Thursday, April 26, 2018

Getting the best from Training Programs

Training is an activity that is coordinated by HR cell in organisations. Training programs across businesses in Kolkata and around have started growing in numbers gradually in the past few years. But most such training fail to add value to the organisation.

Outbound training is normally being used to reward the participants by providing them the opportunity of going out on a paid sightseeing in the name of developing skills / knowledge. I say this because I haven't seen a post-training process or effort that supports the application of skills and knowledge gathered in the training. The high motivation carried back to work by participants gradually fade off when they do not find any structure or encouragement for utilizing the lessons they had learnt.

In-house training outcomes have been more meaningful as they are normally used to deliver specific knowledge or inputs that participants need to do their jobs better. And they are able to relate to the training purpose better. However, the lack of structured support or encouragement for implementing learnt ideas do have an impact here too. In absence of this only the participants with inner desire or self-drive make some effort to implement their learning.

KPIs used for measuring training performance also has a negative influence on training. KPIs such as 'Hours of training' in a year by any person does not ensure any seriousness in the participants to apply learning. Everyone tries to comply with the stated procedures only and not get noticed as non-compliant. Ultimately, Training is considered a necessary evil to show to the world that WE ALSO CARE FOR OUR EMPLOYEES. Businesses are eventually losing out on the potential business gains from training in general.

I feel to get the best out of training, we should use it with caution and with a long-term perspective. Generally, it shouldn't be a one off exercise. Training objective and the changes that we expect post-training for the participants and / or the organisation and after how much time must be defined before we work on the design and content. The training faculty or trainer, participants and the requisitioning authorities need to work together to come up with the right training design. The training design should indicate the follow up approach post training delivery. Measure of training success or KPIs should consider the achievement of the change objectives instead of 'hours of training attended'.

I am sure these steps towards an improved training process can enhance the respect employers and employees have in Training or Training Managers.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Do business owners really want teamwork?

Most business owners talk in favour of teamwork. They all want the team members to do their best to help each other so that the organisation as a team wins. Always! Nothing wrong in this expectation. In fact its a great thought and approach.

However, the business owners normally fail to demonstrate their faith in teamwork in the systems and processes they follow. Strangely, we tend to find that the organisation processes are normally designed to THROTTLE teamwork instead of supporting it! Some common examples of this conflicting approach can be seen when individual performances are measured, compared and rewarded in various ways. Some companies also have this practice of weeding out non-top performers every year - which means a top performer retained any year may not get selected in the top performing bracket in the following year and runs the risk of being screened out too.

Should we expect the team members to support one another in the above conditions and enhance their risk of getting screened out or lose out on rewards? The answer is a resounding NO!

The solution is simple. If you want teamwork in your business, facilitate teamwork, measure teamwork outcomes and reward teams! One may argue that team rewards promote mediocrity. But what matters more to a business - Individual brilliance, sporadic performance for personal gains, and total dependence on a few individuals and increasing business risks, or, consistent performance by a team of people who enjoy working together and supporting each other for common good and minimize business risks?

Business owners must make their choice wisely.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Why this blog

There have been so many occasions in the past when I have had a profound learning experience while working with my clients or in training workshops. I always treasured these learning or knowledge more than that I gathered in classrooms or through books. Not that I don't read books or don't consider the wisdom compiled in those books. But when the same knowledge gathered from various books got tested live in front of my own eyes, a different level of understanding replaced the previous knowledge. It is a state of understanding where I could adapt the knowledge suiting the context, when I could develop a corollary or extend the knowledge to fulfil the desired objective or implement an idea. Awareness and application of these corollaries or extensions of the basic knowledge gives us our today's identity and brings out our signature style.

This blog would serve two objectives - to document all the empirical knowledge and to share the special knowledge with all those discerning seekers who could further the use and growth  of knowledge.