Richard Stanger, CEO of StangerCarlson, LLC., and Carolyn K. Carlson, president of StangerCarlson LLC., a global business strategy and leadership advisory firm, shared on Accounting Today that within the financial industry, formal training of staff gradually declines with time on the job outside of required training programs. Most of the best training takes place on the job through experience.
Stanger and Carlson advise how experiential learning is delivered and the type of training it encompasses can "make a real difference for clients." They provide some tenants of great experiential learning that any accounting firm can adopt for a more skilled workforce.
They add that the biggest impacts on staff learning is partner involvement, followed by carefully managed mentoring programs, career frame working, staff deployment and scheduling, and a formal method for tracking goal-setting and training performance.
When it comes to employee learning, most accounting and finance staffers hit the ground running with what they know, hoping to learn more later. Experiential learning is vital to their success, but if it’s unstructured and poorly managed, they can easily pick up bad habits. The best learning takes place in a positive environment where learning is a core value.
Career frameworks are a key part of this experience. Stanger and Carlson say that, “Well developed career frameworks provide strong capability statements for technical skills, industry skills and behavioral competencies.” They equate career frameworks to a compass that provides a clear direction for all learners – something that’s often missing in the accounting world as well as other industries.