Created by Tonya Zirke, Eric Nemeth & Kyle Warner
La-Z-Boy |I-Innovate 1
Table of Contents
Subject Page #
Table of Contents 1
Company Background and Strategy 2-3
Needs Assessment 3-4
Topic Background/Need for Training Rationale 4-5
Motivational/ Learning Theories 5
Transfer issues 6
Training Methods 6-7
Evaluation Techniques 7
Rationale and Goals of I-Innovate 7-9
Learning Objectives and Topics 9
Target Population/ Prerequisites 9
Training Resources required /Capabilities of training providers 10
Learner material/ Special Requirements 10
Cost/Benefits analysis 10
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Company Background and Strategy
La-Z-Boy, Inc. is the most nationally recognized and popular manufacturer of upholstery
furniture. La-Z-Boy began in Monroe, MI in the year 1928. La-Z-Boy has been publically known
as the original designer of the modern day recliner chair. La-Z-Boy had introduced in 1961 the
Reclina-Rocker chair which was the first ever chair that rocked and reclined, and from that point
on La-Z-Boy continued to innovate the market with the introduction on electric units, lift chairs,
and within the last couple of years sofas, loveseats, and sectionals.
La-Z-Boy’s goals and objectives are to continue to be the lead innovator in the furniture
market. La-Z-Boy has continued to do market trend research and competitive analysis in order to
stay ahead of the competition and continue to be the primary supplier of upholstery furniture.
These innovative successes are still apparent in the company's current product line, for example,
the Reclina-Rocker is continued to be a top seller in the market today. In order to compete with
out of country competitors, who are very focused on electrical upholstery furniture, La-Z-Boy
has adapted to foreign competition as well. La-Z-Boy competed with this market by introducing
the PowerReclineXR Reclina-Rocker, which is the first chair to have an independent leg rest
motor and back reclining motor. Shortly after this introduction, La-Z-Boy launched another
innovative electrical unit called the PowerReclineXR+ Reclina-Rocker which was the same
independent operation as the XR unit, but with an adjustable headrest motor and an adjustable
lumbar support. These are simply a few examples of how La-Z-Boy has led the charge of
introducing innovative products.
Being that it is the main objective of La-Z-Boy to develop products that are not only
innovative but attractive to the customer. In order to make products more attractive to customers,
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La-Z-Boy has created an innovative program with their fabric and leathers. Customers are able to
take any style frame and place any type of fabric outside of the stock covers on it. This
innovative program allows the customer to truly create a piece of furniture that is all their own.
La-Z-Boy’s strategy is to continue to be the leader of innovative product designs in the
residential furniture industry. As part of this objective, it’s important for La-Z-Boy to continue to
understand what customers are looking for and what trends are currently trending in the
marketplace. Several recent successes in products have been produced by La-Z-Boy research and
At La-Z-Boy we are continuously improving our same products to better fit the needs of
our customers. While we are known for the same consistent products, the need for it will
gradually deteriorate over time as more advanced furniture is created by competitors. As time
progresses customers’ needs evolve and we believe La-Z-Boy should evolve as well to meet
those demands. Some of the factors to prove innovation training and program is needed is due to
the gradual drop in sales, change in demographics and competition. Over the past quarter
revenue has dropped by 15%. Looking into the matter a survey was sent out to ask about the
products and customers reported it’s the same, nothing is different, nothing exciting and new.
We are stationed where the demographics are always changing and our competitors have a
competitive advantage because they are adjusting to the changing demographics. Our design
team has innovative ideas but is limited because they don’t communicate with customers as
frequently as other areas of the business. To maintain our vision of being “regarded globally as
the premier provider of home, office and institutional furniture in all market segments with we
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directly compete” we need to fulfill our mission of “Providing customers with superior quality,
service, research and development”. The way we gain superior quality, service, research and
development is by gaining input from not just one specified area of the company but from
everyone in the office that is willing to share ideas. For example, call center representatives work
directly with consumers and dealers who are constantly providing feedback on how to update or
develop their product. If this information can be brought forward to research and development
through an integrated and developed process, it could be considered effective to help drive
increase in sales. Not just the call center, but everyone in the office can have an idea for products
and it’s the desire of La-Z-Boy to get those ideas into our pipeline to see which ideas can be
made into the next innovative product and help to increase La-Z-Boy sales. The training itself
will target everyone within the company, the training will help them stimulate their creativity
and introduce the I-Innovate program.
Topic Background /Need for training Rationale
With the recent decline in profits, it is important for La-Z-Boy to make an attractive
product that is not only profitable but also innovative. We feel that the implementation of this
company wide program will stimulate creativity and help to improve the creativity of our product
and help to increase the company's profit.
