Although the term “training and development” is still widely used, the emphasis is now on Performance Outcomes. No longer is it enough to just offer training courses. Organizations want a “return on investment” for training and a resulting improvement in business performance. This requires a more, strategic approach to developing an organization’s human resource.
It starts with an understanding of the short and long term “business goals” of the organization. (Note: the term business goal is applicable to not-for profit and government entities as their “business” is to serve citizens or their clientele)
Next, an analysis can take place of the skills and talents needed to achieve these organizational goals. Once the performance requirements are known, plans can be made to gain the necessary skills and abilities. In many cases, an organization will need to start developing skills that aren’t required now but will be in the future.
The approaches to building, acquiring and retaining this talent may take a variety of forms from formal courses to mentoring to cross functional assignments, etc. Training is most effective when the participants see a link to their role, are able to apply the learning back on the job and see a “reward” for using the new skills and knowledge. This requires that the performance management system also supports the desired performance.
And finally, the role of the supervisor is key in coaching, reinforcing and, in some cases, correcting the employee on their use of the new skills acquired in the training.
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