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TD Magazine Article

Learning Academies Support Future Readiness

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development.


Thu Jun 15 2023

Learning Academies Support Future Readiness

The BEST Awards recognize organizations that demonstrate enterprise-wide success as a result of employee talent development. The winners use learning as a strategic business tool to get results. View the entire list of 2023 BEST Award winners.

The retail world has changed significantly during the past five years. Sharpening a company's competitive edge is a goal for most retail companies, which struggle with product management, e-commerce, customer service, and adapting to the volatile, uncertain business world.


Through DeFacto Perakende A.Ş.'s digital academy, which is called De-Facto Business Academy, the talent development staff can support the Turkey-based global fashion company's strategic goals of Agile and data-driven transformation. The academy focuses on the organization's current and future skill needs, and DeFacto's executive board provides strategic direction to the academy.

"Our executive board has become a role model, embracing the process of creating and embedding a culture of learning within the organization," says Yeşim Çokeker, chief HR officer. "Aware of this responsibility, the board \[members\] prioritize their own development in cultural change issues and coach their teams" to reflect that.

The learning management system contains 1,500 different pieces of content, ranging from microlearning videos and articles to book and movie recommendations.

Along with offering an orientation program for new recruits, training employees for the future, and developing managers and leaders, the academy plays a major role in the company's Agile cultural transformation. As part of the training, 13 coaches participated in an eight-day Agile training program. Five different webinars have taken place so far, enabling team members to share experiences, reveal insights, and learn from each other.

The data-driven transformation entails the academy training leaders on how to use data, make decisions with it, and gain data awareness. In addition, DeFacto has created a Managing With Data training program for managers.


"The development mindset is one of the best key strengths in the company," says DeFacto CEO İhsan Ateş.

Just like DeFacto, Anta Sports Products Limited created a corporate university to help meet customer demands in the retail world. To ensure that learning activities meet business results, senior leaders of the Chinese sports product manufacturer expect every employee to become a lifelong learner so they can face all external challenges.

The three challenges facing the company include product design innovation, digital transformation, and improvement of direct-to-customer operational efficiency. The company delivers training in myriad ways, such as online live classes, recorded classes, an online topic competition, and high-level coaching.

"The company places a special emphasis on the relationship between learning and business outcomes, so on-the-job training (OJT) is almost 100 percent applied to core learning programs," says Jiaguang Liang, head of the corporate university.

In addition, Anta Sports designs learning initiatives to engage the younger generation. "The most significant application is in the fresh graduates training. We design a three-year growth plan for young people. After the fresh graduates complete seven days of training, they enter the OJT stage. Rotation is required every three months."


CEO Shizhong Ding established the corporate university and defines it as an important functional department with an organizational structure and adequate staffing. He invites top external experts and internal executive directors to join the school board of directors to provide forward-looking development directions and industry resources for enterprises.

"The CEO personally coaches high-potential talents," explains Liang. He also "serves as the head teacher of the 'champion class' of the middle-level high-potential talent project and personally participates in the selection and training of talent."

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