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Best practice in training management


Roy Davis, Head of Communications at SHL, responds to our theme Adding Value in Training with some observations on best practice in training management.

What would you add to these? Post your comments below or email us.

The key to successful performance at work is to get people with appropriate skills working in a relevant job, and then manage and motivate them to give their best. Training is a critical part of this process, both for individuals and the business as whole. We know from our own research report, 'People: the Phoney War', that there is a direct correlation between training expenditure and profitability. It is not just hearsay but a proven fact.

There are a number of critical steps that organisations must follow to obtain the best from their training and performance development programmes:

- Firstly, understanding the capability of people is essential. Often we hear people described as incapable. The real problem is we don't understand what their capability is.

- This leads to the next issue: what does good look like for our organisation? What are the jobs that need doing, not just now but in the future? These need to be defined in terms of both hard and soft skills.

- Mapping the first point onto the second identifies the skills gap which training may or may not be able to bridge, depending on the individual's capacity or willingness to change. If they are unwilling to do either, then consideration needs to be given to their long-term role within the business.

- Once the above steps have been taken, we now have a framework for development and training. Sounds complex? It isn't. The internet now plays a key role in enabling the deployment of objective measures, making understanding development and training needs much easier for businesses. When this is coupled with blended learning, the process of putting the correct training in place becomes very effective.

- Linking people's development to business objectives is essential in getting the most out of any intervention. This gives purpose to the whole process. Training and development do not require huge investment - for example, pragmatic, on the job learning can be as or more effective than training courses in many instances.

- To get the best out of employees in the long term, managers need to be trained in people management. Unfortunately many managers feel unprepared to manage their people. Organisations must address the training needs of managers themselves for training of other staff to be effective.

- Finally, it is essential that the effect of training and development is monitored thoroughly for effectiveness. In many organisations, training spend is rather like the old adage regarding advertising spend - half is wasted, but the trouble is we don't know which half. Continuous assessment and development of training programmes and mapping the outputs on to organisational gain is therefore critical to improving the success of the business as a whole.

What would you add to these? Post your comments below or email us.


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