San Francisco Police Credit Union
Frontline supervisors and emerging leaders improve their critical thinking skills and are better prepared for their new management roles with NetSpeed Leadership
Since 1953, SFPCU has provided financial services for first responders, including law enforcement, fire protection, emergency medical technicians and their families throughout California. In this time, they have developed a strong bond with their very loyal and growing base of customers.
As SFPCU has grown, they saw an increasing need to develop the skills of their new supervisors and emerging leaders. In order to maintain the strong member loyalty they have created in their market, they saw the need to make sure their newly promoted managers had the skills to become effective leaders within the organization and make the sound decisions necessary to ensure their members received the best service possible. While they have done other third party leadership skills training in the past, too often the training solutions did not understand the unique nature of SFPCU’s culture or the audience they were serving and the solutions lacked the ability to customize the solution for the specific requirements of this culture.
A key selection criteria for the training solution SFPCU was looking for was that it had to be flexible so that SFPCU’s trainers could customize the content and the language to make the program truly their own. They also wanted to ensure that there was post-classroom learning reinforcement to ensure the learning that took place in the classroom would stick and provide opportunities to apply the learning back at their job. Finally, they wanted a program that their emerging leaders would find stimulating, engaging and fun, so that the training would be embraced and not resisted by the people going through the program.
They chose NetSpeed Leadership because it met all of these requirements and went beyond this. The program included easy-to-administer tracking and reporting tools so that they could measure whether the training was having an impact or not. And they were able to customize the content to tailor the language and content to meet the needs of their audience.
SFPCU was extremely pleased by the outcome of their training implementation with NetSpeed Leadership. They found the staff at NetSpeed Leadership highly responsive and easy to work with. But more importantly the emerging leaders who went through the program appreciated that the program was engaging and got everyone to actively participate in the learning through a variety of stimulating group discussions and exercises. The program was easy to customize and easy to track results.
The management team to whom these emerging leaders report, has noticed positive trends in the areas of critical thinking and have observed that the people who have gone through this program seem more prepared for their roles as leaders and more proactive in understanding how to move forward in their roles.
Natalie Signorelli, SFPCU’s Manager, Recruitment and Talent Management, concluded that NetSpeed Leadership’s widely applicable, quickly customizable, engaging training curriculum could benefit supervisors and new managers in just about any organization.
Penn National Gaming, Inc.
NetSpeed Leadership Program Yields Measurable Increase in Front-line Supervisor Effectiveness
Penn National Gaming (PNG) owns and operates 27 gaming and racing facilities in 18 states and Canada. During the economic downturn in 2008, when most casinos and businesses didn’t see much expansion, Penn continued to grow its business. Since 2008, Penn not only significantly expanded gaming operations at two existing facilities, but also by the end of 2012, they will have opened four new casinos and acquired two new properties.
The challenge PNG faced was a need to strengthen the leadership, communication and day-to-day management skills of their frontline supervisors throughout their company. In 2009, their new President /COO saw the critical role that PNG’s first-level supervisors played in the success of their operations. The senior management wanted to find a way to ensure these important positions had a consistent set of values and a common language around leadership, employee performance and supporting their customers.
Given the large, diverse and widely scattered employee base, PNG’s Director of Organizational Development, Cori Whitacre, saw the need for a highly flexible training solution that could scale for the fast-growing company. And it had to work not just in one culture, but in more than twenty, so the content had to be customizable to meet the needs of this industry and PNG’s unique operating culture. Another key requirement they were looking for was a blended solution that combined the best components of classroom instruction with web-based reinforcement tools to extend the learning. Finally, ideally PNG wanted a way to measure the impact the training was having so they could identify whether it was changing behavior as a result.
They chose NetSpeed Leadership because it delivered a comprehensive program of leadership and professional skill-building content that was targeted to the needs of frontline supervisors. The courses could be customized for the needs of the PNG culture. In the end, they saw in NetSpeed Leadership a “one-stop” blended solution that provided all the critical components they were looking for in one program. And the reporting component helped them measure how effectively the training was working and how supervisors were applying what they learned.
PNG has actively tracked the impact of the NetSpeed Leadership training program. In 2011, they found that managers’ overall effectiveness rating had increased by four percent - and they attributed a significant portion of this increase to the impact of their leadership training program with NetSpeed Leadership.
In the first year, an average of 85% of PNG supervisors who participated in the NetSpeed Leadership program reported they had applied the principles they learned in the program to their job. 80% indicated they were more capable of performing these work skills as a direct result of their training. And supervisors reported an average of 50% improvement in their skills as a result of this program.
Whitacre concluded that while every organization is unique, with its own leadership development needs, NetSpeed Leadership’s widely applicable, customizable, blended training curriculum probably has something that could benefit supervisors and managers in just about any organization.
United States Tennis Association (USTA)
Geographically dispersed organization builds a culture of collaboration and leadership at all levels with a virtually delivered, customizable leadership training program
Established in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a national not-for-profit organization that, among other things, produces each year the most important event in US tennis – the U.S. Open – which more than three-quarters of a million people attend, making it the highest attended annual sporting event in the world. With more than 750,000 individual members and 7,000 organizational members, and thousands of volunteers, the USTA’s staff is dedicated to growing the game of tennis at the grass roots level throughout the USA. Their staff works with local municipalities and youth organizations throughout the country, providing youth tennis programs to introduce a new generation to the sport.
