What companies are great at training people
August 18, 2009 3:35 PM   Subscribe

What companies do a particularly good job of advancing the skills of their employees? What kinds of things do they do that facilitate that?

A little while ago, I listed to an interview with John Hagel. It it, he mentioned that if you ask any CEO what the most important thing in their business is, they'd say their people. However, many people don't really feel appreciated.

Hagel suggested that the problem is with the focus. Rather than focusing on finding or retaining great people, companies should focus on building great people and that if they get the reputation for that, then finding and retaining people takes care of itself.

I was really struck by this idea, so I'd like to know what companies do a particularly good job of this and what kinds of things they do to facilitate learning and growth.
posted by willnot to Work & Money (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
McDonald's. Their system for advancing people and the standardization of skill sets is pretty damned impressive.
posted by xingcat at 3:38 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: GE's Crotonville Institute is renowned for turning out high-performing managers, although I suppose that can be debated in light of recent events.

* Didn't want to link to GE's website but had a hard time finding a good alternative overview of the progam
posted by brandman at 3:59 PM on August 18, 2009

I think xingcat is referring to Hamburger University, which I've heard is really well done.
posted by Houstonian at 4:04 PM on August 18, 2009

Microsoft's internal programs, opportunities and encouragement for employee growth and betterment are generally awesome.

Just the lecture series alone is amazing.
posted by bz at 4:05 PM on August 18, 2009

The GE engineer -> Manager scheme is pretty good. Allstate spends a lot of money on training their new actuaries with the hope of keeping them for a long time after they get qualifications.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:04 PM on August 18, 2009

My brother works for FedEx, and they are apparently known for their employee development.

I work for one of the big Pharma companies, and they are mostly good about it. Me-mail me if you would like for me to be specific.
posted by kamikazegopher at 6:05 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: Eli Lilly is known for amazing executive training - mostly by identifying early, providing leadership and communication training (seriously, they all speak with the same amazing clarity of organized thought) and giving them responsibilities that require them to grow. This includes moving them around both within the organization and geographically.

And the big thing: they let them know that they are awesome/marked for bigger, better things. If people don't realize that you value them, they don't appreciate why you are training them.
posted by gagoumot at 7:18 PM on August 18, 2009

Best answer: The big 4 professional services firms, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC are all well known for providing great training. I was lucky to do my training at one of the above firms and it really opened a lot of doors that would have otherwise remained firmly bolted.

Most of the people I've known that have passed through to somewhere else or stayed on have gone on to advance their careers reasonably quickly. They do get their pound of flesh from you (and can be ruthless if you are not up to scratch), but it is difficult to argue with this after you have concluded the training and you see that most people have done well with a well-rounded skill set.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 3:19 AM on August 19, 2009

Best answer: It might be of interest that Hagel's point of view is the essence of Japanese management techniques. There are countless overviews of Japanese management out there, but Sony, in particular, has (or had) a CEO who wrote extensively on this subject.
posted by vincele at 6:52 AM on August 19, 2009

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