Organizational Benefits to Training, Written by Phil Ventresca, M.B.A.
There are many studies that prove the benefit of offering training to employees that range from talent retention, acquisition, morale, and productivity. Over the years, we have discovered that training alone is not the only answer to these measurable key performance indicators (KPIs). Although training is the catalyst to a stable and productive talent pool, the fundamental driver is the culture of your organization. Leaders who promote “continuous learning” and then offer a venue for employees to take advantage of are by far, the most successful at meeting production and talent goals.
Why is this? Well, in order for team contributors to feel a level of fulfilment there also needs to be a sense of participation, purpose, and inclusion. These attributes cannot be derived from training alone, the organization and the leader must align them with practical application of newly learned skills and then embrace accountability through measurement. Ultimately, the best learning efforts offer core content that aligns to job roles, ancillary support material that can be used as a resource, and coaching/mentoring to help participants execute the new skills with support.
The concept of a “learning organization” is and always will be the premise behind this thinking, yet, in today’s progressive organization we must also consider how to be a “teaching organization.” Due to globalization, distributed workforce setting and generational diversity, the training spectrum must be a much more dynamic matrix than ever before. Employee satisfaction will come from the fulfillment of better performance and that will come from the application of learned skills. Thus, the 360 degree reality of learning is met. The organization has a goal, the employee has accountability to performance and the culture is supportive of providing the tools and training to accomplish the goals.
When companies accomplish a smooth cycle of supplying the above there is a harmony between learning and applying that can only result in better organizational and personal performance. Here are some steps that can be taken to begin the journey of building a progressive learning culture:
- Establish a cultural norm within the organization that not only promotes, but expects, learning and teaching to be a leadership mandate.
- Identify the core skill sets applicable to roles and responsibilities. Functional roles and skill families are more effective than old school competency modeling due to the distributed and cross functional nature of organizations.
- Ensure your talent acquisition strategies align to the expectations defined in #2 above.
- Create a survey and gap analysis to identify the areas of need.
- Design curriculum, learning tracks, artifacts and blended delivery modes to transfer knowledge.
- Define a performance system to ensure accountability and to draw attention to the criticality of learning within the company.
The above steps are a “macro” overview and require thoughtful consideration to ensure they align with the organizational goals and contribute positively to the process.
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