The last quarter of the year is a busy time for most companies: in addition to the annual wrap-up that takes place amidst the growing holiday excitement, it is also time to plan and create a strategy for next year — which makes it the perfect time to build a business case for a company academy.
A company academy is a company-specific learning and development centre. It is usually a digital repository of content, a “central educational hub” that is also a people development tool and a tactical branch of the organisation’s strategy. The benefits of a corporate training academy extend to all the different players in its value chain — customers, partners and employees.
Here is a summary of sixteen advantages of corporate academies (there are more!) and some of the KPIs that will improve thanks to such initiative.
Why include a training academy in your 2019 plan?
Sales and marketing
1. Increased product knowledge and stronger skills will lead to better results: an in-depth knowledge of the product, combined with a strong sales foundation and additional skills (customer insights, building rapport, pitching, follow-up) will close more deals.
2. Improved KPIs: more deals mean better metrics and healthy-looking charts across the board.
3. Overcome team challenges: you can create content that addresses shortcomings and areas for improvement that are specific to your teams: conflict management, handling rejection, coping with change…
4. Improve lead quality: if you choose to use your corporate academy to educate your customers, you are effectively tailoring them to become better leads in the future.
5. Build brand awareness and product demand: you will establish yourself as a subject matter expert and a source of knowledge. Brand recognition and appetite for your product will happen as a natural by-product of such expertise and status.
Partner management and operations
6. Increase engagement with partners: new and enticing training content is a great way to increase partner interactions. The better the content, the more frequent their visits will be.
7. Reduce operational costs: a training academy is an investment that will pay off quickly, because it will reduce the need for high-touch training activities and one-on-one interactions, and it helps your partners know the more efficient way of doing things.
8. Partner operations management: you can effectively use your academy to onboard, train and certify partners. This will increase their efficiency and sense of belonging.
Customer Success / Customer Support
9. Reduce customer churn: training is fun, exciting and enticing. Customers who are engaged in learning activities will develop an emotional connection with the brand/product and are less likely to leave.
10. Better customer engagement: your customers will feel valued and will want to keep coming back. If you explore the social potential in learning activities (social media, sharing options) you are sure to reap additional benefits at no extra cost.
11. Onboard and train customer success team: you will have full control over your customer success team’s onboarding experience. You can draw their learning path from scratch, creating company-specific learning materials and business-relevant case studies and examples.
Human resources and internal metrics
Your corporate academy should be the mechanism for creating and upholding the organisational culture, as well as the business core skills and values — things like innovation, leadership, trust… Some of its worth will be intangible and hard to measure, but there are very clear internal indicators you can use to build a strong argument:
12. Reduce training costs: internal development becomes cheaper and easier to manage. If you choose video as a medium, you can reach a broader — and distributed — audience for a fraction of the cost of a traditional classroom-type session.
13. Increased motivation: a corporate academy will bring about the added-value of employee involvement and happiness, which will lead to better results.
14. Increase talent retention: career development and opportunities for growth and learning can be powerful retention tools.
15. Employer branding: similarly, your training offerings can attract talent and employees that already have a learning mindset.
16. Leadership pipeline and succession planning: having a training academy will pave the way for traditional management tasks, such as succession planning, and facilitate the spread of knowledge across the organisation, also giving you the chance to invest in your top talent and ensure you are developing them to their utmost potential.
These are some of the benefits of a corporate academy: there are big returns if development is done right. Can you think of additional benefits? Are there any questions on any of the above? Get in touch and let us know!