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Notes and news
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 48, Issue 4.
Accenture makes the right connections
Accenture invested $841 million in the training and development of its 373,000 employees last year, delivering 15 million hours of training at an average of more than 40 hours per employee.
The centerpiece of the investment is Accenture Connected Learning, a blend of classroom-based training and digital learning that links the company’s employees to professional content and expertise from inside and outside Accenture.
Since its introduction at the start of 2015, Accenture Connected Learning has enabled the company to develop specialized skills at scale and to respond to changing business requirements faster than ever. At the same time, Accenture Connected Learning enables employees – including data scientists, visual designers, information architects and mortgage processors – to enrich their professional capabilities, develop the critical skills needed to stay market-relevant and enhance their career opportunities.
“Accenture Connected Learning makes learning continuous, flexible and increasingly democratized,” said Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human-resources officer. “Our people learn best by connecting, collaborating and practising for the scenarios they will encounter in their work with our clients. From basic skills to industry-specific content, learning is available to all our people anywhere, anytime. In many cases no selection or approval is involved; simply tap the app and start learning.”
“As a talent-led organization we are always inventing new ways for our people to learn and grow in their careers,” said Pierre Nanterme, chairman and chief executive. “Digital is the key to learning at Accenture. We continue to invest in the latest digital technologies to deliver relevant training to our people – quickly and at the point of need – to ensure that we are bringing our clients the end-to-end capabilities and outcomes they expect.”
Accenture Connected Learning comprises:
More than 50 connected classrooms that enable Accenture employees from multiple locations – often spanning thousands of miles – to participate together in interactive and collaborative classroom sessions taught by Accenture’s senior leaders and world-class subject-matter experts. Accenture plans to double the number of its virtual classrooms to more than 100 this year.
More than 24,000 online courses and 900 learning boards – online forums curated by subject-matter experts through which Accenture people can find and share the best information and ideas. These online courses and learning boards provide anywhere, anytime learning opportunities, giving employees development opportunities outside the traditional classroom environment.
Five regional learning centers which offer Accenture employees a more traditional classroom learning environment and help to develop the company’s talent locally. The company has centers in Bangalore, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid and St. Charles, Illinois.
More than 100 professional communities, the newest learning environment in Accenture Connected Learning, which bring together Accenture employees around the world who do similar work, such as software engineering, or who specialize in a specific industry, such as banking. Through professional communities, employees can harness the power of Accenture’s global network for answers, ideas, collaboration, innovation, lessons learned, industry insight and more – whether for ongoing professional development or a point-in-time need.
The company is shifting from an annual performance-management process to one that includes conversations about setting priorities and creating rewarding career opportunities.
PwC helps to provide the cyber-security experts of the future
PwC India has teamed up with NIIT University to create a two-year work-integrated master’s program in cyber-security, blending academic and professional education.
The cyber-security market, currently worth $1 billion, is expected to grow to $35 billion by 2025. The expansion is expected to come from domestic companies spending in India; multinational companies investing in India; increasing government activity in cyber-security; and information-technology firms bringing in work from clients.
The trade association for the information-technology industry, Nasscom, launched a cyber-security task force earlier this year to build India as a global hub for providing cyber-security solutions, prepare a plan for cyber-security research and develop a skilled workforce in the area. The task force aims to build the cyber-security industry in India from the 1 percent market share to 10 percent by 2025; create a trained base of one million cyber-security specialists and build more than 1,000 start-ups in cyber-security from India.
“Technology has changed the way businesses are run and has brought unique challenges and threats. In today’s digitized environment securing our cyberspace has become a priority for businesses and citizens across the world,” said Rajendra S Pawar, chairman of the NIIT Group, an outsourcing company that provides managed training services including custom content development and curriculum design, learning administration, learning delivery, strategic sourcing and learning technology.“This calls for a team of trained people who are equipped to combat the challenges that are posed by hackers every day. Our partnership with PwC India is a step in that direction.”
“Cyber-security is a major focus and the growth driver for PwC India. We currently have around 300 people in this practice and will need to increase it tenfold over the next four to five years,” said Deepak Kapoor, chairman, PwC India. “PwC India is collaborating with academia to bring industry-ready talent into the market.”
The first year of the master’s program will be held at NIIT University. In the second year, PwC India will provide six months’ on-site training at its offices. Also, the firm will jointly select the research topics for the industry research for the last six months of the program. PwC India will pay the students a scholarship throughout the two years.
The program will emphasize security analytics, threat intelligence, industrial control systems and vulnerability analysis. PwC India and the university will create specialized laboratories, with the advanced hardware and software required for the program.
PwC India will jointly select the candidates and provide expert faculty from within the firm and other industry specialists.
“India is at the cusp of a big shift toward cyber-security, both in terms of the risks as well as in terms of the opportunities for the country,” said Deepankar Sanwalka, of PwC India. “Cyber-space changes the dynamics of the threat because of the ability of perpetrators to operate from any part of the world.”
