Training employees

by Global Expert Systems

“So, training and development are about survival. You want to train your people and improve their skills while they are on board because your business success depends on updating their skills. Status quo in business these days often results in failure.

“Enhancing their skills makes you more competitive and builds a better workforce for your future, no matter how long staff stays on the job. Furthermore, if your employees see that you are willing to invest in their future, they are likely to remain with you longer and be more productive.”

Johnny C. Taylor and Gary M. Stern

Who is responsible for employee training?

There is no organisation today that will be sustainable if it chooses not to train and develop its talent pool. Furthermore, with today’s highly skilled workers and the wide availability of good training in the Caribbean, the employee who invests in his or her own development will show no loyalty to any organisation.

Here are some of the reasons organisations are reluctant to invest in employee training and development:

1. Fear they may lose their talent to a competitor;

2. The company is doing well and very profitable so there is a view that training will not add any more to the bottom line;

3. Training should only take place out of absolute necessity (new legislation, new products, major problems to be corrected);

4. Failure to see the linkage between everyday operations and long term strategy;

5. “Why train during an economic downturn?”

6. They simply cannot link training to return on investment.

How to convince management?

We believe that the issue of convincing senior management on a positive ROI is the biggest hurdle to overcome. In all fairness, millions of dollars have been spent on training in the Caribbean and many organizations argue that they are not seeing results. Here is a simple technique to develop your training:

1. Breakdown you strategic plan into a realistic 12 month organisational work plan (without losing sight of your three-year strategy)

2. Maintain an updated database of your entire talent pool showing their:

a. Job descriptions

b. Current skills, qualifications and certifications

c. Competencies

d. Performance reviews

3. Identify your training needs based on the following:

a. Long-term strategy (three years)

b. Short term action plan (12 months)

c. Ongoing operations that must be currently retooled

d. Measurement of staff turnover

e. New legislation

f. Local, regional and global trends affecting your industry

g. Available budget

4. Develop a training plan and stick to it

5. Link your training plan to measurable outcomes

6. Link your outcomes to incentives

7. Review you plan after 12 months to see how successful it was.

This is the key to convincing senior management. Training can no longer be done without a mapping of performance indicators, measurements, incentives and a demand for results.

Investing in yourself

Finally, we do not believe that we have to convince you the employee to invest in yourself. Here are some options:

1. Consider online learning because the price has been dropping over the past few years;

2. Look at your own long-term strategic career goals and invest in training that matches those goals;

3. Consider training and skills for a second career option;

4. Remember that you must have good IT skills so you should always seek to be on the cutting edge in this department;

5. Most training has a relatively short shelf life; so please be careful to spend your money wisely and consider this fact. Next week in Part 2, we will delve into “What to look for in online training?”

For access to the entire series of GES articles in pdf. feel free to download them from

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