Investing in Your Employees


How to Differentiate Through Learning

When PSAV, a global leader in event experiences, grew more than three times its original size over a very short period, they found themselves with more than 14,000 skilled professionals spread across 2,100 global locations. When it came to learning and development, different locations operated independently, much of it instructor-led. The team knew it was time to unify the learning culture and create a standard.

If that wasn’t enough to take on, the CEO of PSAV challenged the Learning and Development team to create a program that could elevate the talent in such a way that it would differentiate the company within its industry.

What they set out to build was extraordinary: a program that recognized that team members are the company brand. Thus, Focus on You was born with a mission to be an invaluable partner to their employees on their career journeys. Rolled out so that every single team member, including part–timers, had access to the systems that support it, Focus on You is an integrated talent management strategy that spans culture, rewards, development and career.

The cultural aspects are focused on the company’s core values. The development part of the program includes five academies and more than 10,000 new or updated learning activities. The career portion of the program is powered by a skill set matrix that has a comprehensive listing of the skills needed for every role and role-based development guides that lay out training plans. Those training plans are organized for each employee. They include certifications for many disciplines, all linked to a career–pathing tool that helps employees find the training that aligns with their desired career aspirations. And finally, the rewards program focuses on the pay, benefits and well-being of the employees.

Many of PSAV’s employees are technically savvy workers. They aspire to acquire certifications for the sake of their resume, but in the event production industry, there was no governance over certifications. PSAV took matters into its own hands and worked to build certification programs that are validated externally, so when a PSAV technician has a certification, it means something and it is industry–recognized. These certifications are public in the labor scheduling tool that customers use, so when they select a person with a certification, it reinforces its importance.

In the end, the program has had outstanding results. Not only has PSAV seen the learning culture become considerably more proactive, but the company has also seen a remarkable impact on its customers, evidenced by exceptional increases in NPS scores.

“In our industry, technical people like to claim certification on their resumes, but no one in the industry had really defined what that was. With our certification platform, we've led our industry to define and create skillset matrices for these certifications and include the external validation that was missing.”

Derek Blake

Divisional Vice President,
Global Learning & Development,