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Strategic Training and Development: a Gateway Essay

Strategic Training and Development: a Gateway to Organizational Success BY lasagnas Strategic Training and Development: A Gateway to Organizational Success Abstract Organizational success depends on the knowledge, skills and abilities of the workforce. In a learning organization, retention of talent, Intellectual capital and knowledge management are vital to support the company’s mission, vision and strategic goals. Trends such as globalization, technology, outsourcing, the aging workforce and competition for talent all contribute to the necessity to invest in human capital.

Thus, to promote competitive advantage, a key HRS leadership role is to identify, design and implement strategic training and development initiatives. Introduction Traditionally, the purpose of training and development has been to ensure that employees can effectively accomplish their Jobs. Today, the business environment has changed, with Intense pressure on organizations to stay ahead of the competition through Innovation and reinvention.

In fact, according to the 2006 SHRUG Workplace Forecast, the Importance of continued learning Is an overarching trend of societal needs, Indicating that organizations must foster learning as a social accessibility to ensure they are competitive in the global marketplace. ‘ By definition, training and development refers to the process to obtain or transfer knowledge, skills and abilities needed to carry out

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a specific activity or task. A The benefits of training and development-?for both the employer and employee-?are, in fact, much broader.

To meet current and fixture business demands, training and development encompasses a wide range of learning actions, from training for tasks and knowledge sharing to improved customer service and career development, thus expanding individual, group and organizational effectiveness. Strategic positioning of training and development directly promotes organizational business goals and objectives (see Figure 1). Key business challenges require that companies thoughtfully evaluate their market position and determine the talent, skills and knowledge to be successors.

While the overall responsibility for training and development usually falls under the human resources department, the reporting relationship between HRS and the training function varies from company to company. For purposes of discussion in this article, it is assumed that HRS has responsibility for he training and development affliction. The Business Case In The New American Workplace, authors James Tooled and Edward E. Lealer Ill highlight key trends that point to why organizations must focus on continual learning and job training: rapid changes in technology, the exportation of jobs (e. G. Level), global competition and the aging workforce. Yet, while many organizations increasingly focus on training, development tends to be neglected. As a result of the shift: if-mom company to individual responsibility for career development, not all employers feel obligated to provide development opportunities. Further, when economic times are difficult, development becomes a prime target for budget cuts. However, Tooled and Lealer emphasize the social and moral responsibility of the organization to develop employees beyond their current Job and offer opportunity- Figure 1 | Trends that Affect Training and Development 1 .

Focus on business needs and performance. 2. Training and development seen as a key change management vehicle. 3. Emphasis on capture, interactive update, storage, protection and use of intellectual capital. 4. Promotion of learning management systems, integration of business processes and real-time learning. 5. Development of readerships for training. 6. Increasing demand for virtual work arrangements. 7. Delivery of training through new technologies. Source: Adapted from None, R. A. (2005). Employee training and development {TTT edition). Boston: McGraw. Hill/Larkin.

SOCIETY FOR H U M A N RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ties to learn and grow, for career and social mobility. A At the same time, due to the shift to a knowledge-based economy, there is an increased drive to develop learning organizations. Business trends such as rapid advances in technology, changing definitions of competencies for leadership and global competition are fueling the deed to create learning organizations. The business advantages of continuous learning-?expansion of human capital knowledge and business performance-?place HRS in the key leadership role to focus on strategy, design and implementation of training and development. * Still other trends emphasize the importance of training and development. Intellectual capital has become a critical factor for competitive advantage. The development of partnerships for knowledge sharing (e. G. , consultants and/or academic partners as subject matter experts in webzines) has increased. To evolve specialized programs, such as executive programs in corporate university settings, training departments often work closely with academic partners to prepare high-potential employees for leadership roles.