Berlitz brings learning management up to date
Berlitz, a language-learning provider with 550 locations in 70 countries and over 10,000 staff worldwide, is saving more than £80,000 a year following the introduction of a new learning-management system.
The company has saved hours of exporting and manipulating data in separate spreadsheets following the introduction of Totara’s Mind Click system, which can generate the required management information and analytics at the press of a button.
Berlitz had used its previous learning-management system for almost 15 years. In 2013 the costs charged by its provider became unsustainable, as did the platform’s outdated reporting suite.
Berlitz was attracted to Totara and its continuous, community-led development. An added bonus was the fact that the system was always evolving based on the needs of its users.
Totara was configured as the global learning-management system in 11 weeks during which Mind Click’s implementation team worked closely with the Berlitz information-technology department.
Three months before the launch Berlitz began drip feeding news about the new system to its staff. Closer to the time it delivered Adobe Connect sessions showing the benefits of the learning-management system for both managers and learners.
The training team also worked closely with both Mind Click and Berlitz’s own marketing department to create an appealing design for the system.
“Because the learning-management system is so logical, it has opened up people’s horizons and they are taking the system and running with it by themselves,” said Liz Thompson, Berlitz director of technology-enhanced training and development. “For example, someone created a whole blended program based on his experience of what worked best for him in preparation for a particular qualification. He took existing e-learning content, links to Adobe Connect sessions, details of face-to-face training and online reference material, and built something that is so clear for learners that he has hugely increased participation and engagement. All of this was done off his own back, which is amazing.”
Berlitz is now creating mobile-specific learning content and exploring the introduction of an element of gamification.
Specsavers recruits coin it in for charity
Staff joining Specsavers will be able to earn a virtual coin to give to charity in a new online induction course.
The international optical and hearing business will give to charity in proportion to the virtual coins earned by employees who complete the induction training.
The online course, created by e-learning company Sponge UK, is being introduced in 15 countries including the UK and will form part of the company’s induction program for all new recruits.
They explore an animated map of the world which includes video clips of senior managers talking about the company’s global activities. The course helps learners to understand the Specsavers values, goals and brand and reinforces knowledge about the company with questions based on real life.
Those who complete the module can select one of three Specsavers partner charities for their donation – Sightsavers, Vision Aid Overseas or the Fred Hollows Foundation, which undertakes community-based work with blindness-prevention organizations in Asia, Africa and the Pacific.
Louise Pasterfield, managing director of Sponge UK, which developed the training, said: “Linking charitable giving to the induction process not only helps people to engage with the training but also underlines the importance the company places on giving back to communities.”
“We have worked closely with Specsavers to use the latest learning technologies to incorporate animation, video and a high degree of interactivity to bring this induction module to life.”
The online training can be completed by Specsavers employees either during the first few days of their new job or before they take up a new position. The module covers all aspects of the business including stores, manufacturing, distribution and back office.
Rob Foster, global head of learning technologies at Specsavers, said: “Our online induction course is intended to confirm to new starters that they have made a great choice in selecting Specsavers as their next employer.”
Around 5,000 people are expected to complete the module in 2016.
Maersk adopts new learning-management system
A worldwide conglomerate in transportation and energy has adopted a new learning-management system to help it to deliver employee development and ensure compliance across the organization.
Maersk employs more than 89,000 – many of whom work remotely or in the field – across 130 countries and in a wide range of industries.
Whether in an office or on an oil rig, Maersk employees will be able to gain access to necessary training and collaborate with their peers through mobile, offline and collaborative learning. The company will be able deliver blended learning across the organization, from instructor-led training, e-learning and virtual learning to certification and compliance, through a single centralized system.
Employees will be able to submit their own content, learn best practice and teach each other through instructional videos.
Cloud-based software enables managers to instantly determine which employees are in compliance and take swift action with those who are at risk of non-compliance.
“We knew we needed a modern, robust system to manage our people, and it was important to us to have a system that promoted collaboration through learning,” said Mads Ingholt, head of leadership development at Maersk.
“Additionally, offline learning will allow our remote workforce to complete training and compliance certifications in locations like oil rigs, while our flexible workforce can train on a smart-phone from home or any location.”
“We are thrilled to offer Maersk comprehensive learning and development solutions that will enable it to help employees to realize their potential,” said Vincent Belliveau, executive vice-president and general manager of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Cornerstone on demand, which supplied the learning system.
“We are firm believers in the value of collaborative, mobile and offline learning as part of an overall blended-learning strategy. Many of our clients who have taken a similar approach with their learning strategies have seen impressive results in terms of better employee engagement and an overall more productive workforce.”
Maersk is involved in a wide range of activities in the shipping, logistics, oil and gas industries. It is among the world’s largest container-ship and supply-vessel operators.
Pension-fund manager boosts compliance and cuts costs
A pension-fund manager has halved its operational costs by moving to a learning-management system with targeted, blended learning.
Mexican company Afore XXI Banorte chose a learning-management system that would be cost-effective, capable of delivering the specific reports needed by the regulator, and flexible in supporting the blended-learning programs that the company was implementing.
