Acuity Magazine recently sat down with Vincent Fairfax Fellowship Program Director and resident Cranlana ethicist, Dr Matt Beard, who believes that after two years of business ‘disruption and uncertainty’ it’s more important than ever for CA’s to refocus on skills and training.

As the world recovers from the impact of COVID-19 and a war for talent emerges in financial services, CAs across Australia and New Zealand can benefit from boosting professional development. That’s the message from Dr Matt Beard, ethicist and program director at the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership, who says after two years of business “disruption and uncertainty” it’s more important than ever for CAs to refocus on skills and training. Learning and development (L&D) is empowering employees through developing their knowledge, skills and capabilities in order to drive better business performance.

Beard says organisations that lift investment in personal and organisational ethics and other “soft skills” will reap the benefits – both financially and culturally – for decades to come. Beard points to new research report by DeakinCo. Beyond the financial benefits, the report finds learning and development helps productivity, as well as staff loyalty and retention, with leading firms in the space reporting an average attrition rate of 14%, compared to almost 25% for those that don’t invest in L&D.

Investment in L&D is already growing, with respondents expecting an average 19% lift in training this year, compared to pre-COVID levels. Even so, the report concludes that most firms can still do better in the space, finding that 87% of businesses could do more to improve L&D and citing just 13% of businesses as “leaders in the space”.

“Coming out of the pandemic, with extra economic pressures, it’s very easy for investment in the ongoing building of skills and the abilities of your existing people to be deprioritised,” Beard tells Acuity, adding that it’s a danger now as firms across Australia and New Zealand jostle for talent.

Read the full media release at Acuity Magazine.

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