A Further, competition due to globalization is a significant business challenge, thus bringing focus on the importance of global mindset. These trends and business challenges have created the need for strategic approaches to training and development. HRS ability to align human capital resources with the business 2. Expand the view of whom to train. 3. Accelerate the pace of employee learning. 4. Prepare employees to deal better Differences in industry, business goals, human capital skills and resources influence the selection of learning imperatives. Tragedy and improve workforce skills through Figure 2). With customers. 5. Ensure that employees believe there are opportunities to learn and grow. 6. Effectively capture and share knowledge. 7. Diagnose and modify the work environment to support transfer and learning. To determine appropriate strategic learning imperatives, HRS explores and gathers information (see Figure 3). For example, regarding diversification of the company’s learning portfolio, en might ask, “How are resources allocated. ” Or, to accelerate the pace of learning, an important question is “Which employee groups need to quickly acquire new According to the 200710b Satisfaction, a Survey Report by the Society for Human Resource Management, the ability to use skills in the workplace and the opportunity for career development were rated as very important by both HRS and employees. ‘ Employees want opportunities to grow (sec Figure 4), or they will leave. Factors in Strategic Training and Development When strategically applied, continuous learning fosters knowledge and skills acquisition to help the organization achieve its goals.

HRS role is to establish and implement a high-level roadman for strategic training and development. The starting point is an in-depth understanding of the business environment, knowledge of the organization’s goals and insight regarding training and development options. HRS must then develop strategic learning imperatives (high-level, learning-related actions that an organization takes to be competitive) that align with business goals. The selection of learning imperatives. Below are some examples. *” 1 . Diversify the learning portfolio.

Figure 2 | The Strategic Training and Development Process j ; Business Strategy ” Mission ; Values ; Goals -* Strategic Training and Development initiatives ; Diversify the learning portfolio ” Accelerate the pace of employee learning ; improve customer service ; Capture and share knowledge -* Training and Development Activities ; Use web-based training ; Make development planning mandatory ; Develop web sites for knowledge sharing -В» Metrics that Socio Value of Training ; ; ; ; ; Learning Performance improvement Reduced customer complaints Reduced turnover Employee satisfaction Source: None, R.

A. (2005). Employee trauma and development 33rd edition l. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Larkin. Cafeterias Training and Development: A Gateway to Organizational Success 2 taking with them valuable institutional knowledge. As highlighted in Charm’s 2007 Benefits survey report, companies today offer a broad range of benefits to help employees advance in their careers: 96% offer professional development opportunities (e. G. Seminars, conferences, courses, training to keep skills current); 91% pay for professional memberships; 27% offer career counseling; 26% offer a formal mentoring program; 12% offer foreign (non-English) language classes; and 6% opportunities for growth and learning generate significant returns on employee retention, motivation, trust and initiative. For example, global organizations committed to employee development (e. G.. Proctor & Gamble, Intel, Boeing, Cisco, Dell, PepsiCo) attract highly qualified candidates. ” Therefore, initiatives such as strategic training and development that directly support the organization’s strategic goals and objectives are essential. To evaluate training and development-? from pre- to post- training-?HRS should follow a sequenced process to determine the strategic value of raining outcomes: 1) conduct a needs analysis; 2) develop measurable learn- inning outcomes and analysis of transfer of training; 3) develop outcome measures; 4) select an evaluation strategy; and 5) plan and execute the evaluation process.

Training outcomes include cognitive outcomes (safety rules, steps in appraisal process), skill-based outcomes (listening and coaching skills), affective outcomes (satisfaction with training, attitudes regarding other cultures), results (lower absenteeism, fewer accidents), and return on investment (economic value measured in dollars). ” .NET, keeping end results in mind, such as performance and capacity goals; 2) leveraging learning/ knowledge assets; and 3) including key organizational characteristics in the overall integrated approach to training and development. Training and development programs also offer opportunities to employees to build internal and external networks and learn from other participants” Today, the relationship between the organization and the employee has changed. There is greater emphasis placed on the value of individual and team contributions to find business solutions. The employee is viewed as a ‘learning customer’, bringing arsenal preferences and motivation to the workplace. The learning organization therefore requires an environment that supports growth for individual capability and experience and, at the same time, increases business performance. A For learning to truly benefit both the organization and the employee, the employer must consider the learner-? the employee-?as a vital investment for business success. In the book Work-Based Learning, author Joseph Railing recommends action learning to support learning-work integration” The following mint-case study illustrates a direct link teens the organization’s mission and action learning that benefits both the employer and the employee, highlighting the strategic link between learning, motivation and organizational effectiveness.

