The ability to learn, learn quickly and relearn, has never been more important than dealing with the changeability and complexity that all organisations are facing. Having high quality content, ready and available, across all learning modalities is not just part of learning strategy, but part of enabling business to maintain its edge, through ensuring staff that have the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver quality services to our clients.
Continuous learning is a cornerstone of our corporate culture. It is the basis of solving important problems for our clients, it allows us to create shared value in society, it fuels our competitiveness and growth, and it attracts and retains talented employees.
Last year, PwC Luxembourg embarked on a focused process of digital transformation and upskilling across the firm. This has played a key role in how quickly we were able to pivot from classroom based learning to virtual webinars, using various tools such as Google meet and WebEx, further enhanced with interactive tools such as Wooclap, Klaxoon, Jamboard and Mural. Become a Virtual Facilitator sessions were held to boost the already experienced classroom facilitators skills to deliver in a virtual environment. Not only were our internal trainers able to be up and running to deliver virtually in a short space if time, they also used these tools and techniques to continue to deliver service to clients, enhance their virtual meeting skills, as well as pitch proposals to clients at a high level of competency and comfort with the digital tools.
With virtual meeting fatigue setting in, we have underscored the importance of variety in designing virtual sessions, and ensuring activities are fit for virtual purposes. Examples include sessions that have expert discussion panels, followed by a virtual whiteboard exercise, or demo of a tool, and then breakout groups to practice using the tool, or even collaborating virtually to produce a video as part of a team building exercise.
It was part of our design strategy to design any training to be able to be delivered in face-to face setting as well as virtually, but the pandemic has just sped up the process of implementing this.
Just in time learning has always been important, and in order to deliver on this there has to be a constant focus on content quality. The learning and development function has moved more into curating content rather than creating content. This has enabled the team to create curated compositions for specific needs and tailor the content not only to the line of service, the business unit, the grade, the industry as well as team specific, but down to specific subcategories and the smallest business unit within the business. What has enabled us to do this is the learning platform that we use called Vantage.
Launched at the end of June 2019, it provides access to both local and global PwC content, and takes cues from sites such as Amazon, Spotify and YouTube where you can build your own learning playlists, and have learning content recommend to you based on your previous search criteria or what other in you line of service and level are learning. This formal learning is delivered using a blend of delivery approaches, which include remote access, classroom learning, and on-the-job support. The learning management system is accessible on a PC as well as mobile, ensuring easy access to learning and information. The curriculum supports our primary training objective of audit quality, while providing practitioners with the opportunity to strengthen their technical and professional skills, including professional judgement while applying a sceptical mindset.
It allows our learners to access learning anywhere and anytime and:
Within the platform is a selection of carefully curated content from external sources to supplement the internal content that we have in place. This provides the learner with not only the courses we run internally, but access to the best articles from Harvard Business Review, TedTalks, and other respected external sources.
With this tool, citizen learning is possible through the sharing of individually created learning playlists. The playlists are unique to the individual's learning needs. Just as you would put together a list of music to listen to while going on a trip, you can do the same with learning playlists, which is to put together the unique combinations of video, podcast, webinar, classroom training session, or article that helps you on your learning journey. What is also helpful is the ability to share your playlist with others and grow a learning mindset and build on the citizen-led learning experiences.
The continuous learning approach has not changed significantly from the previous year, however, instead of upgrading our learning management system, we are looking at leveraging its capabilities even more this year and the next.
PwC has a five-fold approach to learning.
1: Training is provided soon after promotions to ensure that our People are equipped to take on their new expanded roles.
2: We enable our People to attend external events, summits, workshops and seminars on the latest trends and innovative technology.
3: We enable our People to participate in PwC EMEA events and communities, which strengthens our network with other territories, and helps to broaden their view and align our practices across firms.
4: Coaching and mentoring complements the learning events and embed the learning into everyday behaviour. An important element of development is the time and commitment shown by our leaders to provide training to staff.
5: An important investment has been made in the new, innovative learning platform called ‘Vantage’. Launched at the end of June 2019, it provides access to both local and global PwC content, and takes cues from sites such as Amazon, Spotify and YouTube.
Upskilling@PwC is about creating an environment that stimulates the use of digital tools giving the freedom that will allow us to live, work and collaborate hand in hand with technology, in harmony with our well being. We encourage our People to use the technology at their disposal to its maximum, to accelerate our business, our efficiency and to meet the evolving demands of our clients.
Digitalising the Network is a global initiative about investing in our People, equipping them with the new skills, knowledge and resources so that they can remain relevant in the face of technology change. However, we are not just doing this for ourselves. We think that the mismatch between the skills people have today and the skills they will need in the future is one of the defining issues of a generation and we want to be part of the upskilling solution.
Across all territories, PwC is deeply committed to digitally transforming the way we work, and, to ensure a successful digital transition, we’ve invested in programmes and technology to help upskill all of our teams’ digital capabilities
Next to digitalisation, sustainability is a highly relevant topic to the future of our business. It is not delivered to our People as a one-off training event, but rather as sustained and continuous messaging across the major learning events within PwC.
Knowledge and awareness on this topic are incorporated right from the beginning of an employee’s life-cycle during the first week of a new associate joining and right through to Manager, Director and Partner training that we deliver. Moreover, we offer internal training on selected sustainability topics, such as ESG, Circular Economy, and GRI-compliant sustainability reporting. We also take into account sustainability for our firm, our People and for Luxembourg by encouraging our employees to attend external sustainability events and workshops in order to support and keep up to date with the latest developments and trends.
Due to the importance of this topic there is a special section on the main page of the learning platform dedicated to Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability. Under each of the sections on Sustainability, Climate Change and Circular economy is a full composition of learning assets that provide the most updated research and resources on these topics.
This material makes reference to GRI disclosure 404-1
This material makes reference to GRI disclosures 102-44 ; 102-46a ; 102-46b ; 102-47 ; 103-1 ; 103-2 ; 103-3 ; 404-2
This material makes reference to WEF Core Disclosure - People - Skills for the Future - Training Provided
This material makes reference to SDG 4 “Good Quality Education”, Target 4.4 “Increase the number of people with relevant skills for financial success”