Each year, the Association for Talent Development receives applications from hundreds of organizations vying to win a place on their BEST Award list. This annual award recognizes businesses with a proven track record of utilizing learning as a strategic business tool to achieve measurable results.
This year’s BEST Award recipients were recently announced and the winners include many of InsideOut Development’s clients. We spoke to Kristen Fyfe, ATD’s Senior Manager of Communications, who shared with us what it means to make the BEST Award list and what makes these organizations shine above the rest.
What are you specifically looking for when you select the winners of the BEST Award?
BEST focuses on four different aspects of development within an organization:
- Building talent
- Enterprise Wide
- Supported by the organization’s leaders
- Thorough learning culture
We are looking at organizations that place a high value on learning initiatives that drive business results. These businesses recognize that learning is more than a go-to when you have a problem to fix. These organizations have chosen to give learning a stable seat at the table while mapping out strategies and goals for where they want to go.
In what way do BEST organizations use the learning function as a strategic business tool to get results?
A lot of people pay lip service to measuring results but we are looking at more than a level one smile sheet. BEST winners outline two or three key business issues they are working on and the metrics that show how learning has played a role in hitting those objectives. For some, the metrics may be a ROI, while for others it is data that supports safety initiatives.
How do BEST organizations demonstrate that learning has value in the organization’s culture?
While some companies spotlight only senior level or high potentials as recipients of training, BEST companies are demonstrating that training and learning initiatives are focused in all levels of the organization.
Additionally, in BEST organizations, leaders are not only investing capital but also investing time. CEOs and C-Level executives are getting involved in the learning process by coming into the classroom and teaching, as well as mentoring their direct reports. This trickle-down effect throughout the organization is making a tremendous impact in organizations worldwide.
For more information on the BEST awards visit astd.org.