In an economy driven by knowledge and innovation, a skilled workforce forms the epicenter of globalized knowledge. According to MeriTrac employability study 2012, the employability of management graduates in India has declined in the past five years, as only 21% of MBAs surveyed are 'employable'. It is therefore imperative for corporations to enhance the skills of their workforce in order to enhance holistic growth within the organization.
The concept of knowledge encompasses a vast gamut of parameters like the practical implementation of the knowledge acquired, soft skills and the ability to adapt to the company’s culture. These parameters add up to the enrichment of an employee’s pragmatic knowledge base.
The core competencies of an employee evolve through the various stages of their career. Timely and customized training driven by a clearly defined objective is the key to ensure that the employees across levels are prepared to take on larger responsibilities while effectively delivering on existing expectations. These trainings need to be holistic in nature covering aspects that impact the delivery quality of an employee working in a highly globalised economy like ours. Impactful training modules are the ones that are designed basis a need-gap analysis and not the regular off-the-shelf ones.
On an average 15-20% of the total per unit cost of any product manufactured comprises of personnel cost. It can therefore be concluded that the contribution of the ‘human factor’ towards the growth of a company is immense. This makes it imperative for an organisation to retain, maintain and hire the right talent. With cost pressures at one end and high attrition rate on the other end, the human resource managers along with the respective functional heads have a mammoth task to develop a great level of engagement with the employees across platforms and skill enhancement is among the most important platforms of all.
While some off-the-shelf training modules help the organsiations to meet the hygiene level of skills development, it’s the customised trainings that help orgaisnations gain a competitive advantage. Companies which strive to bridge the skill gap of delivering solutions today and look towards delivering innovative solutions for tomorrow will always have a strategic advantage to stay one step ahead of the rest.
The most impactful way to identify and develop impactful training modules is to follow the U-IDEA framework.
Understand – Understand the context of training need or skill gap, this the first and the most important aspect of developing a customised module of training. The objective or results to be attained should be clearly defined. While developing a customised training, HR and the functional head need to collaborate after understanding the back ground and define the objectives to be attained. This may involve working backward to define the training elements.
Identify – By gaining the understanding of the requirement, it is reasonably easy to articulate the identified training need. Training need identification should be documented with all elements like methodology, duration, target audience and others clearly stated.
Designed delivery – Designing the training module is at the heart of customisation. The delivery and expectations or learning outcome are designed at this stage. Designing the content outline, training methodology, appropriateness of trainer, trainer’s competence, learning style are elements that are covered in this aspect. People have different learning style and subjects have certain learning formats and limitations, hence this needs to be carefully validated. The critical aspect here is to identify the right trainer and his skill to be able to connect with the audience and deliver the content.
Evaluate – Evaluation of outcome of imparted training is a key for the overall success of the assignment. Here we will suggest that instead of the output, one must evaluate the outcome. Don’t fix this important activity through a typical process of asking the candidates and their supervisors. Knowledge gained must be translated into action and the same should be verified with more integrated and systemic approach.
Action with Follow through – Most organisations periodically follow up with the trained employees to evaluate the effectiveness of the training but what is important is a constructive implementation of knowledge and information in a sustainable format, incorporating the necessary corrections in training design or delivery. Thus the approach should change from ‘follow up’ to ‘follow through’.