Building Better Employees and Culture With Training
Major Growth Comes to a Culture-Focused Corporation
In 2012, a global insurance holding company was facing a scenario most businesses would love: Stratospheric growth, thanks to acquisitions and additional hiring. Rather than rehashing old onboarding techniques or seizing the growth rocket and hoping for the best, our client, who encourages its employees to look for a better way to do things, recognized a clear challenge amidst the momentum.
The problem? Many of the new hires within the company’s accounting and finance department had very little expertise in accounting and reporting for insurance products, the company’s principal business.
Without strong training for so many new employees, the firm might struggle to maintain the high quality of their financial accounting and reporting—and their close, family-like culture — traits that have defined this company for years.
Enter a New Accounting and Finance Education Committee
The firm’s Controller and Chief Accounting Officer decided to address the challenge directly, launching a new Accounting and Finance Education Committee focused on providing quality U.S. GAAP training to these departments. And they chose GAAP Dynamics to design the inaugural class.
As experts in U.S. GAAP, including the accounting for insurance contracts, we’ve performed similar training for other multinationals, a Big 4 accounting firm, and professional organizations. So, our client asked us to create a one-day U.S. GAAP training course that would help new employees feel more connected to the firm and gain the insurance-specific knowledge they needed.
GAAP Dynamics Charts a New Direction for Onboarding and Industry Insight
With our dynamic training library, we didn’t have to start from scratch to create the training program — saving significant time and expense for our client. Instead, we combed through our existing materials and analyzed the corporation’s business approach to tailor a training course for the accounting and reporting topics they needed to know.
We covered the insurance-related information that mattered to them, from accounting for premiums and reserves under U.S. GAAP, to risk management, reinsurance transactions, and financial instruments. But, we didn’t just drone on about each one — no one wants to listen to that! (And if you’re not listening, you’re not learning.)
Instead, we used the company’s Annual Report and took participants on a “guided tour” that demonstrated exactly how they should use this information. Furthermore, by having the group search for answers within the annual report, we encouraged these employees to get “down and dirty” and really get to know their new company.
Tailored Training and Review of Their Annual Report Pays Off
Only four months after our initial conversation, we were teaching the first class to 30 new accounting team members — plus a group of employees from other departments who just wanted to learn more about their company. A member of the Board of Directors even joined us for the course!
When people from other departments are clamoring to attend a full-day training on accounting and reporting requirements for insurance contracts, you know you’re onto something!
After the course, we were excited to learn that:
- Our “guided tour” of the company’s financial statements helped employees understand their company and the primary focus areas for auditors and regulators.
- The instructional design kept participants engaged and aided in knowledge retention.
- Attendees shared universally positive feedback for the training.
- The Controller and Chief Accounting Officer were thrilled that the course helped successfully launch the new Accounting and Finance Education Committee.
Since our initial success, we’ve turned a one-time training engagement into an annual occasion addressing various accounting and financial topics. We believe a key reason our program expanded (beyond our amazing personalities, naturally!) is that we made the training materials 100% applicable to them. No vague case studies or irrelevant details. So, they were able to simultaneously learn enough about the company to feel like a part of the family, while gaining the insight they needed to protect that family from audit findings and errors in financial reporting.
Applicability leads to engagement. Engagement leads to learning! Let us show you how.