Training and Development

It’s a Matter of Choice
Training and development is truly a matter of choice, from two perspectives - do you chose to do it or not, and if you do what choice do you have when delivering it?

So the first question is - ‘Is your company truly committed to training and development?‘
Answer these questions to find out. Tick the box to the left of the statement if it is true otherwise leave the box blank. Start each statement with the words, “My organisation...”

Uses its corporate vision, objectives and strategy to determine the training needs of employees. Uses a personal development planning process to ensure the growth of every employee. Measures the performance of its managers in the area of coaching and training their people. Sees the importance of soft skills training as well as technical training. Provides a wide variety of training and development resources. Rewards employees who grow their knowledge and skills. Uses training course materials in multiple e.g. as ‘on the job aids’. Properly inducts new employees. Has a CEO who constantly reinforces the need for staff training and development. Is a learning organisation seizing every opportunity to grow people.
Total Score:

How did you score?
8 to 10 = Excellent to Very Good; your organisation is a true believer in training and development 5 to 8 = Good to Fairly Good; Your organisation needs to make a small number of specific improvements. 0 to 5 = Average to Poor; Your organisation needs to address a whole variety of issues.

The point of this exercise is simple; Unless you have the belief, culture and infrastructure in place to deliver company training, be it soft skills training or other training skills programmes then the next question is largely irrelevant.

So the second question is: ‘What choices do you have when delivering training?’
The key here is to provide variety and there are so many options to choose from these days. Which of the following training and development activities are you using? Tick those that apply to your organisation.

On the job training Coaching from immediate managers/ supervisors Peer/ buddy coaching/ training Internal courses/ workshops External courses/ workshops Company sponsored qualifications programmes E-learning and distance learning Training webinars/virtual classrooms Mobile learning using mobile phones and other devices Other learning resources including e-books, online resources, videos, podcasts etc.
Total Score:

How did you score?
8 to 10 = Excellent to Very Good; your organisation is a true believer in blended training and development solutions 5 to 8 = Good to Fairly Good; Your organisation can still benefit from using further training and development activities 0 to 5 = Average to Poor; Your organisation seriously needs to address a whole variety of training and development activities.

Best in class companies score 10 because they understand the need for a complete blend of training solutions which employees can use depending on their preferred learning styles. In fact the best companies still predominantly use on the job training and courses to deliver company wide training, using e-learning as part of pre-course preparation or as stand alone modules ( about 15 minutes maximum per module).

They increasingly use training webinars and virtual classrooms as part of the mix to train global audiences and share best practices. Best in class companies employ a Learning Management System or Capability Management System to book, track and monitor training skills programmes including technical and soft skills programmes. They make training source material available in a number of ways to reinforce on the job application of the knowledge and skills gained by employees. Managers are actively involved in coaching their people and their HR Business Managers, allocated to specific lines of business/divisions, work closely with them to create the most appropriate blended solutions.

So when it comes to making the right choices here’s a summary of what to do:
• Communicate a corporate commitment to training and development. • Publish a company training directory. • Deliver both technical training and soft skills training; do not neglect the latter. • Deliver and use training course material in a number of ways to ensure real learning and transfer of knowledge and skills into the workplace. Create the necessary infrastructure. • Get your managers working closely with HR Business Managers to translate corporate objectives into specific, targeted training and development activities.

It’s all a matter of choice!

Further Help
To view our downloadable, reproducible and customisable products on this topic, view the following:

• Training Needs Analysis Jeremy Francis CEO Buy and Train June 2012