La-Z-Boy has determined that due to a lack of innovation and creativity in product ideas
coming from inside of the company, it is important for research and development and senior
management to promote an opportunity for employees to use their creativity and provide the
company with ideas. The program will be launched by the next quarter and the name of the
program is I-Innovate. The program will require each employee to submit at least 1 idea into a
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SharePoint website that will be generated. This website will be used to house the ideas that are
being submitted by employees. Our hope is that along with what research is already being
conducted, we would hope that employees would be responsive to market trends prior to our
research being able to acknowledge that market trend.
La-Z-Boy will have the research and development department pull the monthly
submissions and see if any possible product designs can be generated from the ideas that are
submitted. With this program, if an idea is selected, La-Z-Boy will have the employee who came
up with the idea present the idea to the research and development department to generate a
prototype of the product to see if the idea can be brought to life. The employee will help work
with research and development to design the product and help them develop a submission to
have reviewed with senior management.
The reinforcement theory will be the dominate theory throughout this training program.
Employees will be rewarded for their creative effort by becoming a part of the production
process of the product that they created. Once a product is chosen, the employee will be able to
see it through the whole process, from a simple idea to the finished product. Hopefully this will
help motivate the employees which lead to the expectancy theory. With a high sense of self
efficacy, employees should begin to feel comfortable sharing new ideas on the organizations
internal website. There will be no repercussions for any ideas submitted to the website. The last
theory that will be used during this training program will be the goal theory. We hope that while
setting companywide goals and working hard to achieve them, employees will take the initiative
to set personal goals for themselves to become more creative and innovative.
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This training will be able to be applied to work because it’ll motivate employees to submit ideas
they think will be capable of delighting the customers. In addition to this, with the introduction
of I-Innovate it will create a renewed sense of concentration on La-Z-Boy customer's needs and
wants. The reinforcement that will ensure this training is used is generating a set amount of ideas
The training methods that highly benefit the content that the Human Resource team is delivering
are audio/visual and lecture. Looking at this training in the learning environment it requires a
clear objective, being meaningful and is predominately observation. To ensure we utilize both
audio/visual and lecture effectively we will provide power point slides for the trainees to view as
the trainer explains the slides that are up. If there are any discrepancies they can be simplified
with the lecturer or can be asked to be explained better by the audience asking questions to
ensure the content is delivered correctly. The cost of using these techniques is very inexpensive
because it requires the use of Microsoft PowerPoint and the internet. It doesn’t require anything
outside the resources we currently have.
The Advantages to lecture is going to be able to focus and make clear objectives as to what the
training is about and what is expected. The visual presentation is used to promote creative
thinking instead of analytical thinking. The lecture will also help to make our objective clear and
precise. Advantage is that we are engaging multiple types of learning styles by conducting visual
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However, disadvantages of the lecture/video are that people may lose interest in the material and
lecture versus engaging type activities. Generally, employees can lose interest. The plan to
reduce employee loss of interest is engaging them in an activity in the form of an icebreaker. In
the icebreaker a few pictures will be shown. This will let them see if they are analytical thinker
or a creative thinker and grow curious to how to be a more creative thinker.
The organization will conduct an anonymous assessment survey to get feedback from the
employees who have completed the training program. The survey will consist of a 5 column
scale to allow employees to rate the training on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree,
along with a comment section to provide any additional information. Along with the survey we
also plan to use a short quiz in order to reinforce the high points of the training session as well as
to reinforce a clear understanding of the process of submitting new ideas to the organization. The
organizations internal website will also be continuously monitored to ensure no question goes
unanswered in the FAQ’s section of the site.
Rationale and Goals of I-Innovate
I-Innovate is a new system with the goals of increasing creativity, promoting employee
involvement, increase moral, and optimizing La-Z-Boy profits. The goals actually are
accomplished in this order because without increase in creativity, there will be less likely
employee involvement as well as increased overall moral from the different areas of La-Z-Boy
and without those two key factors profits will continue to drop or remain level. The learning
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theories that HR Training team we find critical to the success of I-Innovate are Reinforcement
Theory, Social Theory, Expectancy Theory and Goal Theory.
Reinforcement Theory is the most critical. This theory can be defined as people are
motivated to do or avoid certain situations/behaviors based upon outcomes in the past. This can
be broken into three categories positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement or extinction.
Negative reinforcement is negative outcomes to remove undesired behavior. Extinction is
showing no reinforcement, negative or positive which will potentially extinct the habit. Positive
reinforcement is pleasurable outcomes for doing something good. We want to promote
employees to be more creative and innovative in the work place and the positive reinforcement
would be the right idea to initially start the behavior of bringing new ideas to the company
website. This is critical to the success of I-Innovate because it encourages the behavior of being
innovative and more creative in the workplace, which is the first goal of I-Innovate.
