Accenture understands better than most how important strategic alignment can be to the realization of key business objectives. With this central purpose in mind, the company created a Capability Development organization, led by Donald Vanthounout, associate partner, HR, where learning builds the critical people skills that enable organic growth of the business and facilitate execution of Accenture’s high-performance business strategy. Learning in Capability Development is tailored to meet the needs of four employee populations: consulting, services, solutions and enterprise.
For instance, the consulting workforce has its own curriculum that includes core training to develop traits of the Accenture professional, service line training to aid functional and technical skills, industry training, job readiness training to focus knowledge and skill building on specific project needs and community meetings that include localized learning efforts to reinforce Accenture values and leadership content.
The consulting workforce curriculum implementation is not yet two years old, but already has generated a substantial learning ROI. Noted benefits include an increase in employee satisfaction scores, an increase in the number of employees trained and a decrease in the cost of training. Specifically, allowing content to determine learning delivery methods caused a shift from classroom instruction to elearning, which netted a cost reduction of $175 million. A 2004 Global Employee Survey measuring areas including diverse workforce, inspiring leaders, interesting work, flexible work style, competitive awards and continuous learning showed that continuous learning efforts had the highest increase in employee satisfaction around the entire organization. With a decade of experience in the learning arena, and more than 20 years of experience working in various positions at Accenture, Vanthournout has been able to reduce the cost structure of the Capability Development function by more than $1 million annually and improve the training vendor management process for an additional forecast annual savings of $600,000.