As Lucretia Hall and her team roll out a number of inaugural learning and development initiatives, they have valuable insights to share with the field. Here, Hall outlines how to get a new L & D department off to a successful start.
Part I – Laying the Groundwork
Lucretia Hall, director of learning and development at SoftwareONE, can often be heard saying, “We have a dream opportunity in front of us.” In 2016 when she joined SoftwareONE, a global leader in software and cloud portfolio management, the company offered a blank learning canvas and an internal customer base that was all ears.
With Hall’s sound guidance, today, SoftwareONE’s North American subsidiary boasts a thriving leadership development program as well as emerging people development and sales enablement programs. These initiatives are having a measurable, positive, impact on behavioral changes and have shown a direct correlation between employee participation and gross profit. To understand how this success became possible, it is helpful to go back to the beginning.
The journey began with an aggressive review of existing company data by Hall. Since most companies have troves of valuable data available, this is a wise place to start. At SoftwareONE data existed in the form of leadership 360 feedback, employee engagement survey results, executive leader off-site observations, and exit interviews. Hall worked to catalogue and analyze this data, searching for significant themes. Once she was intimately familiar with the existing data, her next step was to launch data validation interviews with employees, leaders, and executives across North America.
After the data gathering and review period, ensued the visioning work that involved key stakeholders. This was followed by a rigorous curriculum design process tying back to five core leadership competencies identified by the company and Hall as key to SoftwareONE’s success:
- Own the Strategy
- Drive for Results
- Build High Performing Teams
- Inspire Through Culture
- Drive Change
Each of these competencies is broken down into specific behaviors, questions that can be used to measure those behaviors, and a curriculum to teach and drive the behaviors.
Hall began rolling out the curriculum with an emphasis on leader development, and with the expectation that leaders would be teachers of the concepts across the organization. This structure has begun having its intended multiplier effect, igniting excitement across the company’s North American subsidiary regarding additional opportunities for learning and growth.
In addition to the mechanics of getting the program off the ground there were a few key lessons learned that Hall and her team will highlight in a ‘Part 2 – Lessons Learned’ follow up blog. Stay tuned to learn more about this SoftwareONE journey.