AgFirst’s employee development programs are focused on cultivating staff members who are engaged in their jobs and the success of the company and identifying and preparing current and future leaders. The AgFirst Leadership Academy provides the framework for employee development programs for all levels, from individual contributors to those leading multiple departments or divisions. The Leadership Academy includes hundreds of computer-based, on-demand learning modules designed to allow employees to gain essential skills at their own pace; multiple instructor-led, one day programs; and three different multi-day leadership development programs:
- Essentials of Leadership: provides critical skills, insights and action planning needed to effectively lead, guide and influence important organizational initiatives.
- Leading with Impact: building on the principles of Essentials of Leadership, provides managers the tools to influence others, think strategically and utilize collaboration for gaining business results.
Advanced Leadership Program: an executive leadership program custom designed in conjunction with the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
Cornerstone OnDemand/Career Cafe
The AgFirst District utilizes the Cornerstone OnDemand platform, a unified talent management solution internally branded as Career Café, to drive and manage its ongoing learning, performance and succession planning initiatives. Cornerstone’s tools, recognized as a leader in the industry, were implemented in 2009 and were quickly adopted across the District due to their ease of use, automation capabilities, flexibility for configuration, and robust reporting capability. As of 2015, more than 3,600 employees, directors and outside participants utilize the platform to participate in training and manage their ongoing career development.
As system administrators, AgFirst provides assistance and guidance for specific Association tasks, such as assigning training for employees, tracking course attendance and configuring annual performance review and succession planning systems. Cornerstone OnDemand recognized AgFirst at their national conference in 2015 for innovative approaches to using and adopting Cornerstone’s software and services. Today, Associations utilize Career Café for learning management, performance management and succession planning.
The Cornerstone learning platform is a comprehensive solution for helping automate and manage the training function for each participating organization. The learning functionality enables organizations to:
- Deliver e-Learning experiences.
- Administer Instructor-Led Training (ILT).
- Consume learning content on mobile devices.
- Create and deliver virtual classroom sessions.
- Manage functional content in a social and collaborative environment.
Cornerstone’s Performance Management tools allow managers to benchmark employee performance and align employee activities with organizational strategy. The performance management functionality enables organizations to:
- Customize and automate their performance review processes.
- Develop, manage and track meaningful goals.
- Provide continuous feedback channels.
- Identify employee competencies and skill gaps using 180 and 360 feedback.
- Develop checklists to assess and monitor skills in real time.
Cornerstone’s Succession Planning tools are utilized to identify skills gaps and build bench strength within an organization. The succession planning functionality enables organizations to:
- Comprehensively review existing talent within the organization.
- Identify high potentials within the employee base, depicted on a nine-box grid.
- Generate and manage a dynamic succession plan for any position.
- Maintain employee biographies, resumes and career preferences.
- Create and manage Individual Development Plans (IDP).
- Identify critical skills and competencies and see where there may be gaps.
Custom Instructional Design Services
AgFirst can develop customized e-learning, instructor-led or blended content to fit the specific needs of Associations. AgFirst maintains a toolbox of the most respected e-learning tools in the industry, including Storyline and the Adobe Creative Suite. These can be delivered through a variety of platforms, including mobile devices.