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.
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
- 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
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.
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.
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
- 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.