Congrats to this year’s winners of CTHRA’s Excellence in HR Awards. The Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association honorees have led the way in developing successful employee learning programs, maintaining clarity during two years of confusing merger talks and prioritizing diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Aspiring Leader

Walter Landry – Director of Learning Strategy and Technology for Cox Communications

Walter Landry has truly worked to emphasize the importance of employee learning and development for Cox Communications. He and his team are responsible for developing the 21st Century Wiring Program, an initiative designed to help reduce trouble call traffic rolls, leading to a 16% year-over-year reduction. In addition, Landry helped create a technology lab to aid employees in developing advanced technical skills, promoting professional growth. “As technology has driven increased productivity in business operations, one of the greatest success factors in enabling this productivity has been employee knowledge,” Landry said, noting that a culture of learning can help companies stay competitive in their industry and retain top talent. If employees want to spend more time working on their development, companies should “establish competencies and performance metrics that include learning as a success factor” in order to “help drive a culture of learning, which contributes to greater productivity,” he said. One potential problem for HR teams is providing an adequate learning environment for a multi-generational workforce. “Learning programs need to strike the balance between traditional learning methods, and learning experiences that leverage modern collaboration tools and social communication,” he said.

Q&A with Walter Landry, director of learning strategy and technology for Cox Communications

Why is cultivating employee learning valuable for companies?

As technology has driven increased productivity in business operations, one of the greatest success factors in enabling this productivity has been employee knowledge. This trend makes cultivation of employee learning essential to the growth of any business. As the rapid change of technology intensify, and it’s potential for disruption across industries increases, companies must drive a dynamic culture of learning, to stay competitive in their industry, and retain the top talent.

What are ways that companies of all sizes can integrate employee learning into their policies and programs?

Most HR departments have policies that govern recognition and merit based on work performance. One practical way to affect the policies is to create recognition and merit for employee learning. Also, most employees would like to spend more time in development, but find it difficult to integrate learning into an ever-demanding work schedule. HR programs that establish competencies and performance metrics that include learning as a success factor help drive a culture of learning, which contributes to greater productivity.

How should learning programs adapt with an ever-diversifying workforce?

Anytime there is a change in environment, some adaptation is always necessary. One example has been supporting multiple generations of learners in the workforce. In this case, learning programs need to strike the balance between traditional learning methods, and learning experiences that leverage modern collaboration tools and social communication. Learning programs adapt by seeking to understand a more diversified audience, and providing learning experiences that incorporate techniques to challenge all learners.

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