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Gold Stevie Award Winner 2021, Click to Enter The 2022 StevieĀ® Awards for Great Employers

Name of Organization/Company: SweetRush, San Francisco, CA USA
Category: Leadership or Skills Development Solution Provider of the Year

Entry Title: SweetRush: Leading the Way and Impacting the Industry!


Celebrating 20 years, SweetRush has been impacting—and disrupting—the learning industry since day one, while growing a human-centered business, living our values of commitment, respect, and caring.

Last year we earned Learning & Performance Institute’s highest honor—Learning Provider of the Year—and they referenced our innovation and impact on clients’ business outcomes and learner performance and empathy.

From the start, in the then-new field of eLearning, we fused instructional design with agency-level graphics and technology.

Now, we’ve widened our lens to offer blended learning solutions; cultural transformation, leadership coaching, and team-building; emerging technologies (VR and AR) for learning; and staffing for L&D. Our design thinking experience (we call it CoDesign™) is a truly disruptive way of doing analysis and design to create more effective learning, faster and with greater buy-in.

We’ve grown a remarkable client roster from our first client—Bank of America, still a client today! The world’s most successful organizations trust SweetRush with complex challenges: Google, Deloitte, CVS, IKEA, Facebook, Hilton, Capgemini, Wells Fargo, Autodesk, Johnson & Johnson, SHRM—and over 80 more with projects today.

And...through our Good Things initiative we’ve supported over 35 nonprofits and foundations, including the Clooney Foundation and the Red Cross.

What a crazy 18 months—at SweetRush we’re feeling gratitude and love: for our craft, clients, and each other.

Our BHAG is to positively impact the lives of a billion people—and we made significant progress through our life-saving COVID-19 learning programs. We created a web app for frontline healthcare workers teaching how to safely select, don, and doff PPE, along with 50 point-of-need infographics on COVID safety.

We also launched important DEI learning programs for Diversity Science (on bias toward Black mothers in healthcare) and Hilton (on inclusion in hospitality).

SweetRush had a dramatic impact on the industry in 2020. We transformed our CoDesign (design thinking) experience to virtual, disrupting the inefficient and often-broken approach to learning design.

We’re designing the Future of Work, creating new career pathways for students and workers through our client collaborations, including the headline-making Grow with Google Career Certificate programs on Coursera. We also:

- Collaborated with Facebook to create Project Spark, a project-based curriculum for underserved high school students to inspire them about computer science careers
- Completely redesigned the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Academy that teaches professionals how to build talent supply chains.
- Helped Google create a comprehensive reskilling program for HR operations professionals transitioning to new roles.

After successfully developing certifications for the AMA, AANA, and AACN, we launched SHRM’s award-winning People Manager Qualification—10 hours of “binge-worthy,” story-driven eLearning.

And we’re building for the future: we met R&D milestones for VR (our Treehouse multi-learner experience), accessibility, and 3D avatars.

The Future of Work, upskilling/reskilling, diversity and inclusion, leadership, COVID-19—powerful business and governmental organizations bring their most complex, potentially life-changing and life-saving, challenges to SweetRush. And we solve them!

People Manager Qualification, a first-of-its-kind product for SHRM, is eLearning as it’s meant to be. Designed and written as edgy, television-like episodes bundled into three seasons, learners meet and follow six friends, millennials making the transition to managers. This large and important project required instructional brilliance combined with creative design excellence and strong engineering support.

SweetRush’s work with NETEC on COVID-19 training is the ultimate performance support toolkit delivered via mobile technologies. These invaluable tools support 22 million health care workers in the US—and millions worldwide.

We’re making an impact not just with what we do, but how we do it. Let’s face it, our current RFP system is flawed… our now-virtual CoDesign experience brings together stakeholders, SMEs, and learners to co-create learning solution design. This process builds empathy, gains buy-in, and results in a tested prototype validated by learners. We’ve rolled out CoDesign to 15 clients; it’s disruptive and a radical advance in how we align with business needs and performance objectives and create learner-centric programs.

Year after year, our impact is validated at the Brandon Hall awards, where in 2020 we won more awards than any other learning vendor (aside from the $40B company Accenture), 26 awards including 16 Gold!

Other players? We continually hear from other CEOs that SweetRush is the company they watch and admire most. :)

References—the best part!

In the Webpage Links, you’ll find a brief case study of SHRM PMQ, including a link to the first “season” of episodes. https://invis.io/8A11BN7IY5QZ ,

You’ll also find a video about our COVID-19 training work with NETEC, and exciting news about our Brandon Hall awards. https://vimeo.com/574477657/47949b86fc

To learn more about the impact we’re making on clients and with our culture, check out our eLearning Industry and Glassdoor reviews, and an insightful Q&A article about remote team leadership.

And to give you even more of a taste of our leadership and skills development craft, we’ve included four additional client case studies:
- Innovative VR product launch training for Bridgestone: https://vimeo.com/574482049/57f60aec55
- Empathy-building simulations for Wells Fargo: https://invis.io/CD11D4AUMQB2
- Scenario-based sales training for Sally Beauty: https://invis.io/U711A5MIR6XJ
- Comprehensive digital skill-building program for Adidas: https://vimeo.com/574479027/94e06f27e0


In Attachments, you’ll find Chapter 2 of our Virtual Training eBook, which highlights our CoDesign experience and creating a critical learning solution for youth gymnasts to recognize sexual abuse. This chapter also details our pivot from live to virtual CoDesign.: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/8fbf277b-a071-4103-8975-6d36450bdc7a?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720468839&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22SweetRush_CoDesign_NYSPCC_VirtualPivot_Chap2.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=SrIxYuCQQhYp%2BtBO1M4wzAE2oNc%3D

You’ll see how we’re impacting the industry through our thought leadership in four eBooks on needs analysis, adaptive learning, virtual reality, and virtual training, and an engaging Q&A article on gamification.: https://vo-general.s3.amazonaws.com/a1ab4161-9c30-4e28-88fc-d6ad384e3fe2/3156f901-2059-4197-bd07-cea938c1980a?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ4PRWO26HAX3IOCA&Expires=1720468839&response-content-disposition=inline%3B%20filename%3D%22SweetRush_eBook_Needs_Analysis_Playbook.pdf%22&response-content-type=application%2Fpdf&Signature=lNX1oiIYT%2FlTwvczP3c69XT0BHc%3D




Two additional case studies are included on the leadership certification program we developed for critical-care nurses,

and the innovative “Big Deal” board game and live event for Google.


We hope this gives you an exciting glimpse into our world at SweetRush. Thank you for your time and consideration, and take care!