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2000 Service Optimas Award Profile QUALCOMM

Awarded to a department that has supported another constituency within the organization or in response to a new business goal.

July 28, 2000
QUALCOMM

Real HR: As a manufacturer of cellular telephones, QUALCOMM competes in a rapidly changing business environment.

Cellular service providers offer new options, competitors add new features to phones, and consumers have become more sophisticated.

Therefore, QUALCOMM must be able to create and produce products at least as advanced as what competitors produce, and ideally more advanced.

In addition, the company has been through dramatic change: three acquisitions, a joint venture with Microsoft, the sale of one division and pending sale of another, the opening of a first international facility and more.

Through it all, the company also has been growing at an exponential rate. The company often hires 100-150 people per week.

Providing classroom-style training for those people proved logistically challenging and cost prohibitive, yet without the training, the company stood little chance of staying competitive. HR used Intranet technology to solve the problem.

Real Impact: Today, QUALCOMM offers more than 45 professional development training modules and numerous skills development courses online.

The training is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that employees can learn at their own pace regardless of their work schedules.

Employees also can use the Intranet to sign up for classroom training when its offered, find other learning resources (such as books and videos), and find just-in-time job aids.

In addition, the company has teamed with the University of Southern California to offer an on-site Masters in Electrical Engineering program, and with San Diego State University to offer an on-site MBA program.

To ensure that the course content for all training supports business goals, Learning Specialists are assigned to each business unit. These specialists sit in on staff meetings, meet regularly with managers, and conduct needs assessments. New training courses are created as needed, or existing courses are modified.