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Innovation, technology increases training ROI

Report calls on more employers to consider the advantages of innovative "smart learning systems."


TORONTO — Canadian companies must act to take greater advantage of new technologies to deliver better workplace education and training, and to drive competitiveness and productivity, according to a new report by Accenture and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE).

Increasing the Return on Talent Development for Canadian Companies was developed as part of a multi-year CCCE initiative on jobs and skills for the 21st century which, in part, encourages Canadian employers to prioritize workplace learning and development to drive competitiveness.

The report calls on more employers to consider the advantages of innovative “smart learning systems” that provide access to knowledge, anytime and anywhere. Often, these methods are more effective than classroom-based training while also costing less on a per-employee basis.

It found that Canadian firms are at different levels of maturity when it comes to talent development capabilities. Some companies rely on traditional and relatively costly classroom-based instruction, while others are deploying advanced learning strategies that involve a combination of in-person and technology-based training.

In addition to online courses, examples of innovative workplace learning and development systems include: mobile technologies that permit access to information through smartphones and tablets; social media platforms that offer peer and self-help support; and “micro learning” systems that provide employees with concise explanations and just-in-time instruction instead of requiring them to take a full-blown course.

The report was based in part on interviews with CCCE member companies that have adopted innovative workplace learning technologies and approaches, including Bell, BHP Billiton, CIBC, Enbridge, Loblaw, National Bank, Suncor, TD Bank, TELUS and RBC, and Accenture.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company that has more than 323,000 employees at sites in 120 countries.

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives represents 150 chief executives and entrepreneurs. Its member companies collectively employ 1.5 million Canadians.

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