Mini-Case Study #1 – Providing Reliable and Superior Customer Service” This world-class luxury hotel company is known for reliable and superior customer service. To maintain its high standards-and guarantee that a new best practice is reliable and transferable-the organization requires Benefits of a Learning Organization In 1990, Peter Gene’s book, U Fifth Dimension, brought the concept and value of a earning organization to the attention of the business community. A To develop, nurture and maintain a learning organization requires strategic focus on the purpose effective, leadership support and guidance of continuous learning is vital, beginning with the CEO. For applied learning, a supportive work environment is critical (see Figure 5). To reap business benefits, HRS should focus on: 1) designing training and develop- Figure 3 | Recommendations to Determine Strategic Training Imperatives ‘ Examine the distribution of current and learning offerings (by type and audience). ;

Understand which Jobs have the most rapidly changing knowledge requirements. ; Pinpoint areas where customer contact personnel may know less than the customers with whom they interact. ; Assess employee perceptions of growth and learning opportunities. ; Examine how organizational changes are affecting knowledge and skill requirements. ; Audit how well current offerings are aligned with strategic needs. ; Diagnose the readiness of the work environment to support continuous learning. Source: Adapted from Attainment, S. (2006).

A strategic view of organizational training and learning. In K. Kroger (Deed. , Creating, implementing and managing effective training and development: State-oaf-TFH)e-art sessions far practice (up. 10-53). San Francisco: Josses-Bass. SIRS any unique practice that is changed, refined or updated by an employee be simple, process-specific and reliable for quality and cost. When changes are recommended by an employee, the development opportunity is for the employee to take on the role of ‘intimate consultant’ to other hotels within the organization.

To duplicate the new best practice, the employee provides information to the hotels with a follow-up visit to ensure the practice is correctly duplicated and applied. If the new practice is successfully transferred, the company assists the employee with his or her next career move within the organization. Thus, the policy to transfer best-in-company practices, through studied the relation to training transfer and the impact of training characteristics such as work environment factors, training design variables and trainee characteristics.

In particular, the social identification of work problems and situations), thus linking learned capability and real-world application. ” Potential obstacles that inhibit transfer For the organization to gain true value from strategic training and development, noir management must be fully committed to organizational learning learning theory points to the criticality of self-efficacy for effective learning.

Key factors are the employee level of motivation, ability to understand and previous knowledge and skill. Value is also influenced by goal setting (for example, organizational commitment to training, work performance expectations and/or acquisition of new skills) and regarding training is the cognitive theory of transfer, a process model of learning. According to this theory, the likelihood of transfer is dependent on the trainee’s ability to retrieve and use learned capabilities in the workplace.

In training programs, training transfer is northern enhanced through application assignments that create simulations to apply learning in the work setting (e. G.. Of learning include work conditions (time pressures, few opportunities to ties skills), lack of peer support (discouragement of use of new skills/ knowledge on the Job, training viewed as a waste of time), and lack of management support (managers who do not offer training opportunities, reinforce training or provide encouragement for employees to use training content).

Self-management skills, behaviors and strategies can help employees to overcome such barriers, such as setting goals to use new skills, finding ways to apply learning on the Job, monitoring use of new learning on the Job and providing self-reinforcement. Finally, by improving and/or building on the work climate to transfer training, the value of training can be flirter optimized. The following recommendations by researchers Machine and Bogart offer strategies that HRS can use to positively influence training outcomes: 1) provide trainees with social cues (e. . , written acknowledgment by manager of work well done, such as in the reference appraisal process) that validate that transfer training is supported by management; 2) provide positive reinforcement (recognition in company newsletter); 3) provide evidence of targeted improved performance due to transfer training; and 4) link transfer of training to future Job success. A’ Through such Innovative employees, supports both the organization and the employee by providing improved customer service and rewarding the employee.

