Accenture spends $840 mn on employees’ ‘learning and development’

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A major part of this investment has gone into creating Accenture Connected Learning, a blend of classroom-based training and a digital learning environment to link its employees to professional content and world-class experts.  

Learning and development is an ongoing process for a professional, but it is considered an important tool for organisations for retention of talent.

Accenture spent around $ 841 million (Rs 660 crore) on the training and professional development of its workforce in the fiscal 2015. This included 15 million hours of training, at an average of more than 40 hours per employee.

Besides, the company has revamped its learning approach with a focus on digital. This has empowered its workforce of 3.7 lakh employees to unleash ideas, drive innovation and develop the highly specialised skills required to serve Accenture’s clients and communities.

“As a talent-led organisation, we are always inventing new ways for our people to learn and grow professionally in their careers,” asserts Pierre Nanterme, chairman and CEO, Accenture.

“Digital is the key to learning and we continue to invest in the latest digital technologies to deliver highly relevant training to our people—quickly and at the point of need,” he adds.

A major portion of this investment has gone into the creation of the ‘Accenture Connected Learning’ (ACL), which is a blend of classroom-based training and a digital learning environment. It links the company’s employees to professional content and world-class experts from inside and outside Accenture.

In FY 2015, ACL conducted 50 connected classrooms, which it plans to increase to 100 in the current fiscal. These virtual classrooms enable Accenture employees, from multiple locations, to participate together in interactive and collaborative classroom sessions.

These virtual sessions are taken by senior leaders of the company and subject-matter experts.

ACL boasts of more than 24,000 online courses and 900 learning boards. In addition, it has created five regional learning centres, for a traditional classroom learning environment at Bengaluru, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid and St. Charles, Illinois.

Accenture claims that the new initiative has helped it create more than 100 professional communities. These communities help Accenture employees, with similar work profiles from across the globe, to connect with each other and harness the power of Accenture’s global network—for answers, ideas, collaboration, innovation, lessons learned, and industry insight.

The new learning process has enabled the company to develop highly specialised skill sets and employees—be it data scientists, visual designers, information architects or mortgage processors—in order to respond to quickly changing business requirements faster than ever before.

The critical skills help the employees to remain market-relevant and also enhance their own career opportunities.

“Accenture Connected Learning makes learning continuous, flexible and increasingly democratised,” says Ellyn Shook, chief leadership and human resources officer, Accenture.

“Our people learn best by connecting, collaborating and practising for the scenarios they will encounter in the course of their work with our clients. From basic skills to industry-specific content, learning is available to all our people— anywhere, anytime—most often without involving any selection or approval. They have to simply tap the app and start learning.”

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