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Implementing a training solution in the face of inadequate systems and procedures – opinion


Dave Green, senior consultant at Training for Advancement, offers a trainer's perspective on the system failures that prevent organisations from making the most of development opportunities.

Having spent many years working in a hard-nosed profit-focussed organisation, I have learnt that for any training intervention to be truly successful we must be able to prove we have added value to the business, ideally in the form of pound notes on the “bottom line”. The effect of this has been that when brainstorming new training or employee development initiatives, high on the list of points to consider is “do we have the resources, systems and procedures in place to achieve our objectives?” If the answer is yes (or no but they could be) then we go ahead. If the answer is no and we can’t do anything about it, we move onto something where they are in place.

Now that I have moved on in to training consultancy, life can be very frustrating at times. After researching the clients’ business needs, designing and delivering a programme to meet those needs and then agreeing post- course action plans with delegates, the initiative can dissolve like a blancmange left out in the rain because the system, or perhaps more importantly the will to put the system in place, just isn’t there.

There are numerous examples I could mention, but two spring immediately to mind. Firstly, there was the client who identified a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a margin management initiative. Unfortunately, it was only after the initiative had been rolled out to all the UK branches that we found out that the system could not produce an accurate P & L Account that included the KPIs.

Secondly, the new appraisal system that was introduced throughout the organisation. Every manager dutifully completed it, but nobody took responsibility for actioning the training needs that were identified.

It’s becoming more and more evident by the day that achieving sales and profit plans is getting tougher. Usually when this happens, one of the first things to be cut is the training budget. This means as training professionals we must ensure that we add value in everything we do. My plea to all CEOs and their senior management teams is, help us to help you by showing your commitment to training and employee development by providing quality systems and procedures that can turn “nice to have” training in to an essential business tool.

David Green
Training For Advancement


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