Steelcase Inc. Drives Company-Wide Innovation Through Tailored Employee Development Program

ASTD Best Recognizes Steelcase University “Think” Process That Influenced Node Chair

October 18, 2011 – Grand Rapids, MI – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, announced today that the company was included among the top 10 organizations honored by the American Society for Training and Development’s BEST awards competition. This honor recognizes Steelcase’s success driving innovation through employee training, specifically in the development of the node™ chair.

The award celebrates the year long research process during which Steelcase learning professionals evaluated new design-thinking methodologies and developed a new Steelcase University curriculum called “Think” to teach employees throughout the company. The renewed investment in employee training has enhanced the company’s design process. The first product the company has brought to market following the implementation of this program is the node™, a mobile classroom seat that supports multiple teaching styles, room configurations, and student preferences.

“This acknowledgment of our learning and development practice validates the guidance and investment from our CEO Jim Hackett,” said Faye Richardson-Green, director of the Global L&D Center of Expertise and Global Talent Management Group for Steelcase Inc. “Whether it is employee education through our Steelcase University or training on the job, innovation is at the heart of Steelcase’s business.”

Deb Tolsma, manager for the Global L&D Center of Expertise and Global Talent Management Group for Steelcase Inc. received the ASTD BEST Award during a reception held in Washington, D.C. on October 6. The following day, many of the winning organizations gave presentations about their learning and development practices during the Learn from the BEST conference.

The ASTD BEST Awards are the training industry’s most rigorous and coveted recognition. The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success through employee learning and development. “These 32 companies excelled in creating innovative, vibrant learning cultures that clearly aligned with strategic business goals.” said Tony Bingham, ASTD’s president and CEO. “They proved their commitment to workplace learning and development by doing so in an economic climate that saw limited resources, reductions in force, and budget cuts.”

For the 2011 BEST Awards, Steelcase competed against 73 organizations in 10 countries. These organizations submitted quantitative and qualitative information to ASTD about their learning and development practices and programs. Applications were assessed in a blind review by members of the BEST Awards advisory committee, a select group of experts in the learning and development field.

More information about the 2011 ASTD BEST Award winners may be found in the October 2011 issue of T+D magazine and online:

About Steelcase
Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences – wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world’s leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2011 revenue of approximately $2.4 billion.

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Sara Whitman