I don't know enough about Facebook and Twitter to claim they've got the best training programs in Silicon Valley, but there are some kernels of truth you find in the most successful corporate training initiatives. This piece by Max Nisen nails quite a few of these.
The first is an on-boarding experience long enough for the new hire to truly get acclimated and contribute to the organization's culture. At Facebook, this occurs during a seven week Bootcamp in which new hires work on fixing actual problems with the site's code. These fixes new hires work on are up live on Facebook's site within a week of the new employees hire. How is that for getting employees up to speed?
Another component of best and class training initiatives is they are driven and led by the CEO. And by led I don't mean just merely sponsored. At Twitter, the leadership program is run and taught by the CEO, Dick Costolo. Having this level of commitment by the president of the company sends a message to the entire organization that this is important to the firm's success.
I've been fortunate in my career to experience both ends of the spectrum. I've had CEOs look at me in disbelief for asking them to take a small yet active role in the on-boarding of their new hires, and I've had other CEOs jump at the opportunity to work with me and provide direction on training initiatives. Nothing you bake into your training program will get your learners attention more than walking into a training room and having the CEO of your company there ready to teach and mentor.
As Jack Welch once said, "An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage." Get your chief executive on board with your initiatives, and involve your learners in solving your organization's most vexing challenges. Do this all as quickly as you can, and watch your training initiatives go from nice-to-haves to crucial parts of your company's DNA.
Alex is a co-founder and Managing Member of Collabor8 Learning, LLC, an instructional design and performance management consultancy. His firm collaborates with organizations to enhance the way they develop and train their people. To learn more about Collabor8 Learning, click here.