Training And Development

The ability to offer insightful expertise to our clients and associates is one of our core values. Our associates are encouraged to challenge themselves, share their strengths, take risks, and find community. We believe in investment in team members to teach skills necessary to succeed and grow their careers.

The ADP talent journey begins with onboarding supported by extensive training and mentorship. Associates are encouraged to get to know our culture by learning about our diversity and inclusion focus and our “Integrity is Everything” approach. To further enhance performance and career development, ADP associates have access to a wide range of professional and functional skills training well beyond their on-boarding period. All associates at ADP are also encouraged to join Business Resource Group communities where they can take advantage of mentoring programs, learning events, and even safely experiment with leadership skills as a local chapter leader. We also build leadership capabilities for current and future leaders with targeted and inclusive leadership development programs. At ADP, we focus on continuously improving our leadership development offerings to meet evolving business needs including a current focus on digital skills and our transformation into a strength-based organization.

ADP’s learning organization is a hybrid model, with three main divisions of learning:

  1. Leadership Development and Performance
  2. Enterprise learning
  3. Worldwide Sales Operation Learning and Leadership

Career and Talent Development

We know that career growth and development are top engagement drivers for our associates. ADP’s strategy is to enable our associates to move forward towards accomplishments that excite and energize them while simultaneously elevating the company.

As a strengths-based organization, ADP believes all associates have unique strengths and capacity to grow. We focus our development conversations on how associates can best leverage their strengths. During regular check-ins in our StandOut platform, managers and associates connect weekly about work priorities, how work activities make associates feel, and how managers can remove obstacles and barriers to work progress.

All ADP associates can access development resources and guidance through our internal myCareer site. Grounded in a clear Career Growth & Development (CG&D) philosophy and framework, our CareerDriver platform provides a simple access point based on where an individual is in their unique career journey. Further meeting associates where they are, the learning resources are varied – written guidance and articles; interactive worksheets; videos, recordings and webinars; plus 10 different instructor-led career courses offered monthly. We encourage associates to look for development experiences in addition to formal learning. These can include (but aren’t limited to): cross-functional exposure, leadership roles in Business Resource Groups, taking on additional responsibilities and/or stretch assignments.

Our professional skills program was enhanced through on-demand and self-paced learning paths on topics such as business acumen, client service, time management, teamwork and collaboration, communication and career management.

Twice a year we put on our CG&D Rally, a 1-hour live event broadcast globally to all associates. In 2020, our spring Rally was cancelled due to the pandemic. We more than made up for that in August, putting together our first ever 24-hour CG&D Rally – with 2 live broadcasts featuring our CEO, CHRO and Head of ADP Research Institute – as well as instructor-led career courses around the clock and on-demand video content from our business units, functions and BRGs.

In addition to regular manager/associate discussions, ADP also conducts formal talent planning conversations. Called Talent Touchpoints, these organizational conversations focus on associates who need new experiences or roles to further develop their careers. The goal of these discussions is to define and agree on next steps which may include a new role, assignment of a mentor, or providing an individual with a stretch assignment. We leverage an ADP created HR application called T3 to digitize discussion data to drive accountability and connect needs across the organization.

Accelerating performance through StandOut

StandOut powered by ADP is an innovative talent engagement and activation platform. We started deploying it at our own company in 2018. Less than two years later, our global workforce has been immersed in this new strength-based approach to talent and performance management - with huge success. The tool is built on an initial strength assessment of each team member, supported by weekly check-ins, identifying activities associates love and loathe. This information allows our leaders to utilize the different strength profiles of their team members more effectively and provide more targeted coaching. Our associates benefit through an increased understanding of their talents and interests, and productive interactions with their managers, which also helps them identify learning and career growth opportunities. In addition, the tool regularly provides targeted tips both to the associate and their manager based on individual strength profiles.

StandOut has also changed annual performance reviews at ADP. Instead of one annual review and rating, we hold quarterly debrief conversations, informed by regular, brief performance assessments that allow managers to quickly evaluate their team members’ performance. The platform allows us to eliminate cascading goals and formal performance rating calibration while maintaining our Pay for Performance culture.

We find that StandOut adoption is positively associated with employee engagement and commitment to ADP.

We also conduct an annual culture survey, myVoice, which provides another opportunity for our associates to share their opinions on important topics, including ethics, social responsibility, innovation and leadership. Particularly during the challenging events of 2020, it was extremely important to hear our associates’ thoughts on working at ADP. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with an overall culture score of 81% favorable, reflecting an increase of 6% over the prior year. In addition, during 2020, we were delighted to learn that Comparably ranked overall culture at ADP as an A+.

In addition, career development opportunities include:

  • Skill-building programs
  • Leadership development programs
  • Development and cross–business unit exposure
  • Knowledge Pay programs offering financial incentives for specific certifications
  • Leadership roles in Business Resource Groups

Skill Builders is part of our continuous learning program. Led by high-performing ADP employees, it helps our associates round out their personal brand, and enables networking and shared experiences across business units. Active topics include emotional intelligence, Managers’ Worst Nightmares and Espanol Para Ti.

