work, Training Magazine's Training Top125, and others. It was already a winning company before I got here, but I'd like to think my team and I have had a lot to do with it since. I'm also pretty competitive, in case you haven't noticed.

So I was pleased to hear we were recently named one of the "HILO 80s" (High Impact Learning Organizations) by Bersin and Associates. Here's an excerpt from Josh Bersin's blog:

The HILO 80 - Leaders in Corporate Learning
Thursday, August 14, 2008by Josh Bersin

This week we introduced an important new set of research and recognition, the HILO 80® - the top 80 organizations we benchmarked in high-impact corporate learning through our High Impact Learning Organization® research program.

On an annual basis, we investigate the highest impact best-practices in corporate learning, looking at more than 50 different elements of the corporate learning strategy, organization, systems, processes, and governance. In addition to understanding how these companies manage and implement their learning strategy, we also look at their performance: performance in workforce readiness, in adapting to change, in talent management, and a variety of other business measures.

The result of this research is a set of modern and actionable best-practices which truly drive results. These results are summarized in our Top 17 best practices, as well in the High Impact Learning Organization® research. (I highly recommend you read it, it is one of the most complete research studies in this topic I have ever written.)
In addition, however, we also decided to look at precisely who these “high-impact” organizations are. With close to 750 companies participating in this research, we had a lot of data to work with. What we found was that there are a set of organizations that perform far above the average, and we named these the HILO 80.

How they Differ from the Rest:
If you look at these organizations, you find that they are good at many things. They have strong executive sponsorship for enterprise learning, they invest continuously during good and bad times (but they do not necessarily spend more per employee on training!), they have adopted collaborative and informal learning strategies in addition to formal learning, and they run corporate training like a business (not like an education organization). They have strong leadership, they hold themselves accountable to the business, and they spend money wisely, measuring the adoption and effectiveness of programs rather than institutionalizing training as an employee “benefit.”

The biggest thing I would like to point out is that they have a strong “learning culture.” We are going to talk a lot more about what this means throughout the year, but consider the following simple chart:

You can read the rest of the article here, along with a lot of other valuable information and research findings from Bersin and Associates.

And although I am competitive, there are very few "secrets" I'm not willing to share. This blog is part of a commitment I've made to give back to my profession. You can email me with any questions or topics you'd like to hear more about.


Vivian Wong said...

Congratulations for your awards! Thanks for sharing your tips and "secrets" - love your blogs!

Dan McCarthy said...

thanks, Vivian - love yours too. (TalentedApps)

Rachel - I Hate HR said...

Oh so you're at THAT company are you. I'm always so confused about the awards since I've met about 10 people who enjoyed working there and 30 people who hated it. Whenever I speak to random people who haven't worked there about the company they all say "they don't treat their employees well." There seems to be a big disparity between the classes there. At least this is what I hear. I certainly wouldn't turn down working there in the future.

PS. On Sunday I sat 2 feet away from your billionaire at a bar with him in his swim trunks. It was quite the moment.

Dan McCarthy said...

Rachel –

Thanks for stopping by. Interesting comment. I’ve worked here for over three years, have met hundreds of employees at all levels from across the country, and have NEVER heard that kind of feeling expressed. In fact, it’s been just the opposite.
We couldn’t possibly win the GPTW award every year if 30/40 employees hated their jobs. It’s based on employee surveys, interviews, and employee policies and practices.
We also scored in the upper 10 percentile in a nationally benchmarked employee engagement survey.
I always wondered why anyone would work at a job they hate. We all have choices – life’s too short.