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LearningEliteDeloitte Focuses on Learners’ Strengths

No. 5: Deloitte is committed to developing its learners’ specialties, providing the best service to clients and continuously staying on the cutting edge of learning.
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Deloitte’s Andrew Do, Leslie Knowlton, Erv Lessel, Lisa Nichols and Graham Johnston.

Deloitte is determined to ensure that learning makes a significant impact on engagement, and that its investment advances the field of talent development in general.

The company has a holistic approach to development that considers the learners’ need to be successful in their role and emphasizes the importance of their well-being. This has led to a focus on strength-based development, based in part on research that shows people are often at their best when playing to their strengths.

“Our overall approach centers on the belief that development occurs within and beyond the classroom — in the experiences we engage in and the people we connect with,” said Nicole Roy-Tobin, director of development strategy and innovation at Deloitte, in an email interview.

Deloitte provides its people with a portfolio of suggested development activities via formal learning and suggests which people to add to their networks. The company also employs a comprehensive measurement strategy to validate its impact — within its own walls and in the communities it serves — and drive continuous improvement for all learning solutions delivered.

For example, Deloitte leads and delivers programs to build leadership capabilities for school principals and to facilitate the successful transition of veterans to a profession after leaving the military. The overall learning strategy — to drive individual, team and organizational performance by bringing out the best in each learner — is effective because by bringing out the best in every professional, the company can deliver the best of its organization to its clients.

At Deloitte, the key to building and maintaining leadership commitment is engagement. Leadership is intimately involved in implementing learning strategy. They actively champion change management efforts, sponsor programs and strategic initiatives, drive quality assurance for program content, and lead and facilitate learning programs.

Along with a strength-developed workforce and a committed leadership, Deloitte is also an elite learning organization because of its ability to stay ahead of the curve in learning execution. The company is committed to “finding the front” in the learning and development field and incorporating leading practices and innovations into its own practice.

Deloitte has a team dedicated to driving research, knowledge-sharing, collaboration and coordination both across the talent development organization and within the learning and development industry. “This allows us to optimize our investments and drive the adoption of like-solutions across the organization, enhancing our efficiency, effectiveness, business alignment, and impact on performance,” Roy-Tobin said.

Deloitte uses internal communities of practice for various learning and development topics to identify, assess and share the latest information in the field. The company also participates in industry councils, collaborating with leading learning organizations to share knowledge and gain industry insights. Finally, the company uses research from Bersin by Deloitte to shape how it enhances internal learning and development.

These efforts have had an impressive effect on overall business. Learning is responsible for developing leaders at all levels, and clients commend the company for the quality of its talent. Learning also drives business growth by being responsive and agile, and building knowledge and skills around leading edge topics.

“Above all, learning is responsible for our high-performing talent,” Roy-Tobin said. “Our development culture is part of our brand; it attracts the best and brightest to Deloitte, allows people to develop and apply their strengths, and positions people to do their best work.”

This year, Deloitte focused on accelerating innovation, particularly around learner experience design and how to measure the impact of that experience. Roy-Tobin anticipates this will require that talent development professionals have a new set of skills, and plans are already in motion to define these new skills and begin the process of building them.

The company also will focus on evolving its digital learning strategy and approach to optimize the use of digital solutions to support development. On the measuring impact front, Deloitte will continue to enhance how it evaluates and reports learning’s performance and value to the business, and how it uses learning as a basis for continuous improvement. Finally, the company expects to see advances in building high-performing reams and the globalization of learning.

Andie Burjek is a Chief Learning Officer editorial intern. Comment below, or email editor@CLOmedia.com.

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