The Value of Training and Development For the organization to gain true value flood strategic training and development, noir management must be filly committed to organizational learning (see Figure 6). Consequently, it is important that HRS timberlands the concept of training transfer (I. E. , transfer of learning). Researchers have developed theoretical models and Figure 4 | Key Employee Development Strategies Mentoring or coaching 360 degree feedback, formal coaching, day-to-day interactions with leaders Personal development plan villain options {e. G. Reading, attending conferences, visiting other companies, engaging in experiences to broaden perspectives) Temporary assignments Mobility Outside experience Participating in ad hoc teams projects in addition to regular duties), internships, Job swaps Learning from stretch assignments (e. G. , functional rotations, international assignments to develop global sensitivity) Participation in community service, sabbaticals, fellowships to universities Source: Adapted from Lurch, D. , & Brocks, W. (20051. The HRS value proposition. Boston: Horrors Business Review. Trainees and by establishing policies and practices that support training and development, HRS flirter reinforces the message that the organization values learning. Involved in training, program materials, equipment rentals and travel costs. Indirect costs include general office supplies, travel and expenses not billed to one program and training department staff salaries and benefits not related to one program . AAA A cost-benefit Return on Investment analysis is the process to determine the Today, training programs cannot nonnumeric value of a training program. Y be a ‘good idea’ but must directly The primary factors involved in a relate to measurable performance metros-benefit analysis are 1) direct costs; RISC that will advance the company’s 2) indirect costs; 3) development business plans. Return on investment sots; 4) overhead costs; 5) lost pro(Roll), a process that compares the diction costs; and 6) compensation monetary benefits or outcomes of for trainers. The cost-benefit analysis training with the cost of training, is a should also include factors such as the critical factor for strategic training and outcomes (e. . , number of accidents) development. ROI benefits/outcomes and annual amount of benefits (I. E. , is the value gained by the organization. Operational results). Specific metrics For example, nonbinding that results that can be applied to measure training in retention of new Taft = decreased include training costs per hour (total cost of turnover, and increased sustaining costs divided by total training tome base due to improved call center hours), number of employees trained service = increased member retention (employees trained divided by the and/or revenue base. Total number of employees), and training costs (total training cost divided by Training programs have direct and number of employees trained). Directorate costs. Examples of direct costs inning programs that have clearly defined are salaries and benefits of employees goals and outcomes-?and have an impact that can be isolated-?are best suited Figure 5 | Work Environment Factors that for ROI analysis. Affect Continuous Learning ; Tolerance of mistakes during learning ; Use of assignments to develop people ; Openness to new ideas and change ” Training policies and practices ; Supervisor encouragement for learning and innovation ; Situational constraints to learning {time, resources) ; Co- worker support ; Opportunities to use newly acquired skills on the Job ; Encouragement to share knowledge ; Availability of space for collaboration ; Reward ND recognition practices ; Channels of communication Source: Tutankhamen, S. (2002).

A strategic view oaf organizational training and learning. In K. Krieger (Deed. ), Creating, implementing and managing effective training and development: State-oaf- the-art Texans far practice {up. 10-53). San Francisco: Josses-Bass. Satisfaction, continuous improvement, operating efficiency); and financial (e. G. , growth, profitability, shareholder value). ” Although this article does not allow for further in-depth discussion of ROI, it is clearly of strategic importance in the evaluation of training and development. Technology is a filamentary training platform.

A number of factors contribute to the increasing use of technology in training and development: 1) the decreased cost of technology; 2) the increasing use of the World Wide Web, multimedia, e-learning and upcoming technologies, such as web conferencing platforms; 3) greater use of contingent workers (part-timers, consultants) to deliver training, no matter the geographic location of trainer and trainee; 4) significant cost savings (travel, housing, food); and 5) the ability to build different elements into programs to improve the learning environment (practice, feedback, reinforcement).

As a result of technological advances, organizations gain in innovation, effectiveness and success. For example, training programs that combine various technologies (such as instructional design, computer science and graphic interfaces) have the potential to help employees increase their ability to learn. New technology also leads to the development of ‘smart’ products that assist employees to do their Job better, such as improved customer service (technology to track shipping and delivery processes).

Additionally, with the increase of virtual work arrangements, technology connects virtual knowledge teams where employees may be located in multiple time zones, different countries, and/ or companies. AAA Consequently, much To measure the ROI of training and development, some organizations use the balanced scorecard approach. The balanced scorecard has four perspectives that training and development can influence: customer (such as with metrics such as performance, service, cost, time, quality); internal (e. G. Processes that can influence customer satisfaction); innovation and learning (e. G. , employee cosset K) 8 HUMAN Irreconcilableness Simi Today, training programs cannot merely be a ‘good idea’ but must directly relate to sharable performance metrics that will advance the company’s business plans. Traditional classroom instruction is being replaced by technology, through interfaces such as the Internet, intranets and CD-ROOMS. For trainers, the benefits of online learning include streamlining the learning process and not having to coordinate schedules with trainees.

