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Is Your Company’s Skill Development Programme Future Fit?

For lots of companies right now, budgets are being agreed and one line in the P & L that can always create an argument is the Training and Skill Development Programme line.

There is a great quote that floats about on Linked In. It says:

“What if we train our people and they leave?…What if we don’t and they stay?”

Training budgets are easily cut and yet if we have untrained people in our business they impact productivity for all sorts of reasons, least of all that they are inefficient and make mistakes. So why does it remain an optional extra rather than an essential component?

In my experience the problem is not usually the training it is the implementing of it afterwards. The responsibility for implementing new ideas and better ways of working lies with everyone not just the trainee. The line manager should be pre-briefing and debriefing the training to ensure that the trainee knows what they should get from it and what support they will receive after it. The line manager needs to know that the trainee at least turned up at the training and at best that the trainers cut the mustard.

In reality training should sit up with there with the strategy and there should be someone very senior holding responsibility for training. If your strategic plan is going to move you forwards then there is a high likelihood that your people will need new or improved skills to deliver it. (I still meet people who don’t think they need to learn anything new…)

Ideally the skills development programme should look something like this;

1. Define the skills you want to deliver your short and long term plans and how you are going to get them.
2. Manage your skills development portfolio.
3. Design world class learning interventions.
4. Execute flawlessly.
5. Set skills development objectives.
6. Measure success.

It sounds grand but it is just common sense – the trickiest sounding one here is ‘Design world class learning interventions’. Sounds great but you may not have world class budgets. It is about doing what you really need to do in the right way to have maximum impact.

If you want help to design your skills development programmes, give us a shout.

Penny Whitelock FinstLM

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