Establish a Link Between Training Intervention and Business Needs

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How do you create a buy-in for trainings at workplace?

Creating a learning culture in an organisation is a continuous activity which must ensure that it creates and shows value as to how it impacts positively to business. It must be driven from top to bottom in an organisation. However, it is the responsibility of L&D professional to create and drive the business results through various learning interventions. We focus on training programs which bring attitude change in employees, thereby, change in behaviour which results in achieving organisational goals and buy-in for training becomes easy. Following a structured process for training and development also helps in creating confidence that we have a plan to achieve our goal. Some of the key features of the process are following:

  • Training needs analysis at three levels i.e. Organisational, Functional & Individual. This gives us in-depth analysis as to which area we should focus more to meet our organisational requirements.
  • Detailed training plan is communicated to all stakeholders (participants, managers, leadership team) well in advance  to ensure day to day operations does not get hampered.
  • Training feedback analysis is shared with faculty and leadership team to show the feedback of participants and if any course correction is required for future trainings.
  • Training effectiveness analysis is done with inputs received from managers’ of participants to ensure how training has impacted to help improve employee’s attitude and behaviour at workplace and whether the training has helped achieved the organisational goals.

How do you motivate your leaders to undergo a training intervention?

I believe success and motivation goes hand in hand. So, creating an awareness that by upgrading and updating the skills through training intervention is going to help them achieve the current and future organisational goals, gives leaders enough motivation to undergo a training intervention.  A Learning and Development professional must be able to establish a link between training intervention and business needs. He/she must be able to show that training intervention is going to create value in any of the following:

  • Increase in productivity
  • Increase in Profit
  • Decrease in Cost
  • Enhance Employee Morale
  • Build Effective Teams
  • Decrease turnover
  • Enhance Communication
  • Improve Customer Service Orientation

Tips for a budding HR/L&D professional?

Most important trait any HR/L&D professional to have an attitude of service orientation which helps him/her to go an extra mile to help people and thereby, achieving his/her organisational goals. A budding HR/L&D professional must focus on his/her learning experience for at least first ten years of his/her career. Meanwhile, he/she should also keep on creating awareness about himself/herself on SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and interest area where he/she would like to make career. Accordingly, one must create a Career Development Plan (CDP) for short term and long term. The plan must be S.M.A.R.T. i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time Bound. Keep on visiting your CDP on regular intervals and make necessary course corrections. In this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertainty, Complex & Ambiguous) world, one should always focus on learning and building new skills continuously. Other skills which he/she must possess are:

  • Functional Skill
  • Planning and Organising
  • Goal Setting and Prioritising
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Effective Communication Skill
  • Excellence Presentation Skill
  • Influencing Skill

One HR/L&D practices that has always worked for you as an HR.

Creating and designing impactful training program and communicating same to all stakeholders (Participants, Managers & Leaders) well in advance has always worked for me to ensure that I achieve my learning and development goals.

For example, analysing training needs and creating a training calendar in co-ordination with various internal and external training faculty and sharing the same with training participants, their Manager’s and Leadership team in organisation has always helped to mobilise the resources and plan proactively and deliver the result.

How do you build great teams within the organisation?

In this era of dynamic global competition, successful companies manage their people by empowering rather than over powering. So, a successful company is made up of Self Directed Work Teams (SDWT). SWDT members must decide how they want to work together. Because a manager or boss does not lead, they must agree on the rules and deadlines for accomplishing their purpose.

I would like to share a story where in as part of Talent Management process, we identified high potential employees (HiPos) basis predefined criteria. The HiPos undergo a series of structured training programs over a period of six months to help them bridge the managerial skill gap. In order to check their progress of development, we formed SDWT comprising two – three team members of cross function in each team. A live project was given to each team along with a mentor to guide and a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to provide functional expertise.

The project was supposed to be completed within a timeline. Progress and success of the teams were done through Midterm and Final presentations by each team. The focus on this exercise was not whether HiPots achieve the success in the project or not but how successfully they have been able to implement their learnings on the job and their approach to complete the project. This activity has helped in identifying and developing leaders which can be given higher or more responsibility.

Tips to overcome Silo mentality at workplace?

Employees can overcome silo mentality at workplace if we make them aware of importance of team work in business value chain. How their output of work becomes the input work for other team members and if correct input is given at first go, correct output will be delivered at first go itself, thus, rework , will be avoided and productivity will increase. This awareness can be created among employees by following ways:

  • Training on importance of team work  
  • Awareness session on Process work flow within team
  • Awareness session on Process work flow for employees whose work involves dealing with employees of other function (cross functional team)

Disclaimer: The responses to the questions are solely the views of the interviewee as a professional and do not reflect that of the Organisation he/she works for.

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