For trainees, the benefits include the ability to access courses online without having to leave work and Just in time’ learning. Technology also allows for the design of training material that promotes learning motivation, stimulation and retention. The underlying assumptions of these benefits are cost reductions and efficiency of learning. A* From a strategic viewpoint, however, research reveals questions regarding the effectiveness of learning processes and outcomes of technologically training in organizations.

For example, it is important that learner characteristics are built into the technology to facilitate-?not hinder-? active and engaged learning. Depending on the organization’s strategic goals, HRS will want to explore and select the best programs by considering issues such as online available processes for learning and outcome evaluations. A” In addition, design and livery of training are critical aspects of individualized learning. While beyond the scope of this article, HRS would benefit FL-mom being aware of certain factors of technology instruction, such as structure (does it support a learning environment? . Presentation of information (does it facilitate active learning? ), and learner control (can employees select content focus area, the sequence of learning and the intended learning strategies? ). A* With these factors in mind, HRS will be better positioned to strategically evaluate programs for the organization. Strategic change management initiative, the CUE can restore intellectual capital lost wrought delaying (I. E. , creating an organization with fewer layers), downsizing and mergers.

BABE Systems is an example of a company that has used the corporate university as a strategic process for post-merger integration, creating a learning organization, establishing knowledge management across business units and developing senior leaders. A’ Through the use of technology and e-learning, the CUE is rapidly becoming a virtual learning organization. Learning programs optimize resources through substantial cost savings (e. G. , reduced time away FL-mom the Job) and delivery flexibility (e. G. Pace of learning, reaching employees in geographically dispersed areas and at virtual work bases).

AAA In fact, the 2006 SHRUG Workplace Forecast cites the increased development and use of e-learning as a top trend. ” The following mint-case study offers insight into benefits and barriers of e-learning as related to the corporate university. Corporate Universities As a vehicle for strategic training and development, the corporate university (CUE) has been gaining in popularity and sophistication, with approximately 1,000 established each year. The CUE encourages a learning culture, drives strategic change, develops reiterative and promotes innovation.

Its purpose is to create deliberate formative experiences that serve a number of strategic priorities, such as integration, culture building and knowledge management. A key Figure 6. The Learning Organization Feature Continuous learning ! Description Employees share learning with each other and use Job as basis for applying and creating knowledge. Systems are developed for creating, capturing and sharing knowledge. Employees are encouraged to think in new ways, see relationships and feedback loops and test assumptions. Learning is rewarded, promoted and supported by managers and company objectives.

Employees are free to take inks, innovate, explore new ideas, try new processes and develop new products and services. System and environment focus on ensuring the development and well-being of every employee. ; {I Learning culture Encouragement of flexibility and experimentation Valuing employees Source: Adapted from Gephardt, M. A. , Marxism, V. J. , Van Burden, M. E. , & Spiro, M. S. (1996, December). Learning organizations come alive. Training and Development, 50(12), 34-45. Strategic Training and Development: A Gateway to Organizational Success 6 Mini-case Study # 2 : The Implementation and Use of E-leaning in the Corporate

University”‘ This study explored the use of e-learning in the corporate university setting at three large Finns in the finance, aerospace and telecoms sectors. At each organization, interviews were held with the senior development executive leading the e-leaning strategy and implementation as well as with e-leaning managers. Additional data were collected through interviews with senior corporate university and e-leaning souls been used as an employee ‘reward’, to get away from work for a few days; the change in training from classroom to distance leaning was met with resistance.

Other barriers included 1) differing attitudes among the workforce toward training and technology due to mergers and acquisitions; 2) poor pedagogical design (I. E. , lack of appropriate use of technology for interactive learning activities); 3) questions about the value of the e-leaning programs; and 4) lack of understanding of how to use e-leaning. Development staff and focus groups of practitioners and academicians. All three firms viewed e-leaning as an opportunity to cut costs and expand training. At the bank, lower costs, ease of accessibility and flexibility of delivery were the remarry drivers to use e-learning.

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