Exclusive: L&D at Amway

Amway’s global head of talent management reveals how the company handles challenges including a 21,000 strong workforce.

Exclusive: L&D at Amway
Amway’s day-to-day business sees the company navigating its way through global challenges: 92% of its business is conducted internationally, and the organisation has over 21,000 employees.

LeAP – or Leadership Acceleration Program – is Amway’s executive development initiative, which has been recognised by Bersin by Deloitte as one of the most forward-thinking platforms in experiential learning.

The program, which is conducted every other year, begins with a ‘mini MBA’, in which 15 to 21 executives take part in training at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, part of Arizona State University.

“It’s a program that doesn’t have a lot of soft leadership lessons, or things like leadership derailers, but the focus of the content is on global strategy, both in creation and implementation,” said Kee Meng Yeo, global head of talent management at Amway and the mind behind LeAP.

Participants in the program are divided into three groups and assigned a business challenge, which they are then given a further four months to work on.

Their work is then presented to Amway’s top 12 executives.

“We’ve had great feedback,” Yeo said. “In fact, we just named a new chief marketing officer… [who is] an alumna of the program.”

The benefits of L&D are obvious to employers across the globe – this recognition is evident as organisations are increasingly prioritising L&D.

US companies increased spending on training and development programs by 15% in 2013, representing the largest growth rate in corporate learning in seven years.

But it is not just employers who value L&D – lack of opportunities in L&D is one of the most frequently cited reasons for employees leaving their jobs. In fact, 40% of workers who receive inadequate training depart from their organisation within one year.

For Yeo, the value of new educational endeavours is determined using the five pillars of organisational learning model.
The five pillars can be posed as questions:
  • Is learning effective, and do employees acquire what they set out to learn?
  • Is it cost-effective; do programs operate within the company’s budget?
  • Is it accessible to employees throughout the organisation?
  • Are employees satisfied with growth and development opportunities?
  • Is management satisfied with the financial investment?
“This model allows you to look at learning as collective across the enterprise or to separately measure programs and individual initiatives,” said Yeo.

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