Organisation’s Approach to Learning
An evaluation of Deloitte & Touché Company
Learning is a gradual and systematic process that has become even more imperative in the contemporary days with professional competence in organisations being a paramount criterion in evaluating an employee’s performance and pay (Harrison 2005).
Rating of workforce nowadays depends largely on a personal level of knowledge, educational level, expertise, and experience as well as several other leadership skills that are integral in determining organisational progress (Sadler-Smith 2006).
In a bid to curb the growing challenges regarding organisational performance and employee professional competence, numerous organisations in the current days now acknowledge the significance of employee training and development in organisations (Routledge & Carmichael 2007).
Central to the issues surrounding organisational approaches to learning and development, this segment provides a comprehensive appraisal of Deloitte & Touché Company regarding the aforementioned subject. In so doing, this section also describes Deloitte & Touché Company’s organisational policy and its practices and approaches to learning and development.
Overview of Deloitte & Touché Company
The organisation herein discussion and evaluation is Deloitte & Touché Company that hails from the United States and it possesses subsidiaries with approximately 57,000 professionals embedded by a single purpose, viz. “serving our clients and helping them solve their toughest problems” (Deloitte 2013, Para. 3).
Deloitte & Touché Company is a CPA accounting firm that works in four major business areas namely financial advisory, audit, tax, and consulting. Nonetheless, a combination of the four major business paradigms underscores Deloitte’s real strength and all these paradigms are equally significant to this firm.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, this financial organisation has been featuring regularly in the Fortune and Business Week renowned business magazines in United States as the best organisations to work in (Deloitte 2013).
Since the organisation works with complex financial problems regarding customers, the organisational Chief Executive Officer affirms that employees form an integral part of the organisation and their proficiency is paramount.
Deloitte & Touché Company is a company that has crossed boarders within Europe and invested in a number of countries in the West. Deloitte “is the brand under which tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in independent firms throughout the world collaborate to provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management and tax services to selected clients” (Deloitte 2013, Para. 2).
The firms are in turn under the membership of “Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), which is a UK private company under limited guarantee…every firm is responsible for providing services within particular geographic area subject to professional regulations and laws articulated within its operational country” (Deloitte 2013, Para.12).
Each DTTL normally act as distinct legal entity, with no obligation to one another (Deloitte 2013). Within the United States, Deloitte LLP functions under Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and just as others, it does not provide services to clients, but the subsidiaries are responsible for service provision.
Deloitte & Touché organisation’s policy
It is normally important for any organisation, whether profit-based or non-profit organisation to understand that success hinges on designing and implementing significant operational policies that aid in productivity (Roper & Pettit 2002).
Two important policies may deem significant in understanding the current Deloitte’s approaches to learning and development within its organisation. Central to this argument, the policies of workplace flexibility and professionalism are present in Deloitte and operational to date (Deloitte 2013).
In connection to the aspect of organisational policing, from their official website, Deloitte is normally in the forefront in ensuring that both employees and customers feel the necessary comfort in their commitment and engagement with the organisation.
Practices and approaches to learning and development
Perhaps, Deloitte ranking as the best workplace in the Fortune and Business Week is not a favourable stratagem and this element may be evident from how the organisation handles issues regarding practices and approaches to learning and development.
Deloitte, in its reports, has the policy of workplace flexibility as aforementioned, where workers and clients get orientation in the on professional development through different learning stratagems (Deloitte 2013).
As stated in its website, “our professionals start by assessing how flexibility aligns with and enables both the client’s business strategy, talent strategy and supporting infrastructure platform and then determine” (Deloitte 2013, Para 2).
According to Whetton and Cameron (2010), for employee functionality to remain right, flexibility in management is one of the key factors that influence workers’ professional development and productivity. Key features that depict the presence of L&D in Deloitte are:
Presence of consultant professionals and practitioner
Another significant feature in Deloitte that depicts its dedication towards practices and approaches to learning and development is the availability of professionals who are competent in business and talent improvement and as consultants within this firm (Deloitte, 2013).
As noted by Sadler-Smith (2006), an organisation only deems to appreciate the practices and approaches to learning and development only when there is evidence of a strategic approach to learning and development, with practitioners and consultants being paramount in this case.