The next important theory is Social Learning Theory. This theory is defined as people
learning by observing others who they deem knowledgeable. The observer has a tendency to
mimic essentially behaviors that are rewarded. This is important because some employees may
believe that with the I-Innovate program the only people that will be rewarded are just upper
management when in reality it can be anyone within La-Z-Boy. The expectation is people from
other departments will input their ideas. When the employees see that anyone within La-Z-Boy
who submits ideas can be recognized that will then encourage them to participate. This result
will motivate employees to be more innovative and creative, which is the second goal of I-
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Expectancy theory essentially goes hand in hand with Social theory in the sense.
Expectancy Theory is people believe performing a given behavior will be associated with a
particular outcome. With the introduction of this program to new employees they will believe
that I-Innovate will work and actually be excited to learn what it takes to be successful.
The last theory that is important to I-Innovates success is the Goal Setting Theory. Goal
Setting Theory is goals influence a person’s behavior by directing their energy, time and effort to
make a plan to accomplish the goal. The plan for this is setting down an expectation of having
set a minimum of one idea each month to be generated. This will give employees time to come
up with or share ideas with upper management. This will have an ongoing generation of ideas
that can be viewed and La-Z-Boy can still compete with our competitors in this ever-changing
market and maximize profits!
Learning objectives and topics
The learning objective is to stimulate creativity and promote innovation within the company
through the implementation of I-Innovate. Some of the topics that will be covered are the
definition of I-Innovate, how to submit ideas, requirements of program, and rewards.
Target population & prerequisites
The target population is every employee of La-Z-Boy, because every employee is at some point
exposed to the products, whether actually making the product, handling costs or servicing
customers on a particular product. New hires will be included into this as they come in as well.
The prerequisites are to just be working at La-Z-Boy and have a general idea of our products.
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Training resources required/ capabilities of trainer providers
The resources that are required to implement the I-Innovate training presentation are paper (with
the ice breaker on it that each trainee will receive in the beginning), utilization of power point
(have the slides in which will explain I-Innovate), SMART board (to highlight key points) and
the auditorium with table and chairs. The capabilities of the trainer requires them to be familiar
with the SMART board, proficient in power point and able to speak in front of 20+ employees at
Learner material & special requirements
The learning material that will be provided for the training is the sheets with the pictures for the
icebreaker. There will be no special requirements aside for accommodating the employees with
special needs. For example more desk space for someone with a wheelchair.
Cost/Projected benefit analysis
By taking the time to implement I-Innovate, within the first week motivation will increase in
employees because it essentially gives them a form of empowerment. With this sense of
empowerment, La-Z-Boy anticipates this will increase employee morale. Along with higher
morale employees, revenue will increase. I-Innovate will give the customer more choices in
furniture that can meet their needs, and help provide La-Z-Boy with good public relations to
friends and family. This will be our first official step in continuing to follow our mission and
vision in this ever changing industry.
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A. Why are we conducting this training session?
o Increasing morale
o Drive innovation
o Stimulate creativity
o Training of innovation website/discussion board
B. Preparing for the training course
o Generate website or discussion board
o Locate activities to engage trainees and help “think outside the box”
o Generate step by step instructions on how to navigate the website.
o Include how training aligns with the company’s goals and objectives.
o Introduce the reward system for a selected idea.
o Present how reward system can meet individual’s goals/objectives.
o Present what the elements of the reward system are and what they entail.
o Generate power point presentations to go over company’s new objective and focus on
o Short history on the innovation nature of the company.
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C. Conduct training
o Focusing on Objectives of the training and its impact on the company.
o Engaging trainees with preplanned activities.
o Continue to stress on the importance that no idea will be turned away.
o Conduct PowerPoint presentation.
o Allow for a section in the presentations for questions/concerns.
o Stimulate creativity by asking questions about product and what they would like to see in
a. What would you want in a piece of furniture that may not be offered in the
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Overview of the Lesson
I. Definition of I-Innovate
o Ice breaker activities for the trainees
II. How to submit ideas
o Website information
o Explanation of how to navigate through the website
o 1 idea submissions a month
o Opportunity to help present product idea to the board
o Opportunity to see your product all the way through production
o Gift cards/money
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Lesson Outline Instructor Activity Trainee Activity Time
Activity Watch Exercise Participate in Exercise 10:00am-10:05am
Discussion of Activity Answer Questions Ask questions/give answers 10:05am-10:15am
Possible Video Watching 10:15am-10:20am
Presentation Presenting Program Listening 10:20am-11:00am
Closing Statements Presenting Listening 11:00am-11:05am
Questions Listening/Answering Ask Questions 11:05am -11:30am