Booz Allen Hamilton

The Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations Sweep the Brandon Hall Awards

The Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations sweep the Brandon Hall Awards

Yesterday I enjoyed a little taste of what James Cameron must have felt the night that Titanic swept the Oscars. Ok, so this may sound overly dramatic, if you will forgive the pun. Billy Crystal wasn’t hosting, and there was no red carpet.

But in our industry there are few awards that matter as much as the Brandon Halls.  Now in its 17th year, the awards program announced yesterday the winners from 22 categories.  Entries were judged by a panel of independent senior judges, Brandon Hall Group Sr. Analysts and Executive Leadership based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, usability, innovation, and overall measurable benefits.

As Mike Cooke, Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group, Inc. put it: “This year’s winning entries were the best of the best. We are proud to recognize the award winners who have greatly improved the performance of their organization and have shown clear, measurable business results through these innovative programs.”

And in Blueline Simulation’s first year as a submitter, our client partners won five Gold Awards! 

You read that correctly: FIVE GOLD BRANDON HALL AWARDS!  Congratulations to Bank of America, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Verizon Wireless for being acknowledged as the “best of the best” by winning Gold Medals in the following categories:

  • Best Custom Content: The Verizon Wireless Retail Sales Simulator
  • Best Learning Game: The Verizon Wireless Retail Sales Simulator
  • Best Use of Virtual Worlds for Learning: Bank of America Teller Readiness Simulation and Assessment
  • Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management: Bank of America Teller Readiness Simulation and Assessment
  • Best Onboarding Program: Booz Allen Hamilton New Hire Onboarding Program

And here is the best part: while awards in and of themselves are nice, for us the bigger reward was the opportunity to work with three of the most talented and dedicated client teams with whom we have ever had the pleasure to partner.

So how does the team at Blueline plan to follow up on this tremendous showing? We’d like to create some best-in-class learning solutions with you! Give the Talent Management Specialists at Blueline Simulations a call and find out why our client partners have been rewarded with these and other awards from Bersin and ASTD in 2011.

Did You See Our Work in T&D Magazine?

Forgive us if we come across like proud parents passing around pictures of our kids. But the onboarding program we developed for Booz Allen is getting a lot of attention and…. Well, gosh, you can’t blame us for wanting to share the good news with friends like you.

Specifically, Blueline Simulations has received the highest distinctions by ASTD, Bersin and others for its innovative onboarding solutions. And in August, the Booz Allen program was featured in T & D Magazine’s “Solutions” feature.

It’s an exciting solution, and you really must see it. The program is built around two Blueline Blueprints™, and those dynamic, table-sized graphics serve as the launch point for a series of activities over four days of immersive learning.

We’d love to tell you more. But there we go, getting all excited again. If you wish, take a look at the article. You’ll learn more about our strategic approach, and the compelling outcomes that the legendary Booz Allen continues to enjoy from the solution.

Want to talk “onboarding?” Join us online!

We’ve got lots of resources available — detailing ways that organizations like yours can use new-hire training as a strategic onboarding opportunity…connecting them to the culture; compressing the learning cycle; and preparing them for immediate success. Come check out our Blog, articles and case studies or join Training & Development Magazine and Blueline Simulations for a free webcast later this month.

What: “Onboarding for Managers”

When: Thursday, October 27, 2pm EST.

Register for this event today!

Want to talk more specifically about how Blueline can bring best-in-industry practices to your onboarding program? Contact Blueline Simulations today.

We Helped Booz Allen Hamilton Create one of the Best Onboarding Experiences in the Country. Here’s How.

Booz Allen Hamilton is one of the world’s most legendary consulting firms. More than a century old, the Virginia-based firm is credited with inventing the field of management consulting.

The firm engaged Blueline Simulations to help redesign its onboarding program, and to implement the four program elements I described in my blog a few weeks ago.

Their program is a branded, phased, 12-month series of events designed to help new hires quickly engage with the organization, feel comfortable joining their respective teams, and develop a strong level of knowledge regarding the firm’s culture and core values. The program is broken into three phases throughout the first year. These phases are: Engage, Equip, and Excel. Each phase has its own milestones and objectives to ensure a consistent new hire experience. The design provides a recognizable framework that is applicable to all new hires across the firm, while allowing regional offices to tailor some local content for enhanced value. Orientation attendance is mandatory across the firm in order to drive a consistent new hire onboarding experience for all employees.

New Hire Onboarding Journey Map

Phase I, ENGAGE, is designed to excite and prepare new hires for their first year. This phase typically spans two to three weeks (from acceptance through a new hire’s first week on the job). Two key program elements within this phase are the New Hire Portal and Firmwide Orientation.

