Workplace Culture

2019 Optimas Award Winners for Global Outlook

By Kerry Snider

Oct. 28, 2019

The Global Outlook award recognizes organizations that have created a program or strategy to help the organization succeed in the world marketplace. Here are the winners for 2019:

Gold: Valmont Industries Inc.

Valmont Industries Inc. knows the weight of a first impression. Rather than a dry, daylong PowerPoint presentation, the Omaha, Nebraska-based manufacturer of infrastructure and irrigation equipment created a new-employee orientation program from the ground up for every individual role in the multinational company.

Training courses for new employees were designed to be easily translatable so employees at international sites could hear important safety information in their native language, since Valmont manufactures products in over 80 different facilities spread across six continents and does business in over 23 different countries.

Rather than have a manufacturer in Vietnam watch American executives in an office setting, each work site has its own specific videos so workers can see themselves in their own workplace.

Managers also took on a more significant role in training. Tracking new hires’ progress with online learning modules gave managers a hands-on role in shaping their team. Holding managers accountable was also a new facet within the updated curriculum, creating a consistent training experience from employee to employee.

“With this new program, we give people a view of what you’re a part of, to be part of  something bigger than yourself, how your little piece fits in the organization,” said Kendra Davis, Valmont’s e-learning instructional designer. “It makes you want to stick with that organization because you see how you’re making a difference.”

While the importance of safety was fundamental teaching in previous training seminars, company culture previously was more of an afterthought. Valmont realized if they wanted a workforce to share their commitment to continuous learning, methods of learning would have to change.

A program comprised of both online and face-to-face lessons that tailors to every employee’s role function ensured that different types of learners could retain the knowledge necessary for getting their own job done. Going forward, Valmont looks to expand this program in Chinese, Danish, French, German, Portuguese, and Russian.

For its efforts to use its New Employee Onboarding initiative to make orientation more engaging and universal for new hires, Valmont Industries Inc. is the 2019 Optimas Award Gold winner for Global Outlook.

Silver: Turner 

While the media landscape transitions swiftly, the ability to quickly adapt is vital.

That’s why Turner decided to focus on its One World One Team initiative, which had a global reach that eliminated jobs in some regions and created jobs in others.

Global implementation of six significant organizational transformations at the same time included the creation of 40-plus positions in Argentina from 2017 to 2019 while several positions were eliminated in APAC and EMEA regions. With developments in leadership, training and communication, the One World One Team strategy saved 10 percent of costs from 2017 to 2018.

“Turner has focused on maximizing efficiencies and reducing operating costs to enable innovation and investment,” Turner stated on its Optimas Award application. “By streamlining accounting functions, the organization can create expense efficiencies that will allow us to invest in content creation and innovation.”

For its efforts to use its One World One Team initiative to build a solid foundation to fit its expansive global organization, Turner is the 2019 Optimas Award Silver winner for Global Outlook.

Bronze: Philanthropy U

For its efforts to expand accessibility for educational courses in nonprofit management and utilizing technology to extend training opportunities globally, Philanthropy U is the 2019 Optimas Award Bronze Winner for Global Outlook.

Go here to read about the rest of the Optimas winners for 2019.

Kerry Snider is an editorial associate for Workforce.

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