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GAC calls for businesses to invest in ‘borderless learning’

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Damien O'Donoghue General Manager of GAC Corporate Academy left-presented with a token of appreciation by the HRM Awards Learning Conference

In-house learning academies, e-learning technologies and robust ROI measures are key to modernising training and driving up performance, says GAC

21 May 2012, Sri Lanka – GAC, the global shipping, logistics and marine services provider, has called for businesses to invest in tailored training solutions and ‘borderless learning’ to maximise the potential of their workforce.

Speaking at the prestigious HRM Awards Learning Conference in Sri Lanka last week, Damien O’Donoghue, General Manager of the GAC Corporate Academy (GCA), outlined the benefits of a ‘borderless learning’ model of corporate training, which combines in-house learning organisations, e-learning solutions and robust Return on Investment (ROI) measures, all of which reflect GAC’s renowned approach to corporate learning.

Mr O’Donoghue said: “We all recognise the importance of investing in our staff, but have tended to rely on traditional concepts of the training department and the training environment. By contrast, borderless learning is an innovative new approach that challenges our assumptions about where and how learning takes place. It is particularly suitable for the global shipping, logistics and marine businesses, which face the challenges and costs of delivering training across a globally dispersed workforce.”

“Borderless learning needs three essential ingredients to make it work. First, an in-house learning organisation that establishes a culture of learning and develops learning programmes clearly linked to the company’s business strategy. Second, the use of e-learning as an effective training tool. Third, a robust approach to measuring ROI to demonstrate value and the trade-offs between the costs and returns of learning activities.” 

New models of corporate learning are developing rapidly, with the emergence of fully-fledged in-house training organisations, such as the GAC Corporate Academy which delivers bespoke training aligned with the company’s culture, business strategy and industry specific requirements.

Mr O’Donoghue added that technological advances also mean that e-learning can now deliver a more cost-effective and productive training solution.

“At the GAC Corporate Academy, we have built a learning organisation that uses e-learning to meet the needs of a multinational company spanning over 40 countries and 300 offices. Rather than off-the-shelf products, we also create our own customised courses with GAC-specific content that is tailored precisely to our needs and, importantly, to meet the requirements of our customers.” 

“Instead of teaching ‘at people’, we are involving them in learning communities with colleagues from around the world. Indeed, 2011 was our most successful year, with 77 different courses and a record number of participants from across the GAC Group.”

He stressed the importance of ensuring that the Return on Investment of corporate learning can be measured, particularly in the current economic environment.

O' Donoghue speaking at the HRM Awards

“Intuitively, we know training is good. It improves employee productivity and retention, company competitiveness and customer satisfaction. But in tough economic times, we also need to measure it. Each company should evaluate the performance of its corporate learning against appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the corporate objectives the company has set for its learning programme. GAC uses a number of different KPIs as well as an Employee Satisfaction Survey to measure our progress, year-on-year, in developing skillful and motivated people.”

GAC Corporate Academy is the corporate learning organisation of the GAC Group and delivers a wide range of e-learning courses. Established five years ago, GCA is an internationally recognised leader in its field, winning the People Development Award in the 2011 International Bulk Journal Awards.

About GAC Group

GAC is a global provider of shipping, logistics and marine services. These services are constantly being refined and integrated to serve our customers’ increasing need for competitive solutions. Emphasising trust, reliability and a strong human touch, GAC has been building its reputation in its chosen markets since 1956.

Headquartered in Dubai, GAC employs over 9, 000 people in more than 300 offices worldwide.

About GAC Corporate Academy

GAC Corporate Academy (GCA) is the corporate learning organisation of the GAC Group. Based in Dubai, GCA offers a wide range of courses that are available to all personnel throughout the GAC Group, its extended partners and network agents. GCA courses are offered using state-of-the-art e-Learning technology and combined with highly-effective action learning processes in the business environment.

Damien O’Donoghue is the General Manager of the GAC Corporate Academy. He has an undergraduate degree in logistics and operations management, an MBA and a Master of Education, specialising in e-learning and corporate education.

About the HRM Awards Learning Conference

The HRM Awards Learning Conference, entitled ‘The Axiom Revolution: Strategy, Leadership and Innovation’, was organised by the Association of Human Resources Professionals Sri Lanka (HRP) and held in Colombo on 18 April 2012. It featured a line-up of internationally acclaimed speakers from Siemens AG, Tata Motors, Aon Hewitt Asia Pacific and GAC, among others. Professor Wee Chow Hou, author of the renowned ‘Sun Tzu: War and Management’, delivered the keynote address.

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