Aura Interactiva, Totara’s partner in Mexico, worked closely with the Afore XXI Banorte team to implement the scheme with the following elements:
Custom reporting: Afore XXI Banorte needed a specific set of reports to meet regulator requirements. These reports can be generated on demand.
Supporting blended learning: the system needed to provide access to the authorities’ requirements, so learners were clear on the compliance standards. It also needed to provide training content to support learners in meeting those standards. Afore XXI Banorte used Totara to enable a blended-learning approach, which combined e-learning courses, current information and face-to-face training to ensure that learners were informed and supported. The audience for blended learning has extended to external partners too, training them on the basics of how Afore XXI Banorte operates in a more efficient way.
Targeted learning through hierarchies: Afore XXI Banorte used Totara’s competency and hierarchy management capabilities to help to put a competency framework in place, mapped to the organizational hierarchy. This ensures that the right compliance learning and information are delivered to the relevant people at the right time. This creates a more personalized, efficient experience, better for the learner and more cost-effective for the organization.
Certification: through course completion and reporting, individual learners can now be certified as competent in meeting Afore XXI Banorte’s and the regulators’ standards. Certification is automated through course completion. Before the new system was implemented this was done manually.
Afore XXI Banorte has more than 7,500 registered users on the system. Learners report high levels of satisfaction with the new blended approach, the access to learning and the targeted approach. Over 15 percent of learners voluntarily enroll on non-mandatory courses.
Afore XXI Banorte has over $42bn assets under management and more than 17 million account holders.
KPMG wins civil-service contract
A consortium led by KPMG has been awarded a three-year contract to train more than 400,000 British civil servants.
The consortium will work closely with civil-service learning to create digital and classroom-based learning to all civil servants, in the UK and abroad.
Kru Desai, head of government and infrastructure at KPMG, said: “This new alliance with Civil Service Learning will build on the work that KPMG has already accomplished with the NHS Leadership Academy – the single largest leadership-development initiative in the history of the NHS.”
The future is flexible learning
Flexible learning, big data and better employee communications are key to aligning learning more closely to business requirements, according to a survey of human-resources and learning specialists.
Finding and retaining the best talent is the main concern for global businesses (28 percent) and “aligning training and development with business needs” (24 percent) is going to be a key objective, according to a survey by Speexx, a provider of corporate online language training. Yet the survey reveals that 44 percent of organizations are struggling to make sense of “big data” and not fully using its benefits.
More than 60 percent of companies questioned said that blended learning will continue to be the primary approach for corporate learning as opposed to pure face-to-face training or stand-alone e-learning.
There were a number of impediments to maximizing the use of HR data. The people audited listed five major obstacles: lack of management support (31 percent); lack of know-how in collecting and using data (24 percent); budget constraints (16 percent); global implementation issues (16 percent); and understanding data-privacy issues (13 percent).
Some 35 percent of businesses now use mobile devices for corporate learning, while almost one in five companies plans to implement a mobile-learning strategy in the next three years.
Around 98 percent of organizations agreed that good communication is “very important” or “important” for overall business success. The “lack of management support” (27 percent), “intercultural differences” (23 percent) and the “lack of foreign-language skills among employees” were the top reasons holding back strong communications.
Armin Hopp, Speexx founder and president, explained: “Technology has transformed how business is conducted and the workplace now demands an international talent pool with better communication skills to make the most of global opportunities. Organizations with a mature talent-management strategy are best placed to foster ongoing learning and strong cross-border communications.”
Skill shortages rise
Skill shortages in UK manufacturing and engineering have increased over the past three years with almost a quarter of firms saying they frequently experience downtime and reduced profitability as a result.
Over half of respondents to a people and productivity survey said their organizations undergo change frequently or constantly. While the majority feel they are well equipped to effectively manage change, over a third of business leaders feel they are ill prepared, with little or no formal training. Over a third of the workforce is revealed to be “not motivated to embrace change.”
The research shows that, in general, managers set a good example of how to drive and deliver successful change projects. However, 19 percent of firms say that their managers rarely or never lead by example. For managers to effectively communicate change with employees on the organization’s behalf, they need to adapt their management and communication style.
A large proportion of those surveyed feel employees disengage when the senior management team fails to answer the “What’s in it for me?” question adequately, offering no personal reward.
The survey of 95 middle and senior managers in manufacturing and engineering was carried out by Festo Training and Consulting and Work Management. Gary Wyles, managing director, commented: “A lot of public-sector support is focussed on apprentices and training the next generation of talent. This is much needed, but equally, employers need help at management and leadership level.”
“To handle the skill shortage as it is now, manufacturers need to undergo continuous change so we can adapt quickly. What we cannot do as a sector is stand still. At times we need to take enormous risks such as investing in new technology to improve productivity and keep ahead of world competition. Further support programs to help to alleviate lack of skills and train our people to deliver and cope with change are definitely required.”