New Horizons Computer Training Centers: Cultivating Talent

New Horizons is the largest IT training company in the world. New Horizons has more than 5,000 employees worldwide, including 2,000 instructors. As a global operation, it must create a talented workforce that is decentralized yet is a cohesive network to the end customer. New Horizons does an exceptional job of this by ensuring that all levels of management are deeply involved in the development, coaching and mentoring of the network members. For example, they recently rolled out an internal sales program that included management coaching as a major component. It put heavy emphasis on the importance of senior management buy-in and support and signified that cultivating talent is not just about sending people to training but embedding learning and knowledge sharing into the fabric of day-to-day business operations.

As a result of the way New Horizons educates its employees, it has seen several specific, tangible results. For example, the New York City-based New Horizons center unearthed incredible opportunities to deliver customized services to several clients not only as a result of the training but also because of measurement and valuation of human capital. This office realized more than $15,000 in additional revenue from this focus on measurement. The New York City center, like all New Horizons centers around the world, gathers quantifiable data from each customer about training services. This is not only satisfaction and quality data, but also impact and ROI-driven data. That measurement data is presented back to the client, resulting in these tangible opportunities. This center estimates a 10 percent increase in overall revenue as a result of using a rigorous measurement system, Metrics that Matter from KnowledgeAdvisors, which measures quality and generates excellent touch points with the customer, increasing customer retention.

Another tangible benefit of New Horizons’ rigorous approach to cultivating talent and then formally and consistently measuring it is seen in the form of a higher-quality product and service. Instructors in the New Horizons Miami center review measurements on their performance in a real-time manner and can compare that performance to other instructors within the network and to a benchmark outside the network. This has allowed instructors to make timely and innovative adjustments to the way they teach.

New Horizons centers have rallied around the measurement results. Each center measures internal and external training for satisfaction, effectiveness, job impact, business impact and value gain in human capital. Tactically, adjustments in the business are made daily resulting in higher-than-ever customer satisfaction ratings. At a corporate level, the metrics are used to set standards of performance. The results of a measurement focus are a high level of assurance by New Horizons that its training is effective (based on Level III job-impact metrics) and customers who would come back to New Horizons (98 percent of customers state they would buy again).

New Horizons has been a thought leader and innovator within the learning space by educating and evangelizing the need to provide stakeholders of learning initiatives with metrics that go beyond the basics (i.e., satisfaction and quality) to measure the change in the value of human capital.

A critical success factor for New Horizons was leveraging measurement models based on industry-proven methodology. New Horizons is very knowledgeable about the measurement techniques of Donald Kirkpatrick, Ph.D., and his four levels of evaluation. Further, New Horizons is linked with Jack Phillips, Ph.D., and his ROI process.

Second, New Horizons leveraged technology and automation to wrap around the industry-accepted methodologies to make the measurement process practical, scalable and replicable. On a daily basis, New Horizons gathers thousands of data points from around the world and uses technology to collect, store, process and report that data so it is easily available for analysis.

New Horizons is a best-practice example of a large, complex training operation that looked beyond the complexities and challenges of cultivating a talented workforce and placing a value on human capital. Through senior management commitment and support, New Horizons has put in place one of the most robust measurement and valuation processes in the industry that is being replicated by peer organizations, academic institutions and corporate universities around the world.