Based on lessons learned from the previous two years of conducting the annual Training Top 100, we substantially changed the official Top 100 application that all entrants had to fill out for this year's program. One of the most noticeable changes is in the number of questions asked—which has more than doubled. The actual detail required with each response, however, changed most dramatically. In fact, well over half of all questions required specific examples either in the form of essay-type answers or quantifiable, documented data—particularly when evaluating training's effectiveness as a strategic business tool.
We also greatly expanded the number of questions regarding training's role in creating and maintaining corporate culture, including statistics on the use of corporate universities (virtual and fixed-facility), tuition reimbursement/advancement expenditures, turnover, retention, new employee referrals, internal promotions and the like.
Because of the incredible insight our editorial team received from the expanded applications, some companies that were ranked in previous years moved up substantially. Conversely, some moved down, and some moved all the way out. Most of the major movements in this year's rankings resulted from the additional information gleaned from the new application.
To receive a full copy of the 2003 application, e-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The 2004 application will be posted on www.trainingmag.com by mid-April with a submission deadline of October 1, 2003.