• Ciaran Hosty

Trend Watch - Training & Competence


We have all heard companies and senior leaders who quote that “their staff are their greatest asset”, “they give them the competitive edge”, and “take care of your employees and they will take care of the company”. What do these companies do differently to give them an advantage?


One of the easiest ways for a company to show that it values the contribution employees make and to demonstrate that they provide a clearly defined career path is to invest in training. Whilst this sounds a simple thing to do, many companies get it wrong – very wrong. It’s not just about telling people what to do, or how to do their job, it is about providing active engagement that makes people care about the company and its values. If a person cares about the company, they are much more likely to be engaged and diligent when performing their role. The effectiveness of any operational process, or framework is dependent upon competent people performing their jobs well.

The importance of training comes across in the data too, with ‘Training & Competence’ accounting for 11% of primary root causes of risk events between Q1 2017 and Q1 2019. This is bettered only by Human Error, Inadequate Software and Failure to Adhere to Process with plenty of crossover arguably between the four categories. ‘Training & Competence’ is also the sixth most costly causal category by gross loss, with firms suffering over £47m worth of losses between the same period.


The manifestations of ‘Training & Competence’ are also quite revealing. ‘Mis-selling’ is the most prevalent manifestation of ‘Training & Competence’ accounting for more than 20% of total risk events, this is followed by ‘Incorrect Payment to customer/client’ (11%), Customer Service Failure (10%), Inappropriate Underwriting (7%) and Other Improper Market Practices (6%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, customer service failures feature quite prominently here, as often the global companies that receive ‘outstanding’ reviews and feedback are those that have heavily invested in training their staff and their customer service departments.



Firms who invest time and money to develop and implement an effective training plan, should begin to experience a reduction in losses and increase their staff retention rate as they provide a coordinated career path within the firm.


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