As an information services company, it's no wonder that Ceridian is performing more training functions using distance learning.
Not only is Web-based training more cost effective than bringing together presenters and learners at a common location, it causes less disruption of a worker's daily life, says Sherry Goetze, vice president of learning and development for Ceridian.
"Web training is one of our key initiatives in our strategic mission," says Goetze. "I think we're light years ahead of other companies."
The company has determined that 90 minutes is the maximum amount of time a learner wants to spend in front of a computer. So product update information usually is kept to 90-minute presentations, while more lengthy instruction takes place in modules. This just-in-time training gives workers the information they need when they need it, Goetze says.
Training programs at Ceridian are broadly divided into product training and non-product training. The former would include instruction for new customers, existing customers and employees on the sales, service and installation aspects of the company's products. The latter initiative includes programs like leadership development, project management and customer loyalty programs.
Ceridian estimates that each employee will undergo 48 hours of training in 2002, an average that includes new product training and other employee development initiatives. The company tracks employee training hours as well as number of employees served.
"Training and employee development are the foundation of successful companies," says Shirley Hughes, senior vice president of human resources. "Employees have greater levels of self-esteem and pride when they see the company is investing in their growth and development."
Goetze credits Ceridian CEO Ronald L. Turner and Tony Holcombe, president of Ceridian's human resources solutions business, with their "unwavering" support for the company's learning initiatives. "In a lot of cases, training is the first thing cut in a down economy," Goetze says. "Here, training is considered an investment—not an expense." What's more, executives often attend leadership training sessions to further demonstrate the importance Ceridian places on staff development.
"Ceridian is a leader in the markets we serve, and this is reflected in our high levels of customer satisfaction and customer retention," Hughes says. "We believe our success in these key business indicators is directly linked to our training and employee development efforts. Whether the training model has a focus on specific job skill development or process improvements, the ultimate goal is to improve customer satisfaction and retention through increased employee performance."
Goetze agrees, adding that during the job interview process many applicants say they were attracted to Ceridian because of its reputation for training excellence and its tuition assistance program.
"While we provide a variety of different services to our customers, what we ultimately are providing is accuracy and reliability," says Hughes. "When a client gives us a part of their business to perform, they are asking us to free them of certain activities so they can focus on their customers. This trust relationship exists because we offer best-in-class service through our well-trained employees."