Professional development is critical for a professional services firm; consultants need to be highly trained to advise clients and develop solutions. This is particularly true in the rapidly evolving field of sustainability consulting, where accepted standards are continually refined and updated. BrownFlynn annually updates its firm dashboard, which outlines organizational objectives; team members develop their own personal dashboards that align with the firm dashboard and also include personal development goals and expectations for the calendar year. For example, since sustainability reporting and GRI training both play a significant role in BrownFlynn’s business, all consultants attend BrownFlynn’s GRI G4 certified two-day training course. Looking ahead, we will be setting a goal for all consultants to pass the GRI G4 exam.
Our senior leadership conducts mid-year and end-of-year performance reviews for all employees to measure progress on goals and accomplishments, and as a formal venue for discussion. We track employee training to ensure that our employees are able to achieve the personal development goals listed on their personal dashboards. For example, employees can attend conferences or classes aligned with their development needs. Employees also have the opportunity to contribute to thought leadership articles and conferences to develop professional writing and public speaking skills.
Every junior level team member has a senior level team member as a mentor. These mentors often work closely with the mentee, allowing for learning and development to take place every day. Mentors are an integral part of developing a mentee’s personal dashboard, and lead the mentee’s review process. Beyond working closely, mentors are responsible for checking in with mentees, not just to discuss work-related issues, but also to build a personal relationship and ensure mentees bring their ‘whole self’ to work every day.
Professional DevelopmentIndicators & Performance
Key Performance Indicators
Average Employee Training Hours
2.00 FTE, 3.25 average hours
2.00 FTE, 6.00 average hours
1.00 FTE, 0.00 average hours
2.88 FTE, 7.22 average hours
4.50 FTE, 31.06 average hours
3.02 FTE, 27.81 average hours
3.53 FTE, 10.04 average hours
4.79 FTE, 4.80 average hours
Employees Receiving Reviews
This report presents our first time disclosing G4-LA9, average training hours for consulting team members. In reviewing our training data, several learnings emerged:
In 2013, two new senior consultants and three new analysts attended BrownFlynn’s two-day GRI G4 Certified Training Course. In 2014, one new director and one new senior consultant attended this same training. The number of BrownFlynn consultants who attended this two-day session dramatically influenced our average training hours per employee category over the two-year reporting period.
BrownFlynn’s system for tracking professional development hours was not designed to differentiate between training received and training provided; therefore, identifying hours specific to G4-LA9 proved challenging. Going forward, BrownFlynn intends to reevaluate how employees enter time related to professional development to facilitate tracking and reporting on progress.
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Statement from the most senior decision-maker of the organization about relevance of sustainability to the organization and the organization’s strategy for addressing sustainability
Name of the organization
Primary brands, products, and services
Location of organization’s headquarters
Number of countries where the organization operates, and names of countries with significant operations or that are specifically relevant to the sustainability topics covered in the report
Nature of ownership and legal form
Scale of the reporting organization
Total workforce by employment type, employment contract, and region, broken down by gender
Percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
Description of the organization’s supply chain
Significant changes during the reporting period regarding organization's size, structure, ownership, or supply chain
Whether and how the precautionary approach or principle is addressed by the organization
Externally developed economic, environmental, and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or endorses
Memberships in associations and/or national/international advocacy organizations
Entities included in the organization consolidated financial and nonfinancial reports
Process for defining report content
Material aspects identified in the process for defining report content
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary within the organization
For each material aspect, the aspect boundary outside the organization
Explanation of the effect of and reasons for any restatements of information provided in earlier reports
Significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and aspect boundaries
List of stakeholder groups engaged by the organization
The basis for identification and selection of stakeholders with whom to engage
The organization’s approach to stakeholder engagement, including frequency of engagement by type and by stakeholder group, and an indication of whether any of the engagement was undertaken specifically as part of the report preparation process
Key topics and concerns that have been raised through stakeholder engagement, and how the organization has responded to those key topics and concerns, including through its reporting. Report the stakeholder groups that raised each of the key topics and concerns
Date of most recent previous report
Contact point for questions regarding the report or its contents
‘In accordance’ option and GRI Content Index
Policy and current practice with regard to seeking external assurance for the report
Governance structure of organization, including committees of the highest governance body
The organization’s values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics
Disclosure on Management Approach for Aspect
Coverage of the organization’s defined benefit plan obligations.
Financial assistance received from government.
Significant indirect economic impacts, including the extent of impacts.
Total number and rates of new employee hires and employee turnover by age group, gender and region.
Average hours of training per year per employee, by gender and by employee category.
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews, by gender and by employee category.