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UMDI launches global virtual training

UMass Donahue Institute’s Organizational Development and Training unit recently launched its virtual workshops, facilitating the first of its remote staff development courses for the Allied World Assurance Company’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices. Based in Switzerland, Allied World is an international supplier of insurance and reinsurance solutions, and its subsidiaries maintain offices in the U.S., Bermuda, Europe and Asia.

The workshops, Effective Performance Feedback and Developing Performance Goals and Standards specifically targeted managers who are involved in evaluating the organization’s performance and progress.  The courses were repurposed to take optimal advantage of Adobe Connect capabilities, allowing for break-out room collaborations, chatting and online polling. Prior to the sessions, UMDI virtual host Susan Moll worked with management in Allied World’s Asian offices to customize the format in order to accommodate the subtle differences between American and Asian work cultures.

According to the findings of the Gallup Organization’s Q12, a 12-question survey that’s become the industry standard for analyzing and gauging the relationship between engagement and performance at the business/work unit level, engaged employees are more productive, more profitable, more customer-focused, safer, and more likely to withstand temptations to leave.

Staff development workshops are one component of an ongoing strategy to engage employees with exercises in critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. Gallup research found that engaged organizations have 3.9 times the earnings per share (EPS) growth rate compared to organizations with lower engagement in their same industry.

For more information on the UMass Donahue Institute’s Organizational Development and Training work, contact Chris Gatti,

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University of Massachusetts Amherst

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