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Coding for development programme


Hi there

I have designed a 3 month development programme for all core roles we have in our retail sites. I had used the following coding system which I use to differenciate between the materials and subjects for each role:

LV1: Showroom staff

LV2: Sales staff

LV3: Management

My manager feels that using levels is a bit hierarchical and has asked me to come up with a different way of differenciating the levels.

I have hit a mental block and could do with some thoughts from others..

Thanks in advance


3 Responses

  1. what’s in a name?

    Hi Seanade

    "a rose by any other name still has thorns"~ if the organisation uses hierarchies then changing the names will just be a smokescreen.

    You could aim the differentiation at knowledge and skills rather than hierarchical levels: even managers need sales skills and showroom staff and sales staff need some managerial skills 



  2. Hierarchy and Role descriptors


    Rus is right, this could end up being a smoke screen. However, if the organisation is trying to be less hierarchical, then such labels are small symbol gestures that can either support or undermine your efforts.

    I think a minor semantic tweak to reflect roles rather than levels might be sufficient (and maybe not listing them in a hierarchical order). For example:

    1. For those involved in selling
    2. For those involved in managing others
    3. For those involved in demonstrating


    PS For those interested in hierachy more generally, see:
    Death of Hierarchy at

  3. Coding for a development programme

    Dear Sinaid

    I empathise with your dilemma, but is it the right one?

    Training needs should surely come from due performance-management processes, not (dare I say?) global ‘sheep-dip’ training solutions.  That’s what gives ‘training’ such a bad name.  (And if you have ever trained a bunch of unwilling trainees, which many report here from time to time, or have ever been one yourself, you’ll know precisely just why!)

    And if your company doesn’t have a decent performance-management process, how will you ever evaluate the investment?

    One of the greatest challenges for any staff function is to support line-managers to make great decisions to help themselves, and sometimes that means saying what may not be popular at the time but eventually becomes strangely obvious in due course.  You may get no plaudits for this, but at least you’ll know you served your organisation well!

    So what about starting with a really useful staff-appraisal process and subsequent Training and Developmenht Needs Analysis?  Personally, I wouldn’t agree to any training without this, either as an employer or as a professional trainer.  But Coding – surely not the issue?

    I hope this may be both helpful and relevant!

    Kind regards



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