Excellence in Academic Partnerships recognizes accredited academic learning institutions that have partnered with an organization in the past year to develop skills, competency or knowledge in a general employee population.
Partners in Leadership
Richland Community College was facing a number of challenges that were hindering its ability to operate at full potential. The institution lost more than 22 percent of student enrollment over six years. The student retention rate was even lower at 46.24 percent for next term and 8.46 percent for fall to fall. Departments were functioning in silos with minimal collaboration. Employees were unclear on the institution’s goals. A division between the faculty and staff was apparent. Ownership was lacking on all projects.
To create a learning strategy that would develop a workforce based on accountability and employee engagement, RCC brought on Partners in Leadership. In 2017, RCC launched its initiative on personal accountability utilizing the Accountability Builder program. The workshops and assessments were designed to help break down silos, encourage collaboration, and get employees personally invested in the specific goals of the organization. A group of 4 internal volunteers became the mentors and champions of Partners in Leadership’s models and methodologies. This group acts as the liaisons between the institution’s daily practices and implementation of Partners in Leadership’s curriculum. Supervisor training was also implemented to train the top leaders and have them continue training their employees in every area of the institution.
Today, RCC is surpassing its 3 key results: improving enrollment, employee engagement and economic sustainability.
Center for Leadership at Florida International University
Daikin Industries, based in Osaka, Japan, has experienced rapid global growth over the past several decades, especially in the U.S. This growth led to several key challenges: How could Daikin continue to grow while still retaining a strong, values-based culture with people at the center? And how could they ensure that leaders were equipped for current and future challenges?
Daikin’s CHRO worked closely with the Center for Leadership to develop the Daikin North America Leadership Program, an initiative designed to build strategic capacity, drive development and effectiveness using multi-modal learning, and energize the organization, starting with core leaders. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a rigorous developmental program with sessions led by seven subject matter experts and Daikin leadership. The program design emphasized practical application and practice sessions as learning mechanisms. The use of experiential as well as classroom learning was critical to ensure the sustainability of learning and equipped participants with strategies to share out to their teams upon return to work.
The program design included a robust evaluation protocol including various surveys and evaluation forms. In their overall evaluation of the program, ninety-four percent of participants rated it as “very good” or “excellent.” One-hundred percent agreed or strongly agreed that participating in the program will help them become better leaders for Daikin.
EmployBridge, the U.S.’s largest industrial staffing company, wanted to drive retention and address growing skill gaps. They decided to do this in two ways: through upskilling by equipping those who are unemployed or underemployed with the most in-demand skills, and by working with current associates to provide education and training, helping them achieve promotions, pay increases and full-time employment by IRS employer partners. But they needed to implement a scalable, effective way to achieve those goals.
EmployBridge partnered with Penn Foster to launch Better WorkLife Academy, a library of 21 different courses available to all EmployBridge associates and colleagues. The Academy includes career-oriented courses in fundamentals (safety, warehouse basics, production basics, Microsoft Office) and more advanced topics (electronics, welding and mechanical
maintenance). Each course, which includes short videos, quizzes and support materials, is available 24/7 and can be accessed via mobile device.
Currently, the academy is optional. EmployBridge wants learners to choose their own educational pathway. However, some employer partners create their own programs and incentivize associates to complete the courses. As of mid-2019, almost 40 percent of the total eligible EmployBridge population was active in the Better WorkLife Academy.