With 2009 promising to be another economic trial, organizations are again looking for ways to streamline staffs and cut budgets while adjusting to new levels of productivity and progress. In addition, whether we like it or not, training is sometimes the first function to fall under scrutiny. We’ve talked about how to prove the training organization’s worth, but how can training function positively in a turbulent economy? Is there a way to use the economy to propel training and impact corporate success? In simple terms, yes, training can be a positive function in the turbulence and here are four ways to do it.
First, look at staffing and budgets across the organization. Most likely, there is less of both people and money everywhere you look. How can you propel training in that environment? Create training that creates cross-function. Many times training is geared toward one job or job group, with mobility only occurring within those groups. If you look at the overall picture of interconnectivity between organizational functions, you can determine which groups have the skills and knowledge to move into other areas, or at least take functions in those areas. When you revamp your training curricula, you can integrate these cross-functions and essentially create an “advertisement” for how associates can be utilized 100%. As associates are trained to take on multiple functions in multiple areas, they are creating a streamlined operation that will emerge from financial troubles in a better position – permanently. This new position can only create organizational success, especially when most organizations are trying to figure out how to move forward.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 20, 2009 NO COMMENTS
During tough times, a learning organization may need to make a move into e learning – the cost is lower, the maintenance is less expensive, and the personnel requirement is lower, as well. If your organization is about to make this migration, consider vital elements in three areas before you move forward: preparedness, pre-migration, and migration.
Before you actually prepare to move your organization to e learning, the first thing you should do is analyze the current organizational culture when it comes to learning. Through this analysis, you’ll discover the organization’s level of preparedness for e learning. Is there even an “e” element in the organization? Are all levels of associates accustomed to email contact and basic computer usage, or do their jobs not require this kind of contact? If there is no “e” element, you may want to consider introducing e learning at a very slow pace to allow people to get used to the idea and the access. Of course, if your organization is tech-savvy already, this part of a migration is usually easier.
By bryant.nielson On March 13, 2009 NO COMMENTS
It seems that we have the idea that New Year’s Resolutions should apply only to our personal issues, such as health, career, and family. As learning and development professionals, we can make five simple resolutions for 2009 and pave the way for more efficient and cost-effective training. Not only will you improve learning at your organization, you will continue to justify your worth in a tough economic climate.
First, promise to use needs analysis before saying, “I do” to a training request. This may be difficult in this climate, where some training organizations are hanging by a thread and expected to do whatever comes their way. But your needs analysis can be positioned as a way to get every penny’s worth of cost and time – and that’s important for organizations that are lean in pocketbook and staff.
When you are asked to take on a project, ask questions first. For example, a training request may arise from employee mistakes. In this case, ask what’s wrong. This question leads to a discussion of what the employee group is doing right now and how they are making the mistakes they are making. In cases where there is no apparent mistake, ask the stakeholders what the expected outcome is. Are employees supposed to learn a new process, a new product, a new system, or a combination of all three? From this, you can determine what the change is going to be – and how to focus your development and delivery efforts.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 10, 2009 NO COMMENTS
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