Friday, August 3

What groups of employees are the no-brainers to train?

I was doing some benchmarking the other day between a few different organizations. One question that was asked was, what are the "no-brainer" groups of employees to train? (And there may be a second question, what are the no-brainer topics to train, like leadership, ethics, sexual harassment, etc).

To me, the obvious groups are:

What are other obvious classes of people that should be part of a formal learning program?


Peter Isackson said...

That's a pretty thorough list. But in order to preach for my own parish, I would add two other categories:

1. anyone and everyone who does business at some level with people from overseas. That increasingly means practically everyone in the organization, from receptionists (fielding phone calls) to top management (negotiating mergers),
2. anyone who's knowledge and skill development can best be furthered by participating in a CoP (which is a little less inclusive as a category, but not necessarily).

For case 1 the training required is specifically in intercultural communication where a little bit can go a long way. From avoiding gaffes to creative problem-solving, even just a little bit of general intercultural savvy greases the machine and is a proven cost-saver (it won't prevent people from making communication mistakes, but at least helps them to recognize it when they do and have corrective strategies to solve problems before they get out of hand).

For group 2 the training is in collaborative skills and group dynamics but also should include intercultural communication. Why? Because for global organization transnational and transcultural insight is the most potent leavening agent for the growth of job related skills and certainly more effective when developed informally by the people who have the skills than by people whose major skill is talking about skills they no longer practice (i.e. traditional training and even e-learning where authoring skills are the dominant discursive force often eclipsing professional skills).

But perhaps I'm being too selfish. What this really implies is adopting a different paradigm concerning the classification of needs. We traditionally think of training as a patch or a plug to fill a gap. If we start thinking in terms of knowledge and skill growth we discover that a model of building organically rather than inspecting for holes and tears in the fabric will be far more productive and in the long run easier to manage.

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Sharp End Training said...

Good post but to some extent you don't have to worry about these people.

The group to get worried about is the negative people who don't respond to any form of training no matter how you package it up.

How do you spot these people ?

Well I read something the other day saying that the way to spot a timewaster was to listen for people who continually say they have not time.

I suppose the same is true of training -

"we never have any training around here"