What is your firm’s learning strategy? Is it future proof?

What is your firm’s learning strategy? Is it future proof?

What is your learning proposition to your people?

The ACCA recently published the results of their ‘Professional accountants – the future; Generation Next report’ which was prepared on the back of a survey of almost 19,000 accountancy professionals under the age of 36. A headline was that ‘93% value opportunities to develop new skills ahead of considerations such as financial remuneration or work-life balance when choosing an employer’.

With Deloitte’s ‘Power Up’ report also highlighting lifelong learning as key to businesses future proofing themselves (by retaining talent and resetting skills against a backdrop of rising automation and robotics) it could be time for firms (and their client businesses) to ensure that they have a fit for purpose learning strategy that is relevant and accessible for their people.

We recently had a conversation with one firm who told us “being honest, we offer standard training to our people because we have to, but we are not looking to extend the programme we run because… well we just don’t see the value in it. We don’t think we get a return on investment”.

Whilst we could write some pieces explaining how you can ensure that ‘training’ investments generate a real return and positively impact the business, the point we are wanting to make is that a learning strategy isn’t just about formal training programmes. Ultimately it is a business improvement strategy. For a business to continually improve and evolve (and learn) it’s people need to continually improve.

Any firm needs to ensure that there are adequate tools and resources available to satisfy the learning, growth and improvement needs of your people and that time to learn is supported. This should be a healthy mix of ‘push’ and pull learning opportunities, because when placed in an environment where they are ‘pulling’ content through their own discovery rather than being ‘pushed’ content, people gain a feeling of ownership which can result in much better learning results.

Some key questions to think about:

  • How serious are you about creating a continual learning culture in your firm?
  • What is your learning offer to your people?
  • How are you communicating the offer across the business?
  • How are you ensuring that your people have ‘space’ to learn?
  • How are you aligning your learning offer with:
    • the skills, behaviours and concepts that underpin the business vision and strategy – both today and in the future?
    • the career aspirations and strengths of the individual?
  • How can you build an environment where much of the learning content is user-generated and can be shared immediately across the business? What opportunities for collaborative and social learning exist?

theGrogroup will soon be launching some new initiatives aimed at People Development professionals and teams with the objective of bringing Learning and Development operations into the engine of the business, building a strong Learning brand and achieving positive measurable returns, ensure you follow us on Twitter & LinkedIn to find out more! Or contact kate@thegrogroup.com or call 01892 610060.