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2010 Excellence in Content

GOLD: NIIT Cognitive Arts

To generate more than a billion dollars in annual revenue, KFC, a division of Yum Brands Inc., counts on its front-line workforce to deliver quality and service. Based in Louisville, Ky., KFC serves more than 8 million customers in 80 countries with 140,000 employees.

The front-line workforce is composed of mostly Gen Y workers, and the KFC training development team is charged with teaching them the standard role-based processes and procedures and making sure they retain the knowledge and skills to deliver on a daily basis.

KFC partnered with NIIT Cognitive Arts to develop a training solution that could be easily deployed to engage these younger employees, transition from traditional paper-based training to e-learning, drive a standardized set of behaviors and deliver business impact through improved customer service.

NIIT Cognitive Arts designed a virtual immersive environment that would form the backdrop for a learner-centric and engaging curriculum in which learners could deal with realistic scenarios. Using critical mistake analysis methodology, NIIT Cognitive Arts prioritized the behaviors that differentiated top performers from novices in handling a particular task or situation.

Based on these teaching points, script writers created scenarios that immersed learners in situations they encounter in the real world and forced them to make choices at key decision points. Learners were then coached on the consequences of their actions.

An initial test by an employee focus group provided positive qualitative feedback, which was echoed by shift supervisors when the program was rolled out across the U.S. More than 45,000 team members and shift supervisors have completed the training program. KFC has since added 13 more modules to the existing curriculum and is exploring creating similar training for Yum’s Pizza Hut and Long John Silver’s companies.

SILVER: Harvard Business Publishing

In May 2009, Seagate Technology initiated a global reorganization and shifted its focus to become a responsive market-facing organization. The company worked with longtime partner Harvard Business Publishing to deliver leadership development programs called Maximizing Business Results, which were presented in a virtual format to connect a cohort of peers and mentors with leading experts. Harvard Business Publishing partners with clients to understand their learning objectives and then works to develop customized portfolios of content and services uniquely suited to the client’s talent development strategies.

By May 2010, Seagate and Harvard Business Publishing successfully designed, developed and deployed the new collaborative learning program to more than 100 directors and vice presidents worldwide. Results from a feedback survey taken 3.5 months into the program showed that 92 percent of participants said they were learning new skills, and 87 percent found the new skills relevant and applicable on the job. The program was able to provide leadership development to twice as many people at a quarter of the previous cost, which meant Seagate could offer the program to more leaders around the world. Program feedback was incorporated to make adjustments to the current program and enhance the next cohort offering.

BRONZE: Learning Tree

Learning Tree works with clients to develop innovative, industry-leading training curricula that support professionals in hands-on IT and management training. The company developed a custom-designed curriculum exclusively for the U.S. federal government acquisition workforce and utilized business and user requirements gathered directly from government agencies. The new FAC-P/PM training curriculum will support federal acquisition professionals in achieving FAC-P/PM certification and ensure that government professionals are more effective on the job immediately after they return from training.

The curriculum is saving federal agencies thousands of dollars for each employee’s FAC-P/PM certification because the amount of out-of-office time to attend training is reduced by several weeks. Agencies are no longer forced to attend ad hoc training and can instead invest efficiently in certifications and provide employees with solutions that are relevant to their specific environment and interests.