It is evident in the case of Deloitte since the organisation itself posits that it instils deep industrial experience, integrated subject matter of knowledge, and great instructional blueprint and advancement of expertise (Deloitte 2013).
Apart from this element, Deloitte possesses a clear structure that consists of well-articulated organisational goals and values including L&D policies that propel motivation towards professional development of employees (Deloitte 2013). The organisation and its senior management acknowledge that it is imperative to retain employees rather than regular recruitments and layoffs.
Presence of external inputs in Deloitte
For any organisation to demonstrate evidence of practices and approaches to learning and development (L&D), numerous external inputs have been essential in determining its dedication to L&D (Roper & Pettit 2002). According to Sadler-Smith (2006), external inputs are significant organisational factors in the surrounding that may influence achievement of L&D.
Integration and development of modern technologies in organisations like the Internet may be integral factors that trigger learning morale among employees (Sadler-Smith 2006). In Deloitte, these aspect hinges in equipping the federal workforce with matters pertaining to cyber age, encouragement of consumption of newly integrated social media platforms, and well equipped with tools as modern technologies that trigger L&D.
According to Deloitte (2013), per rough estimate, the company spends approximately $12,000 and $15,000 for an employee’s single facility. According to Deloitte (2013), best practices in knowledge coupled with talent expansion are key features in Deloitte and workers undergo talent explosion beyond their normal desire, with resources to enable them explore their creativity and abilities readily available.
Presence of L&D teams
In the appraisal of Deloitte, one of the key features that demonstrate practices and approaches to learning and development is the presence learning governance policies that exist within the L&D autonomous teams. According to Deloitte (2013), this organisation possess Learning and Development (L&D) teams that bear the responsibility of bridging critical workforce skill gap that is essential in productivity.
As conjectured by Sadler-Smith (2006), the senior management needs to show participation through providing human and financial resources to support workforce participation in learning.
Using their recently released paper dubbed “use learning governance to improve business results”, Deloitte Consulting LLP took considerable steps to develop effective governance framework that involved the formation of Learning and Development (L&D) teams (Deloitte 2013, Para. 3).
This effective governance framework entailed evaluating the prevailing governance model, current-state learning governance, learning governance framework, and appraising future-state learning ascendancy framework. From the L&D strategy, feedback is essential and in Deloitte learning progress undergoes evaluation and a feedback comes of evaluators.
A Development Action Plan and Commentary
Given the fact that the current corporate world is facing a number of unremitting challenges that may hamper organisational effectiveness and efficiency, it is important to take appropriate actions to curb certain loopholes that bar development (Nemeth 1997).
Modern organisations have awakened to these realities knowing very well that organisational challenges are normal and finding apposite stratagems to curb certain risks of failure has been essential (Gibb 2002).
In a bid to ensure that an organisation remains competent and avoid failure, developing an action plan has been a significant strategy to organisations. Every individual employee with his/her personal skills plays a significant role in ensuring that organisations succeed and any individual problem may impact organisational progress (Newton 2010).
This section of this portfolio aims at developing an action plan for addressing personal skills and a commentary on the expected challenges in developing this time-management action plan. The approach embedded herein is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound (SMART) action plan.
SMART action plan
SMART action management plan will form part of this portfolio where integral aspects like Specificity in the development of the action plan will be paramount in this case. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound are factors that will receive substantial consideration in this time management plan.
Being specific means that all the goals and objectives intended in this plan must be specific in nature (Conzemius & O’Neil 2006). Measurability or being measurable means that the intended time management plan will consider developing goals and objectives that are quantifiable in their progress (Mattiske 2012).
In this time management action plan, attainability (achievability) will be central in developing the goals and objectives where the plan must consider the likelihood of meeting all conditions necessary to accomplish the goals stated (Mattiske 2012). Realistic nature of the objectives is paramount in this plan.
Finally, under the SMART action plan, time-bound will be another significant factor to consider while undertaking this time-management action plan.
