As more companies come to believe that the mutual growth of the company and its staff is beneficial, continuous education has gradually become a more important part of the agenda of major corporations.
To provide first-class training and development designed to meet the company's needs, Manulife set up its own college in 2003 to offer comprehensive training programmes exclusively to its staff.
Lawrence Nutting, principal of the Manulife University and assistant vice president for regional agency development and training in Asia says: "We develop training materials to meet the knowledge and skill needs of our agents and managers in each of our territories. Manulife University staff also delivers programmes to staff level executives. The courses are related to running our operations more successfully and developing the leadership skills and business acumen necessary for our people to be successful in their roles."
The main objective of the University, Mr Nutting says, is to be a leading edge training, development and educational facility focused on sourcing, developing, delivering and monitoring, training programmes and business systems that enhance lifestyle, professionalism, productivity, leadership and business acumen.
"Programmes are designed to emphasise the professional development of local agents and managers in preparation for leadership roles within their territories and for future expansion opportunities within the Asia Division. The promotion and fostering of Manulife Financial's corporate mission, vision and values of pride is fundamental in all that we do," Mr Nutting says.
To truly reflect the essence of mutual benefit, all the programmes are tailor-made to focus on increasing and updating knowledge, enhancing the professionalism and productivity of agents and managers, and as a result increasing their own individual success. It follows, of course, that Manulife's success as a company overall will benefit.
Leading the industry in being able to support staff with quality training and development is paramount. As Mr Nutting concludes: "We will continue to add to our stable of programmes to increase our offering and further support Manulife staff and agents in the future."