SHRM And SweetRush’s Award-Winning PMQ Program

SHRM And SweetRush Upskill New Managers With Award-Winning PMQ Program

San Francisco, Calif., Dec. 21, 2023 — SHRM, an expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces, and SweetRush, a leading provider of custom learning solutions, collaborated to create an interactive, gamified, and highly engaging virtual leadership development program: the SHRM People Manager Qualification (PMQ).

As “the voice of all things work,” SHRM’s experts know that people managers have the greatest potential to impact an organization’s culture and well-being. As SHRM President and CEO Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., explains, “There is no relationship in the workplace more powerful than the one between people managers and employees.” With their outsized influence on team members’ engagement, satisfaction, and psychological safety, managers must develop nuanced skills such as communication, empathy, performance management, and situational judgment. Yet managers often step into leadership roles without guidance or training, which has a deleterious effect on their teams: SHRM’s 2022 Global Culture Report reveals that one in three workers worldwide state that their managers can’t lead a team.

PMQ is the SHRM-SweetRush team's ingenious response to the urgent need facing SHRM's extended enterprise.

PMQ is the SHRM-SweetRush team’s ingenious response to the urgent need facing SHRM’s extended enterprise of 325,000 members in 165 countries. To serve the 27 performance objectives and 110 behavioral indicators defining successful management, the team crafted a scenario-based virtual learning solution in the form of a series of animated episodes, organized into “seasons,” just like learners’ favorite streaming shows.

The binge-worthy PMQ series follows six diverse characters.

The binge-worthy PMQ series follows six diverse characters, all new people managers, who represent a range of ethnicities, gender identities, bodies, abilities, and personalities. Along the way, they share experiences and support and illustrate examples—and non-examples—of management skills, behaviors, and emotional intelligence. Branching assessments put the learner at the center of the action in a “season finale” that forces them to think on their feet to solve authentic management challenges.

Mary Harding, SweetRush Account Manager, shares, “SHRM is, and has always been, a team that likes to dream big for their audience, and PMQ is no exception. This leading-edge program features excellent content delivered in a relevant and engaging way. SHRM and SweetRush work side by side to provide new and experienced people managers with a learning experience that taps into real-life situations.”

PMQ’s innovative approach to people management training has been recognized with numerous creative and L&D industry awards. Since 2020, PMQ has earned 14 Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards, including 12 Gold Awards, as well as a Horizon Interactive Gold Award.

PMQ's innovative approach to people management training has been recognized with numerous creative and L&D industry awards.

Ninety-six percent of learners rate PMQ a great tool for new people managers, characterizing it as “binge-worthy,” “actionable,” and “confidence-building.” One learner enthusiastically adds, “The content was real! It was almost as if someone was watching my life and creating content from it. The information learnt is timely, useful and applicable.”

As the world of work continues to evolve, the SHRM-SweetRush team looks forward to serving people managers and their teams with fresh, relevant solutions that help them thrive together.

About SHRM

SHRM creates better workplaces where employers and employees thrive together. As the voice of all things work, workers and the workplace, SHRM is the foremost expert, convener, and thought leader on issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces. With nearly 325,000 members in 165 countries, SHRM impacts the lives of more than 235 million workers and families globally. Learn more at

About SweetRush

SweetRush’s focus on team culture and craft is reflected in loyal clients, uniquely low turnover of teammates, a track record of success spanning over 20 years, and a remarkable portfolio. Their work with clients creating custom solutions for talent empowerment and people success has earned them Gold awards from our peers and high rankings on top industry lists.

SweetRush are over 200 people strong and have been in business since 2001. Their service areas include custom learning (including eLearning, mobile, gamification, and virtual training), talent solutions (temporary talent to augment clients’ L&D teams), XR and immersive tech (VR, AR, AI, and emerging technologies), transforming leaders and culture (expert coaching and consulting to create connected, unified cultures, leaders, and teams), and “Good Things” (amplifying the impact of nonprofits and the social impact space). Learn more and get in touch with SweetRush.

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