Learning Action Recording with Cardinal Health's Adam Zaller - 12/03/20


This week’s Learning and Development action call hosted special guest Adam Zaller, VP of Learning and Development at Cardinal Health, a healthcare services company that provides pharmaceutical and medical products and services that help pharmacies, hospitals, surgery centers, physician offices and other healthcare providers focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and improving quality. He was interviewed by i4cp co-founder and CEO Kevin Oakes and i4cp Senior Research Analyst Tom Stone. Here are some highlights from the call:

  • In the past three years, Cardinal Health has completely transformed from having 27 different learning teams to a COE model with six academies (e.g., sales, supply chain, professional and leadership development) and a core team for instructional design, logistics, and operations.
  • This transformation enabled them to evolve from mostly serving as order-takers focused on onboarding to a consultative approach where they can serve as learning business partners.
  • The numbers speak to the value of this transformation: a 30% reduction in budget coinciding with a 3X improvement in NPS and a 2X improvement in other key metrics.
  • Like most organizations, Cardinal Health saw a major shift to more use of virtual classroom training in 2020. The results have been mostly positive with improvements seen in client work, new tools used, etc.
  • A major success was shifting their national sales meeting to being held virtually in 2020. This was such a success that many want the company to continue with virtual meetings even after the pandemic is past. Keys to the success of this event were the use of breakout groups, instructional designers evaluating all content to reduce lecture and introduce activities, and  coaching presenters ahead of time.
  • A major initiative has been their Digital You upskilling initiative to instill a digital-first mindset in the organization. This involved a three-tier approach:
    • Digital fluency. Partnering with Accenture and Cognition (a conversant AI platform), a month-long daily campaign that provided about half of all Cardinal Health employees with 5-minute learning and 5-minute reflection microlearning contents via email.
    • Immersion. This next step took a half-dozen or so of the 30 topics and went further, showing where the content applied more specifically to the business.
    • Digital colleges. An application-only program, where some 500+ enroll in a deep-dive for digital skill building.
  • The L&D team at Cardinal Health was involved early during the pandemic in supporting the shift to "visiting customers safely." Learnings from this effort have been helpful as L&D now supports the initial pilot and eventually the full rollout of Cardinal Health's return to the workplace strategy.
  • A key aspect of Zaller's strategy at Cardinal Health going forward is to focus on building out a skills ontology leveraging their Cornerstone LMS platform. This will let them further support the company as true learning business partners, and enable increased talent mobility and other benefits.
  • As at many organizations, ROI is measured for marquee learning programs at Cardinal Health. In the case of a sales methodology training program, the company saw an increase of 2300 basis points in sales quota for those who took the program compared to those who did not.

Please also see the i4cp Coronavirus Employer Resource Center for new research and next practices to help address the COVID-19 pandemic.


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