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What it Takes to be a Top Training Company

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At Fierce, we know the various issues that can arise when building training programs. It can be difficult for organizations to build a program that is both meaningful and impactful.

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Fierce was at the Training Conference & Expo in San Diego, where the Top 125 Training Companies received awards for their exceptional training program designs and results. We are honored to work with Van Meter, Inc., who won a position on the prestigious list.

I interviewed Jenn Bleil, Learning & Development Manager at Van Meter, Inc. She shared insights about what makes their training effective and how Fierce helps Van Meter achieve its goals.

What do you attribute as the reason for Van Meter's success in training?

As a 100% employee-owned company, we believe our greatest asset is our people. Our success in training is due to our commitment to helping our people be their best. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in them. We believe that well-trained and skilled employee-owners make better decisions and optimize our business success. Employee-owners who are learning and growing are much more satisfied and engaged personally and professionally. Our training offers real learning that makes our employee-owners’ jobs easier.

What are you most proud of that you accomplished in the past year?

There were many successes in 2017. A proud accomplishment is the alignment of our Leadership Development Strategy and Programming to our company direction. Leaders make a huge impact on the company in ensuring that the development they get is aligned to the direction our organization is headed will enhance their ability to lead their teams and help our business grow. We also facilitated an Internship Program that was aligned with our company values and provided a true learning experience for the participants.

What focuses are on the learning docket for Van Meter in 2017?

In 2017, we are revising our Onboarding Strategy to more directly align with our company values in a way that supports growth and development.

What excites you in learning today?

The learning trend I am most excited about is microlearning. While this concept has been around for several years, as training professionals, it forces us to think about how we can deliver an effective, meaningful message in a shorter time frame. This approach supports a learning culture and mindset because it easily allows learning to be integrated into everyday activities. It is much easier to incorporate 15 minutes of learning daily than 3 full days out of the office.

Why is Fierce important to Van Meter?

Fierce aligns with our company values and beliefs. An important part of our company culture is building/maintaining relationships and giving feedback. Fierce communication models have helped us show what this can look like in the everyday. Because of this, we have incorporated Fierce as part of our Leadership and Employee Development Strategies.

What personally resonates with you about Fierce?

What resonates with me most about Fierce is that it is a mindset focused on people and relationships. The building blocks of our lives are the relationships we have with others. Fierce methodology and communication models really help people get better for themselves and the people in their lives. It is flexible and meaningful. It shows us how small changes can impact our lives in big ways.

Please share a story about someone or something being impacted by your Fierce work inside of Van Meter.

After almost every Fierce Training I have conducted, I hear stories of how the incorporation of new ways to communicate have made relationships better – either in work or personal worlds. This impact is visible in people and their lives. I literally had someone share with me that the training not only made them a better employee, but a better spouse and parent. That is incredible!

Fierce is also proud to be partnering with Jenn Bleil and Corridor Women Connect, which is focused on being a leader and catalyst for advancing women’s leadership development in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Our event is March 9 in Cedar Rapids. For more information visit:

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