Leadership development

We want our leaders to use their individual strengths to lead successfully, while being grounded in ADP’s Leadership Priorities: Act Like an Owner, Make the Client your North Star, and Always Listen to Associates.

Our newly integrated leadership development strategy applies to “exploring leadership” all the way through to Executives and is based on three core principles:

  • Creating development journeys vs. single training events to foster behavioral change
  • Experiential activities and simulations of real-life relevant situations to model decision-making and engaging candidates’ existing strengths
  • Using learning measurement theory and technology to provide performance and behavior change insights

As an example, we reimagined our Leader of Leaders program from a three-day event to a 6 week journey for Leader of Leaders. This learning experience is designed to help leaders build self-awareness, strong internal relationships, establish a leadership model that is unique to their strengths, and achieve better decision-making using systems thinking.

Enterprise Learning

Enterprise Learning (EL) is the functional learning and performance division at ADP. We focus on developing associate capability through product and skills training and performance support. We also provide clients with training and performance support to facilitate their ability to gain full value from our products. Thus, EL congruently supports and complements the learning needs of internal associates, business partners (e.g., those integrating their products into ours), and clients while staying true to our mission of helping learners thrive as products, technologies, and business practices transform.

Redesigning training with AI

In 2019, we invested in a robotic process automation (RPA) for our Enterprise Learning program. This process took tasks that traditionally required manual input, and automated them, saving 11,336 hours of work.

We optimize personalized, modern learning experiences and outcomes throughout ADP by leveraging technology, data, design, and talent to ensure our programs are engaging, insightful, and impactful. In part, this is achieved through our investments in digitized learning solutions that help associates and clients do their jobs efficiently and effectively, including (but not limited to):

  • NextGen knowledge management — This online knowledge base houses information that helps associates service clients. It uses modern authoring techniques and advanced search technology to answer queries with relevant and fast search results in the moment of need, with content that is easy to scan and consume.
  • In-product learning — We embed guided walk-thrus within ADP's products that provide instructional support to clients and associates in-the-flow of work, thus reducing effort while affording them the opportunity to learn how to get optimal use out of our products while completing their day-to-day tasks. These walk-thrus can be added or updated quickly, so we can deliver new instruction whenever there are new technologies or legislative changes.
  • Learning Management System (LMS) — This system is our library for the virtual, on-demand training courses that we design, deliver, and manage for associates (myLink2Learn) and clients (myLearning@ADP) alike, providing instruction on everything from product knowledge to soft and technical skills.

We also support the learning needs of associates through instructor led training in both classroom and virtual environments. One example is our Learning Café, which offers virtual live and on demand mini-learning experiences to all associates quarterly with in-person sessions being offered on an as-needed basis at ADP locations. The virtual and in-person sessions cover a wide range of upskilling topics, including product knowledge, process, tools, technology, and interpersonal skills. Course offerings change each quarter and are selected by determining what topics the business needs associates to know and which topics associates have asked that we offer. The Learning Café is fully voluntary and its growing in popularity. In fact, more than 3,000 associates attended trainings offered during our last 2-day event, proving that associates have a desire to opt-in.

Worldwide Sales Operation Learning and Leadership

ADP pays special attention to our client facing sales organization in regard to on-boarding, tenured and leadership training. We support over 9,000 Sales associates comprised of direct sales, sales leaders and sales support.

Our focus on Modern Sales includes an emphasis on ethical selling including a diverse and inclusive approach to our buyer personas, roles, industry and market needs. We believe this creates a sales force that can fit ADP’s solutions to each unique buyer for a positive and productive future for all.

With new salespeople added to ADP's sales teams each year representing ADP in over 140 countries, each sales associate experiences a blended on-boarding learning involving their manager, mentor, peers and sales learning consultants, engaged with digital self-paced and instructor-led coaching and classes.

Classes average between 160-240 hours for on-boarding training, with the average length to first sales between 4-12 weeks, depending on the role and buying cycle of the targeted market.

By maximizing data driven sales, modern tools and a robust technology stack, ADP places huge emphasis on sales training and leadership training. Sales Leadership starts when our successful salespeople mentor their first peer. Entering a multifaceted leadership development program, intertwined with ADP Enterprise Learning's Career Growth planning, our sales leaders value the unique characteristics of each of their team members. From the formal class work for developing leaders, new leaders and executive leaders, they engage in role supportive, timely and relevant On-Demand classes, Connection calls and Leadership Mentoring sessions to fine tune their leadership skills.

With a strong emphasis on promoting great talent within ADP, our commitment to learning and development is a keystone to ADP's future success. By making significant & impactful connections with our associates and partners, and employing effective and appropriate communication, we create a dynamic team culture that will drive performance.