Specificity in Time management plan
Time management in Deloitte Company has been a factor and reported in several cases within its offices. According to Berry and Thomas (2008), “when generic, off-the-shelf objectives get the SMART treatment they emerge as targets that engage focus, action, feedback, and learning” (p.1). Firstly, developing time management plan in this case aims at developing personal skills that are significant in time management.
To be specific, the main of this time-management action plan, however, is to ensure that time management in organisation is among employees’ intrinsic aspects that will be achievable by developing new time related policies. Strategic planning will be the first approach in developing the objectives.
Management is crucial in time management plan (Newton 2010).This time-management plan will focus on engaging the entire Deloitte management in establishing long and short-term time management goals in the organisation on the new time management policies that the organisation’s management will confer before the implementation process.
Table 1: presents purpose and intended outcomes.
Purpose and intended outcomes
| ||Progress goals (likelihood of success)|
|Within one month, employees should be capable of understanding new time management policies.||Within this one month, at least 40% of employees will manage to portray and observe these policies.|
|Facilitation on time management will commence through time management seminars and workshops.||Approximately 55% of workers will have attended time management seminars and workshops within the first month.|
|Within two months, the action plan will have conducted a research on the progress of the plan||The planning committee will be capable to conduct progress research to and attain approximately 62% progress coverage|
|Within an estimated during of four months, the action plan will have ensured that employees keep time||By this moment, the goal achievement should range approximately 69-75% employees who keep time in workplace|
|Within duration of eight moments, the intended time management workshops will be completing their projects||By then, an approximated percentage of 79-89% of workers will have understood time policies and keeping time properly.|
|Within the duration of one year, the employees will be capable to manage time effectively with minimal errors.||Without doubt, the percentage of employees practicing time management will approximate to 95-99%|
Monitoring each development progress
The aforementioned section on the above table that occupies progress goal has already covered the aspect of measurability as required in the SMART action plan. Monitoring each developmental objective in the action plan requires keenness and dedication so that the results expected will yield (Pedler et al. 2007).
Monitoring in the “context of action planning is the ongoing assessment of how an organisation or project is performing against its action plans” (Shapiro 2001, p.44). The SMART action time approach contains the last T, which as described earlier, represents the Time-bound and according to Hanna and Picciotto (2002), it must receive considerable attention.
Most integral questions that monitoring in this time management action plan will address include if outputs are achievable within time-bound, if resources are well-utilised, if the action plan is meeting its targets, if units are meeting their set objectives, and whether individuals are meeting the stated requirements within the action plan (Forsyth 2010).
Monitoring of this progress will involve a continuous process that includes constant assessments.In the monitoring and evaluation case, the action plan will consider hiring or formulating a strategic assessment committee that will oversee the actions of all the principles involved in the time management action plan (Roesch 1998).
The management, which will comprise the senior management and lower management, will provide necessary support to the development and achievement of the time management action plan (Sadler-Smith 2009). Technology will be essential here since the organisation’s offices are located far from one another, and the use of integrated technologies to communicate with the overseers of the project is essential (Haynes 2006).
Deep research and investigations concerning the progress of the action manoeuvre will be the responsibility of the appraisal committee that will analyse the situation from the ground, inclusive of the progress of the training workshops and seminars.
According to Whitmell (2005), this monitoring will enable the project initiator to evaluate progress. Where necessary, modification of the objectives will commence to enhance the probability of successfulness of the intended plan.
A Reflective Account
Perceived aims of MBA in general
Education in the current days has grown from minute learning to complicated learning frameworks that the world deems significantly essential in preparing new generations towards the unremitting professional challenges (Dennis & Smith 2006).
Traditionally, there has been a great disparity between education and practice in the management field and MBA emerged primarily to settle this matter, and has managed to influence a multitude of learners (Peterson’s 2009). It is significant to understand that learning, being a continuous process, determining its successfulness and understanding the objectivity behind learning certain aspects is quite imperative (Canals 2011).
The aim of MBA degrees is normally to prepare graduates for greater managerial roles in the professional field, help them gain a deeper insight into issues surrounding industrial world, and its significant requirements.
Dennis and Smith (2006) assert that a common perception within studying MBA also hinges upon the notion that MBA management education enriches graduates with appropriate and competent organisational management skills that deem continuously significant in their careers.
