The multigenerational workforce presents many challenges to businesses of all types, including associations. As the baby boomers retire and millennials become the predominant generation in the workforce, organizations must adapt to the professional needs and goals of a generation that is radically different in their approach to work and career. The American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) recognized this generational shift and the challenges it presented to their organization. As the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, they were determined to learn how best to meet these challenges. For nearly a century, ALA has been serving, helping, and meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families—both in the U.S. and abroad. In order to continue their important work for many years to come, ALA developed a multi-year strategic plan with the goal to turn these generational challenges into opportunities for organizational development and membership growth. ALA chose Briljent, LLC, because of our adult learning and change management expertise, and for a customized learning solution that would successfully support their long-term strategic goals.
Briljent proposed developing and implementing a learning academy to support ALA’s strategic plan. The learning academy would serve to build the knowledge and skills of its members in more than 8,000 community-level affiliates (“units” which are associated with American Legion posts) across the nation, as well as support the culture and values of the organization.
For the learning academy, Briljent recommended the development of customized curriculum maps, with each map containing several underlying courses that would be delivered online. These modular e-learning courses would provide members with easy access to relevant learning content at any time that best fit their scheduling needs.
Through these learning modules, members would gain the knowledge needed to learn more about the ALA and better serve the mission; to understand key generational differences, nurture diversity; and to develop valuable leadership and communication skills.
ALA embraced the concept of a learning academy and the solution proposed by Briljent. The official ALA Academy was created, and the first online e-learning courses were launched in mid-2017. ALA has received tremendous positive feedback from their members on the initial courses, and several more courses continue to be developed and added to the ALA Academy.
The successful launch of the ALA Academy is directly attributed to the dedication and focus of the ALA implementation committee and its close collaboration with the Briljent project team. All curriculums developed by Briljent’s instructional designers and delivered through the ALA Academy support ALA’s strategic goals. They also address the needs of the members which were previously captured via a significant survey of some 9,000 members professionally executed by Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates, and published as the ALA Organizational Effectiveness Assessment. Courses in the ALA Academy cover topics such as culture building, leadership principles, communication, reacting to change, diversity, and retaining members. The professional quality of the courses is apparent to the members and makes for a consistent and positive learning experience for all.
ALA and Briljent have developed a close working relationship throughout this process, which has further evolved into a valued and successful partnership between our two organizations.
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