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Mohawk climbs to No. 4 in country

by Matthew Spieler

Two years ago it was ranked No. 68; last year it jumped to No. 18. This year, Mohawk Industries came in as the fourth best employer-sponsored training and development program in the country. The ranking is part of Training magazine’s Training Top 125.

This marks the seventh straight year Training has recognized Mohawk’s learning and development program and is not just Mohawk’s highest ranking to date—it is the highest position achieved by a flooring company in 12 years since the magazine started the list. While Verizon, Farmers Insurance and Miami Children’s Hospital ranked higher, Mohawk beat out the likes of McDonald’s, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, U.S. Navy, Master-Card, MetLife and many more.

Even more notable, this is the first time since General Mills was ranked No. 4 in 2006, a manufacturer of any type cracked the top five. A quick scan of the Top 125 will show the list dominated by technology giants, financial services organizations and hospitality chains.

“Retailer education is an important piece of Mohawk’s comprehensive training program,” said Mike Zoellner, vice president of marketing services. “It is an incredible honor to have Training magazine once again recognize our corporate training efforts, and we are absolutely delighted to place so high on this elite list. This ranking shows we offer our retailer partners the very best training, education and business management resources available, regardless of industry, through Mohawk University.”

Making the ranking even more impressive is the fact the magazine increased the qualitative scoring percentage from 25% to 30% noted Lorri Freifeld, Training’s editor-in-chief. The ranking is determined by assessing a range of qualitative and quantitative factors, including financial investment in employee development, the scope of development programs and how closely such development efforts are linked to business goals and objectives.

The Top 125 ranking is based on myriad benchmarking statistics such as total training budget; percentage of payroll; number of training hours per employee program; goals, evaluation, measurement and workplace surveys; hours of training per employee annually in addition to detailed formal programs.

“The best learning and development organizations support business initiatives tactically and help drive strategic change,” Freifeld said. “Training Top 125 companies realize how vital training is to their success and continue to invest in it.”

Amanda Arnwine, Mohawk’s corporate learning director, told the Rome News-Tribune the ranking is “a point of great pride that our training is seen as world class by training experts. That reflects the quality of the men and women in our organization who formally deliver successful training programs and who informally improve the quality of performance through coaching and mentoring.”

Zoellner added, while Mohawk has never made “a calculated effort to do well in this ranking, internally, we’re continually evaluating organizational development, as well as implementing people and process improvement. This past year, we have really focused on manufacturing, with an emphasis on training for measurable improvement. More than ever, we concentrated on capturing strict analytics to measure and document the success of all of our training efforts.”

He pointed out the company strives to respond to customers’ requests in a timely and satisfactory manner—whether it be in the residential business or commercial—and is something it is committed to for the long-term. “Verizon set a pretty high bar being ranked No. 1, but we’ll continue to focus on our customers’ needs and requests, as well as tailor our internal training efforts to develop our people and our processes to create an environment for innovation. Our retailer partners can rest assured we will continue to do our part to help empower them to achieve success.”

Mohawk was not the only flooring company to make Training’s Top 125, as both Shaw Industries and Tandus Flooring were once again recognized for their educational efforts. Shaw came in at No. 26 and Tandus at No. 90, its highest ranking to date.

Training’s Top 125 winners were honored with crystal awards during a black-tie gala earlier this month at the Training 2012 Conference & Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

The full list, along with a detailed profile of Mohawk’s initiatives can be found in Training’s January/February issue. To order a copy, e-mail Melissa Moser at melissa@trainingmag.com, or download an order form and fax it to Melissa at 952.401.7899. The digital edition and individual articles can be found online at trainingmag.com.

To learn more about Mohawk University, ask your Mohawk representative, visit mohawk-university.com, or call 800.664.2958.