Equipment Controls Co. (ECCO), an ASA distributor member based out of Norcross, Georgia, was ready to take training to the next level at their organization. In business for more than 50 years, ECCO has grown leaps and bounds in the past several years, increasing their team size from 20 people only five years ago to more than 60 team members today.
ECCO knew that with their growth, they needed to develop a formalized training plan to cultivate the top-notch employees that make their business successful. Although training had always been a top priority for the organization, a clear pathway to achieving their goals was a bit murkier.
Miya La Grange, HR Support Manager for Equipment Controls Co., knew just who to turn to for guidance—the qualified and expert advisors on the ASA University team. “Our priority was leadership and management training for our tenured team members, but we also needed training in other areas, like safety, warehouse training, and soft skills. ASA University was the perfect fit for us,” says Miya.
Creating the Training Vision
ECCO turned to ASA University for help. Their goal was to create training pathways not only for leadership team members, but also for all employees at ECCO. Their strong belief in setting standards of excellence across the organization stimulated this dual approach.
Prior to working with ASA University, ECCO did not have a formalized training approach in place. Miya La Grange, with support from upper-level stakeholders such as Jeb Bell, President of ECCO, and Desmond Terry, Director of HR & Finance for ECCO, spearheaded the effort. Through many face-to-face conversations, Miya and ASA University’s Vice President of Education, Taylor Kenney, outlined the specifics of their training vision, as well as the skills and knowledge deemed essential to furthering a culture of learning at ECCO.
ASA University’s considerable acumen in the creation of competency-based learning was a perfect fit to bring ECCO’s training dreams to reality. Though conversation, Miya described and expanded on the skills the ECCO team needed, including topics such as fostering positive team culture; contributing to team success; interpersonal communication, relationship building, and on-the-job safety.
“ASA University has their ducks in a row. They’re organized. They have great customer service and care about their members. They’re flexible and willing to partner on all levels,” Miya commented.
Miya also had a vision for her leadership team. Beyond the core skills she identified organization-wide, the leadership program Miya envisioned also added skills such as coaching and developing others, conflict management, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking, and a growth mindset.
Growing the Plan
ASA University went to work. Based on the outlined skill areas, ASA home-grew a training plan specifically for ECCO’s entire organization, interweaving their core training needs into a comprehensive “Employee Enhancement” program, while also creating a more advanced training program for leadership at ECCO.
Throughout the process, several tweaks and revisions were made based on feedback directly from ECCO’s leadership team to ensure the recommendations matched the vision of their training program.
What resulted was a clear and concise training plan for both all employees and leadership employees, deployed via ASA University’s Brightspace learning management system. ASA-U’s Brightspace learning system allows 24/7 access to training and provides a centralized and consistent experience for all trainees at ECCO.
No training program is complete without oversight and accountability. ASA University’s “Manager Dashboard” tool inside Brightspace was the cherry on top of ECCO’s master plan—allowing leaders across the organization to monitor performance and course completions in real-time with a click of a button.
ASA-U was able to set up a unique reporting structure within the Manager Dashboard tool that mirrored ECCO’s internal reporting structure, making sure every manager (and their manager’s manager!) could see the progress of their direct reports at any time.
Employees logging into ASA University can also monitor their own achievements, earning badges for each course, along with a Certificate of Achievement. With this oversight, Miya was able to ensure that leadership, functional managers, and learners were on the same page, no matter when or where their learning happened.
Deployment: Ready, Set, Go!
Miya and ASA-U also thought through how to deploy the training plan and had a specific vision for the rollout. ASA University helped achieve this goal by creating and managing a cadenced employee rollout of this training initiative at Miya’s direction.
Rather than overwhelming learners with multiple courses all at once, ASA University worked to develop a customized communication plan to learners, proactively monitoring completions and releasing content as learners progressed through their training journey. Working together, ECCO and ASA-U crafted a detailed communication plan to keep employees interested, engaged, and, most of all, successful.
“ASA University helped me address the challenge of organization-wide communication about training, helping to craft impactful messaging that addressed our biggest challenge, employee buy-in of training,” said Miya.
This included not only notifications for new course enrollments, but also overdue reminders and other training nudges. ASA University’s skilled Education Programs and Services Coordinator, Jen Hatta, provided a personal touch through every step of the process, including regular reporting to leadership stakeholders at ECCO.
ASA University expert oversight added up to an easy, organized way for ECCO to implement training with minimal administrative effort needed. ASA-U assisted with the setup and enrollment of more than 70 employees in Brightspace, setting up learning profiles, sending login details, and assisting with general inquiries from the ECCO team.
“ASA University was a true partner in implementing our training vision,” Miya shared, “Taylor Kenney, VP of Education for ASA University was integral to helping us get all the pieces of the puzzle put together. The instant rapport between our organizations and the ability to get the job done was highly valued for us.”
Several months after rollout in December 2022, things are humming for ECCO. Employees are engaging daily with ECCO’s training curriculum via ASA University and gaining the skills and knowledge needed to achieve ECCO’s goals of excellence. As the program has matured, ECCO has noted a significant uptick in employee engagement in training, with many individuals even completing training ahead of schedule.
Through progress reporting and monitoring, leaders across the organization can visualize employee progress via Miya’s Manager Dashboard, allowing her to keep employees engaged and motivated along the way. Through it all, Miya and her team have had the expertise and support of ASA University to back them up.
Looking to the Future
Miya and her team at Equipment Control Co. are excited for what the future holds. “I am excited to see managers gaining new skills and performing at their best ability, as well as our team members feeling confident and strong in their day-to-day roles,” said Miya. “We also know that part of remaining competitive is cultivating the very best in talent at our business.”
ASA University continues to follow ECCO’s journey to training greatness. As ECCO’s training plan evolves, ASA University is standing by to make expert recommendations, provide feedback on best practices, overcome barriers, and help to implement a world-class training plan for the their organization.
“It was a pleasure working with ECCO on their training plan,” says Taylor Kenney, VP of Education for ASA University. “ECCO’s clear vision of their training goals enabled the ASA-U team to create a customized, scalable training plan that has impactful results organization-wide. Miya’s input enabled us to visualize an idealized end-state that was brought to life with our partnership.”
Source: American Supply Association