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2013 Business Impact — Division 2

GOLD: Jenny Dearborn, Chief Learning Officer, SuccessFactors

When software company SAP acquired SuccessFactors in December 2011, it wanted to reach its 176,000 newly acquired customers. To do so, the cloud-based talent-management company needed to accelerate development of its management team through data-based training.

To ensure sales representative success and demonstrate measurable business results, SuccessFactors analyzed employee performance and tailored a learning program to fit employees’ needs.
When designing the employee measurement program, the company relied on research and analysis from industry experts, revealing key skills needed among the company’s sales representatives. Internal analysis scrutinized sales drivers and before and after business performance through customer relationship management and learning management systems.

The company’s top priority was to develop the management team in a data-driven context. Starting from the top down, SuccessFactors met regularly with sales team leads. In meetings, company executives presented analytics from which sales leaders helped to develop new tactics. Sales leaders also regularly reported and developed their sales analytics, which were used to track, coach and train new and existing sales employees.

The approach was a success. The 275 new hires in 2012 significantly outperformed the 2011 batch, and the sales conversation ratio improved by 79 percent in the first six months. By linking learning to performance, the return was 44 times the cost of investment.

SILVER: Duane La Bom, Director of Learning and Development, Rackspace University

Finding and recruiting individuals in the cloud-computing industry is costly, and Rackspace, a cloud company, was spending about $15,000 per hire to fill its technical positions. In many cases, the company’s new hires needed training before they were ready to support customers, which was an additional investment.

Rackspace wanted to flip the traditional talent management model. To fill the development need, the company launched Rackspace Open Cloud Academy in March to establish and grow a talent pipeline by providing technical career and development opportunities for both Rackspace employees and external applicants.

Rather than paying costly recruiting expenses to fill low-level roles, the company created an external training model to build participants’ skill sets. The company graduated 17 of the 19 pilot students and hired 11 of the graduates as Linux systems administrators. Rackspace charged its students $3,500 each to complete the program, covering all of its recruitment expenses.

BRONZE: Kimberly Stewart, Senior Vice President of Corporate Learning and HR Technology, First Citizens Bank

First Citizens Bank experienced a period of rapid growth from 2009 to 2012. As a result, the organization needed to support a more geographically dispersed customer base.

In partnership with vendor TRC Interactive, the organization used self-paced online modules, individual coaching and blended learning to develop its talent. For instance, the bank’s newly developed customer care center can hire, onboard and begin training new associates as soon as there is a need. The program also can customize training for seasonal and part-time employees.

First Citizens has experienced 75 percent fewer compliance-related errors.