From left: Robert Perrone, Cyndi Bruce and Michele Graham.

KPMG Puts People First

At KPMG, learning is a process, not an event.

BY AYSHA ASHLEY HOUSEH

Learning is constant, no matter what industry you are a part of. KPMG Chief Learning Officer Corey Muñoz said he views learning as “a process or as continuous, not as an event.” The audit, tax and advisory company already values learning but plans to enhance its programs even further.

Muñoz said what sets KPMG apart is the fact that they put their people first, and that’s key to making learning effective.

“Our center of what we do is our people, just like it is in learning,” Muñoz said. “If we’re not facilitating that culture within our organization, we won’t be successful as a firm.”

The company stays involved in the tax industry by attending industry events, conferences and committee meetings and engaging with thought leaders, according to Muñoz. To continue to help their professionals, KPMG is also changing up the type of learning it offers, moving from individualized to personalized. They are looking into how different people like to learn depending on style, such as with video for example.

“If we’re asking our professionals to continue to evolve and grow their capabilities, we have to do the same thing with learning,” Muñoz said.

One way KPMG has evolved is by adding a CLO role. In November 2017, the company created the position Muñoz now holds, which he believes shows “a commitment to learning.”

KPMG is also upgrading its classroom experience. The organization has reaffirmed its belief in the value of traditional classroom training — provided it maximizes the power of the live experience. Creating that experience required adaptable physical space and state-of-the-art technology, and the firm has broken ground on a new Learning, Development and Innovation Center in Lake Nona, Florida, that will support these needs. The 800-bed hotel and learning facility will provide a consistent physical space for training and development needs of professionals and partners of the company.

In the meantime, it is enhancing its current use of classroom space. Increasingly, programs use innovative classroom layouts to enhance engagement and flip the classroom to empower participants to drive learning for themselves and their colleagues. KPMG also has taken an immediate step toward creating a more consistent learning environment by reconceiving its Advisory University Live, which provides core training for all advisory professionals. The program is now held monthly in the same location, and participants experience more consistent classroom support and KPMG branding.

KPMG

When pre-course tests for a core technical course for staff-level employees revealed that today’s participants were entering the program more knowledgeable than their predecessors, KPMG recalibrated the course, enabling faculty members to teach participants more challenging content and increase normalized knowledge gain to 37 percent.

Company size: 38,695
Location: United States

The organization’s history and traditions are important to them, Muñoz said. When using an outside facility, the environment cannot be controlled; with the new learning center, management falls to the company and how they would like to run things. Being able to focus on both learning and culture is something the new space will offer.

“We view learning as not only building capability and development of our professionals to be the best and brightest; we also believe heavily in our values,” Muñoz said. “[The center] allows us to build in our history, our tradition.”

The learning center will also be used as part of the company’s onboarding process. “It’s a huge talent attraction for us in the marketplace. And we’re really looking at it for all levels of our professionals,” Muñoz said.

The company is also investing in technology to help learners find and consume information more easily.

“Our hope and our goal through this technology investment is we’ll be able to reach that personalized learning in addition to creating a really simple and easy-to-use experience for them,” Muñoz said.

Aysha Ashley Househ is a Chief Learning Officer editorial intern. She can be reached at editor@CLOmedia.com.