Training For Competitive Advantage

Those of you who have read other blog postings and articles I have authored will probably know my views on how many firms treat L&D as a cost centre seeking to manage down the £’s investment and the “lost-time” impact of the training intervention.

Very few firms it would appear look to L&D as part of their long-term business growth strategy. Many firms do little more than use e-learning to tick a compliance box, train employees at point of recruitment in their specific job function and perhaps offer some management training for a lucky few.

Why? Probably because the budget holders have learned that investment in training is actually a bad investment with little or no payback. Sounds kind of harsh, but if training genuinely delivered bottom line benefits – do you think so many firms would be ignoring it? Of course not.

In order for training to have any effect it must be learned and practiced. The reality is that in the race to the bottom for lowest cost training delivery, many bosses have completely lost sight of the objective which is actually learning and competency improvement. You cannot achieve this without investing in some form of credible and effective knowledge embedding strategy. I.e. one e-learning course doesn’t make you a subject matter expert!

At Elephants don’t forget we have Clever Nelly, our Artificial Intelligence which guarantees employers that what they train, their people learn and retain and best of all the AI doesn’t get in the way of the employee doing their day job, often talking less than 1 minute per day. Our growing herd of clients have worked out that training without learning is a complete waste of time and money, is disrespectful of employees and exposes the firm to considerable and unnecessary risks.

It would appear that PWC is bucking the trend and investing in the development of their most important business asset – their people. Good for them and maybe this is a strategy that other firms will also adopt, particularly those with client facing employees. Let’s hope they have an effective knowledge embedding and competency retention strategy or it will be a monumental waste of time and money and not help the L&D cause one bit!