When you already have a team with a great dynamic that also performs well, it can be tricky to find ways to improve. That is when Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Matt Ellis decided to train his team by filling skill gaps and anticipating necessary future skills. With the Fourth Industrial Revolution underway, it is important to maintain your skills while adapting to future needs. Especially when it’s likely new technology will be implemented in the coming years that can change everything we know.
Across our finance organization, Verizon was looking to add strategic thinking with technical, analytical and digital skills to its team’s strengths. Ellis states, “Our objective is to create a clear path to master each skillset needed. Employees need access to training and tools so they can expand and strengthen their skills and grow throughout their entire career with us.” Ellis’ direct reports also had ideas on how to improve the finance organization, including:
- Identifying future executives that can shape the organization.
- Employees should be able to make strategic observations. This means having the ability to deliver forecasts that can provide deep insights and help us make smarter decisions.
- Make the finance team better business partners to colleagues across the organization and help drive business decisions made by senior leaders.
Investing in our employees demonstrates our commitment to their personal growth and to improving employee engagement and retention.
To implement this, Verizon created a three-step approach to optimize staff education:
Step 1: Focus on long-term needs, including technical, digital and soft skills.
Step 2: Expose staff to different organizations across the enterprise through new assignments.
Step 3: Provide new training experiences and make them easily accessible to all employees.
“Investing in our employees demonstrates our commitment to their personal growth and to improving employee engagement and retention,” Ellis said. He also added, “If you aren’t evolving and utilizing technology, then you are limiting yourself in what value finance employees can provide to the organization. This is an investment with an ROI.”
Association for Finance Professionals is a key partner in Verizon’s training and development efforts. You can read their case study, here.