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Growing Employee Training at Simplot

Do you remember the last time you ate French fries? Chances are, those taters were grown by the J.R. Simplot Company or with their fertilizers. As an organization with all kinds of agricultural experience, Simplot understands growth and the need to develop excellence in everything.

Here’s the challenge: Simplot’s newly-promoted leaders (and there were a lot of them) weren’t getting up to speed quickly, and only two out of ten were able to make the transition successfully. Being a manager or supervisor required a different set of skills other than excellent performance, including a mindset shift, ability to enable others, effective communication, accountability, and more. The new leaders needed to feel represented by the program and also engage with the training.

AllenComm approached the issue by first visiting Simplot, performing interviews, and analyzing the company’s needs. The solution? A phased and blended learning solution that would manifest as a full-blown learning ecosystem and impact employee retention.

Developing an Employee Training Ecosystem

AllenComm created a full learning ecosystem, not just an online training. While the online training for Simplot has the bulk of the content, we developed job-aids to provide supervisors with resources to use on the job. We also designed a mentor/peer group to help learners discuss what they learned in the online course and think through an on-the-job application.

Online Training: What It Means to Be a Supervisor

The online portion of the training reminds learners that they are skilled—after all, that’s why they were promoted. But leading requires a new skill set, and the training shows new leaders how to succeed. Text and audio drive the learner experience with a passionate, optimistic, and down-to-earth tone. Scenarios help to develop soft skills and behaviors. Each course was designed to train new leaders to solve complex problems and find resources using critical thinking skills. Learners engage with the content, explore topics, connect through scenarios, and apply their skills through assessments.

The Almanac: Job Aids and Resources

Simplot’s landing page contains everything the learners need for their training. We designed the custom landing page to help learners track their progress and access on-the-job resources. The almanac is a library of job aids used to support the course learning objectives as well as ongoing performance. Learners navigate the almanac via tabs and icons, and job aids are searchable and filterable for ease of access. Quick picks are a subset in the almanac that provides mobile, point-of-need support in any work environment, including the rugged outdoor settings in which many supervisors work.

Mentoring: Peers, Supervisors, and Managers

The final element of our design incorporated Simplot’s existing mentoring system to invite current supervisors to serve as peer mentors to new supervisors and act as facilitators for each class of new leaders. Each class starts out their training at a kickoff event in Boise, Idaho, and learners continue to engage with each other through online discussions and activities.

Finally, managers of new supervisors also receive training to help with custom in-person learning activities. These activities often require new supervisors to venture out into their work environments to collect data and return for discussion with their managers.


We are proud of our award-winning partnership with Simplot to create a learning ecosystem that engages learners and trains them how to be effective leaders. Looking for employee training that impacts your learners and your company? Contact us and let us know!