The national organization has a staff of 350 in four locations (White Plains and Flushing Meadow, NY, Boca Raton, FL and Carson, CA) broken into five different divisions. In addition, the USTA also supports 17 independent sections, geographically dispersed throughout the country. A few years ago, the USTA’s senior leadership concluded that the organization with its many divisions and geographic sections, had developed an unhealthy silo culture, in which individuals within different sections sometimes did not work as effectively across divisions as was needed. Communication and cooperation suffered as a result. They wanted to support encouraging staff at all levels to work more collaboratively and communicate more effectively, to support the needs of the USTA, its volunteers and growing membership ranks.
To address this issue, Karen Pacent, the USTA’s Director of Learning & Leadership Development, began a search for a professional skills training program that was flexible and customizable to their unique culture. They specifically were looking for a program that could be delivered by USTA staff – people who knew the culture and needs of the USTA, to help make this new program more credible in the minds of employees, and lead to much quicker buy-in to the skill-building initiative.
The USTA adopted NetSpeed Leadership’s comprehensive curriculum of 24 different leadership, management and professional skills courses. They quickly saw the power of NetSpeed’s blended combination of real-time learning supported by post-classroom online reinforcement tools, to maximize learning transfer.
A strong selling point was the program’s flexibility. Not only did the team at NetSpeed work with them to customize the content for their unique needs, but NetSpeed certified 18 USTA adjunct faculty members to deliver the program. .
Over time, the USTA saw the need for this program to be delivered virtually, because of the geographic dispersion of their staff. They worked with NetSpeed Learning Solutions to certify several trainers to deliver the training virtually in a web conference environment, through means of the Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification (VFTC) course.
“The NetSpeed Leadership program has been very well received at the USTA,” said Fred Allemann, USTA’s National Learning Manager. “We are now entering our fifth year providing this training curriculum to their staff. The feedback from participants and their managers has been consistently positive. They have observed improved productivity and the breaking down of barriers between individuals and teams as a result of applying the principles learned in the NetSpeed Leadership training.”
A study of the self-reported results of just under 300 USTA participants who went through the NetSpeed Leadership training program reported that 83% of participants said they have applied what they learned back on their job and 85% said they were more capable of applying the skills learned from the program as a result of the training. The average self-reported improvement in the skills taught in the NetSpeed Leadership program was 56%.
Thanks to the VFTC course, the USTA’s trainers are now able to successfully deliver programs (both NetSpeed Leadership training and other training content) virtually. Now two thirds of the USTA’s workshops are delivered virtually, providing substantial savings in travel time and cost. The VFTC course has not only improved their trainers’ virtual delivery skills but also their ability to design highly engaging, interactive virtual classroom sessions. The result is that employees have experienced virtually delivered training sessions they feel are every bit as engaging and participatory as the face-to-face classroom, helping to create collaborative virtual learning communities.
The USTA recommends NetSpeed Leadership and the Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification course to any organization that wants to improve the collaboration, communication and workplace productivity for their professional staff and supervisory team and is looking for highly engaging, customizable leadership skills training that can be delivered either virtually or face to face.
NetSpeed Leadership Webinars
The Cobalt Group
New Managers Gain Confidence and Improve Employee Satisfaction with Leadership Webinar Series
The Cobalt Group is a leading provider of automotive marketing services who specializes in helping dealers and manufacturers increase their retailing effectiveness by providing digital marketing solutions such as rich-media display ads, search, and other services. When the company added more than 350 new first time manager jobs within a single year, they needed an effective, easy to roll out leadership training program that would accomplish the goal without absorbing too much of their new managers' valuable time.
Instead of taking their managers out of action for a series of 8-hour classroom training sessions, the Cobalt Group chose the NetSpeed Leadership Webinar Series, which provides a 90-minute interactive online learning experience that includes a variety of media and follow-up activities. More than just a cognitive experience, the Leadership Webinar Series combines best practices leadership training content delivered in manageable chunks, with lots of dialog and practical follow-up. The succinct material, interesting delivery and pragmatic follow-up with portable tools like the pocket guide was, according to Julia Pizzi, V.P of Human Resources, one of the reasons the leadership training program worked so well for them. “Adult training requires engagement activities, a variety of media, and follow-up help to people wrap what they’ve learned in their own experiences. The post-webinar online reinforcement tools in particular have helped us because just-in-time learning can’t be applied until the situation occurs. With NetSpeed’s post-session resources, the learning is quickly and easily refreshed.”
Pizzi believes that the program has helped new managers feel more confident in their new roles and better supported by the organization. “The first time manager is the weakest link. Thirty percent of new managers don’t make it because it’s the hardest job, which is why this kind of supervisory skills training program is so important, “ says Pizzi. “In a recent Cobalt survey, employee satisfaction with management turned up significantly better than expected. This is a direct reflection of the education. We’re sure that this leadership webinar series is contributing to our success,“ says Pizzi.