HCMx Radio: Using Learning to Enhance Corporate Culture

With the ever-changing global markets, multi-generational shifts in organizations and the pressure to continue to grow and expand, how do companies survive and not only survive but thrive? There are many layers to the answer, including employee engagement and culture.

JPEG-1400-Pixel-HCMx-LogoIn our latest episode of HCMx radio, we met with the learning industry and culture expert from Dell, Dr. Sydney Savion. Dr. Savion reveals the strategy that Dell put in place to cultivate engagement, and embrace and celebrate diversity through conversations and awareness – all contributing to foster a positive and meaningful culture based on their core values.

In Brandon Hall Group’s 2014 Employee Engagement Study, over 80% of companies that prioritized engagement were able to reduce turnover. Companies must be able to translate engagement strategies to business results. This can be challenging considering how engagement is linked to every other area of talent management.

This year we continued to study this topic and dove deeper in what employee engagement and culture means to an organization. We discovered through our study on Employment Value Proposition (EVP) 2015, that the relationship between the employer and employee drives an organization’s ability to attract and retain talent and to affect positive business outcomes. Yet, establishing a formal strategy for EVP is still evolving for many organizations. Our research shows those companies that have elements of a formal EVP strategy were driven by two main objectives for establishing one:

  • Increasing employee engagement (85%)
  • Improving attraction and retention of top talent (84%)

Dr. Savion’s philosophy and principles further supported the findings in Brandon Group’s 2015 EVP Study. Our research showed other vital factors contributing to attracting and retaining talent are the opportunity to do challenging and meaningful work, and belief in organizational vision and mission (both at 87%).

Companies can learn a lot from Dr. Savion in how she approaches engagement across these generational cohorts by identifying a common theme that affects human condition. Dell has found the following strategies to be successful:

  • Offering a work-life balance
  • Implementing informal learning networks through the use of a variety of applications including Chatter, Facebook, and crowdsourcing tools
  • Building skills for the future – investing in technologies or training such as Toastmasters, competency mapping, employee rotation, among others
  • Committing to innovation – Dell hosted an Innovation in Teaching & Learning Think Tank
  • Personalized learning – Dell recently consolidated to one LMS solution (Saba Cloud), which allows them to offer more personalized learning through one platform

Join us! Go to the HCMx Radio site any time to download the show.

Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer
Brandon Hall Group


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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.