Sara Lee Leverages Needs Assessment From Allen to Improve Existing ILT Courses

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<strong>Salt Lake City &mdash; March 7</strong><br />Like many organizations, in 2007, Sara Lee&rsquo;s training department faced several typical training challenges: long training sessions, huge classes, bland PowerPoints and disengaged learners. Also typical were the time and budgetary limitations it faced to overcome its challenges. Seeking to improve training, but knowing every dollar and minute spent was critical to successfully addressing its issues, the team determined that a needs assessment was a crucial first step.<br /> <br />Consequently, Sara Lee brought on Allen Communication Learning Services to conduct the assessment. Allen was tasked with uncovering gaps and consulting on the best methods for closing those gaps. Additionally, budgetary and timeline realities required that Allen take a very practical approach.<br /> <br />As a result, Allen concentrated on four specific areas for evaluation: audience, technology, existing content and performance objectives. Through employee surveys and leadership interviews, Allen discovered employees found training sessions too long, too large, too unspecific to their roles and information heavy. Consequently, employees were disengaged. Allen revealed that by improving the look and feel of the courseware along with using PowerPoint templates and icons for consistency, group activities, breakaway sessions, timelines and less information per slide, Sara Lee would engage its employees and expand learner retention.<br /> <br />Thanks to the assessment, Allen showed Sara Lee how they could take its training and easily improve it while staying within budget and deadlines. The needs assessment proved to be beneficial to Sara Lee by effectively addressing known challenges (e.g., learner engagement), helping it uncover gaps in its content and understanding where to focus development to get the most for its dollars and time. <br /> <br />&ldquo;While Sara Lee was expecting a report detailing useful information,&rdquo; said Ron Zamir, CEO of Allen, &ldquo;they weren&rsquo;t expecting the insight, thoroughness and useful suggestions our solution provided.&rdquo;<br /> <br />One of the managers at Sara Lee believed the needs analysis was &ldquo;way more value than we ever expected&rdquo; and that Allen provided the &ldquo;highest amount of benefit&rdquo; for Sara Lee&rsquo;s limitations in time and budget. In fact, Sara Lee already has begun implementing the suggestions into its ILTs. <br />

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