Firmwide Orientation has been transformed from a two-and-one-half-day program that occurred around week four, to a four-day program that occurs during a new hire’s first week. The new Firmwide Orientation provides an engaging and interactive learning experience that teaches new employees about the organization, and provides them with opportunities to start building a professional network within the firm.

Built on simulation-based learning activities focused on networking, skill development, and early career planning, the first day of Firmwide Orientation centers on a large, engaging, information-rich Blueline Learning Visual. Through this visual landscape, participants work in teams to explore the firm’s history, its people and culture, institutional structure, client service, and core values and mission. New hires collaborate in cross-functional table teams made up of six members each, spanning different work teams, regional offices, and levels. Working in these teams jump-starts the development of working relationships and networks, which are critical components of success at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Next, a two-day client engagement simulation immerses new hires in a realistic job preview and prepares them to engage fully with the organization and the firm’s clients. The teams encounter opportunities and challenges that test their decision-making and require them to adapt to realistic and changing situations. Exposure to foundational planning and analysis skills and tools helps prepare new hires for performance on the job. An adjunct instructor, a seasoned employee with experience on multiple firm engagements, provides “real world” insights and examples from his or her career at the firm.

The fourth day, a highly interactive and hands-on workshop, is based on a firm-specific “formula for success” which is introduced on the first day.  New hires use laptops provided in the classroom to explore career development at the firm and internal resources designed to assist them in their career growth.

Senior leaders play a key role in the program by delivering welcome messages and leading personal discussions on how to succeed at the firm. Meanwhile, new hires learn the “secrets to success” and receive tips on how to navigate the company’s culture through structured networking events, which occur both in-person and online via the firm’s social media and knowledge management tool.

Phase II, EQUIP, spans a period encompassing the new hire’s second week through their first six months, and provides employees with the tools, skills, and behaviors necessary for success at the firm. Key program elements within this phase include Local Orientation, 30-, 60-, and 90-Day Check Ins with the manager, toolkits, a Six-Month Pulse Check, and a series of eNewsletters. All of these are designed to reinforce and build on the information, knowledge, and relationships developed in Phase I by providing application within the person’s actual job context.

Phase III, EXCEL, is focused on continued professional development, affiliation building, and embodiment of firm values. This phase spans month seven until the end of year one, and its key milestone is the new hire’s first annual assessment.

To complement the year-long program, the onboarding team has also leveraged the firm’s social media and knowledge management tool to provide a social space designed to connect new hires, and those who support them, throughout their first year at the firm. As a member of the “Onboarding Community,” anyone at the firm can discover and contribute information, activities, and resources, which support and enhance the first year experience, and can communicate via blogs and forum discussions.

Today, the program that we built with Booz Allen Hamilton is recognized as a “best in class” solution. The work has been recognized with a Bersin Learning Leaders’ Award for Learning and Talent Initiative Excellence; and also an ASTD Excellence in Practice Citation.

Even more importantly, the onboarding program has been successful in increasing affiliation, reducing attrition, and equipping new hires for success at Booz Allen Hamilton. And that, more than any other acknowledgement, gives us a tremendous sense of pride.

Next, up we’ll look at a very different type of onboarding experience being used by one of the nation’s largest wireless carriers.

Blueline Client, Booz Allen Hamilton, wins Bersin Learning Leaders’ award for Learning and Talent Initiative Excellence

The Bersin Learning Leaders program is designed to identify the very best in organizational learning and talent management. The program’s goal is not just to provide awards – but to recognize organizations which are driving high-value solutions based on business strategies. Bersin’s focus is on the use of benchmark criteria based on years of in-depth study across all areas of learning and talent management.

The program categories cover six major areas of learning and talent solutions, and encompass the key ways that organizations can drive value:

  1. Operational Training and Development Excellence
  2. Leadership Development Excellence
  3. Learning and Talent Initiative Excellence
  4. Learning and Talent Technology Excellence
  5. Learning Organization and Governance Excellence
  6. Vendor Innovation in Learning and Talent Management

The 2010 Learning Leaders represent the very best of enterprise learning and talent management with high impact on the business. Our Client, Booz Allen Hamilton, was announced as the winner of the Learning and Talent Initiative Excellence for the work that we did with them to create a positive new hire experience.

To learn more about Bersin’s Learning Leaders program, and the work that Blueline Simulations did with Booz Allen Hamilton to create an award winning Onboarding Experience, click the link below:

Learning Leaders 2010: Lessons from the Best