Personal reflective account on MBA program
A reflective account generally refers to personal philosophical judgments over certain events or practice (Brockbank & McGill 2007). Perhaps, one with little knowledge within the MBA studying program may find it uneasy to understand the significance of possessing higher level learning degrees like the MBA degree.
While trying to comprehend on the notions and perceptions entangled within the MBA program, personally I can be in the most suitable position to justify and confer the realities behind any literature, theory, or any prior reflective account provided.
Business administration “is a vague, remains shifting, rather formless subject where neither the foundations at the undergraduate level nor the superstructure at the graduate level can provide significant definition” (Dennis & Smith 2006, p.16).
I can barely understand the imperativeness or intention of this statement based on the arguments and experience I have managed to acquire through MBA program. Based on an argumentative and engaging learning in this MBA program, I can concur the following:
I have acquired professionalism
I concur with the fact that MBA program in business administration is indeed an important learning parameter that the intellectuals decided to invent. Beginning from the candidature itself, going through the MBA degree program has been a matter of considering competence required to improve management in the contemporary decades just as noted by Hunt and Weintraub (2010).
Giving a special attention to the topic of managerial and professional development, much has protracted to how I initially perceived management as a subject and from its interactive management, I can consider myself quite competent and determined to meet the unremitting professional management challenges.
As postulated by Brockbank & McGill (2007), initially, managers and employers have had an immense challenge in marking traditional students work and since the advent of MBA graduate program, it has been easy for managers to provide orientation to new management employees.
I have acquired significant management skills including planning and developing projects through integrated management skills that may ease my practice in management.
As noted by Wedlin (2006), the need for professional managers is augmenting and I can consider the MBA learning program as the most suitable personal choice I have made in my life.
Matching my ambitions with productivity, reality has been achievable through concepts achieved from managerial and professional development unit, which with no doubt forms the focal point of the entire MBA degree program (Sharbatoghlie et al. 2007).
A continuum of professional management skills ranging from marketing, ethics, organisational behaviour, skills development, accounting and financial concepts, law governing business, management information systems, and even human resource matters have been achievable in my MBA learning progress (Swann & Henderson 1998).
This assertion depicts that MBA has been capable of building a broad knowledge base in me, with all these aspects expected to feature within the professional management practice and thus changing my entire personality from the social to professional paradigm, which has given me the aptitude to undertake personal self-assessment.
Important terminologies achieved in my MBA
A continuum of terminologies that I have been anticipating to understand has featured in this MBA degree-learning program. Essential elements of management and characteristics essential to managers in the professional manner normally exist in MBA, as demonstrated by Swann and Henderson (1998) by terming them as basic competency skills, has been achievable in my MBA progress.
Of the most anticipated skills that MBA learning program has planted in me are the leadership skills, relationship skills, communication skills, personal development skills, and career management skills, and information and communication skills, goal-setting skills, quantitative skills, as well as modernised technological skills among other important skills (Sharbatoghlie et al. 2007).
With these skills incorporated in my knowledge base, I have attained a sustainable approach towards self-awareness, self-reliance, and enhanced personal effectiveness in the entire management paradigm. More importantly, official communication, which was a challenge for my professional development, has greatly improved since I began undertaking my MBA program.
Essential learning skills enhanced
MBA learning program is not only a matter of developing and preparing graduates in engaging on matters regarding professional management, but great emphases have existed in improving learning skills that are still essential in future professional growth (Witzel 2003).
As postulated by Sharbatoghlie et al. (2007), “MBA program studies increase the learning skills of its participants compared to entering student scores and a control group” (p.4). To my experience, this statement has been practically true as I have learned and mastered numerous higher learning skills that have really made me improve my learning knowledge.
Most of the imperative skills normally developed through learning the MBA are researching skills that are normally posing constant challenges to learners in the undergraduate levels (Buckley & Jim 2007).
In researching, some essential skills concerning referencing have developed immensely in me and understanding principles of research have been part of my MBA learning process. If asked to recommend, MBA in business administration should proceed in the management paradigm.
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