Controlling the learning process

PEOPLE are our greatest asset. Have you heard that one before? Attracting and retaining talented people is always a challenge. This column continues identifying the factors you need to manage to demonstrate to your people that they really are your greatest asset. Getting these right will also help you attract and retain the best people. This week we look at learning and development. Run your business or organisation through this checklist and answer these three questions: What needs to happen? What could we do better? What do we need to lead and manage better? Learning and development • Learning needs to sustain operations identified for anticipated business growth, projected staff turnover (by job type), changes to strategies and practices, succession plans and consultations during performance appraisals. • You determine the competencies or skill sets your business requires for current and future needs and assess the gap between competencies required and competencies available. • You use this analysis to design and deliver relevant learning and development initiatives. • Your people are encouraged to apply and develop their competencies through structured projects that challenge crossfunctional teams to solve real business problems/opportunities. • These teams are facilitated by an experienced facilitator/mentor. • Business knowledge is secured by documenting best practice for all key activities. These documents (procedures) also provide the basis for managing improvements, training and securing operational consistency. • Safety training is compulsory and evaluated in the workplace. Training relates to specific safe working practices and to the development of a safety culture based on all employees acting as ‘safety inspectors’. • Learning and development initiatives contribute to the achievement of your action plans/program outcomes and performance measures. • Learning and development initiatives include induction and orientation, managing diversity, ethical business practices, leadership and management, applied creativity and innovation, teamwork and customer service. • You use input from employees, their supervisors and managers to identify learning and development needs. • You incorporate project and task-specific learning and knowledge gained through practical experience into your learning and development initiatives. You use internal experts to impart their learning and knowledge. • You improve the delivery of learning and development using feedback from employees and frontline managers. • You make effective use of onthe- job training, coaching and mentoring. • You evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development initiatives in terms of application and improvement in the workplace. • You systematically transfer key knowledge from retiring or departing employees. If you would like information on a system and tools designed to achieve this and much more, see and click on 2. Benchmark Business Improver.

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