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How Do You Implement and Track Your Staff Training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Programme?

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This week marks the last of this current block looking at the vision of your business and how you get the right staff to help make this vision a reality.

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In this last challenge I want to explore how you implement and track your staff’s training/CPD programme. I have discussed the importance of your staff feeling valued and part of the business’s journey. One part of this is how you continually develop their skills. This training will look very different depending on the industry sector your business operates in.

There will me many sectors where mandatory training is required, this can be monotonous for staff, particularly if the training provider is uninspiring! A good trainer or facilitator can make and deliver any content in an interesting and stimulating way if they make the effort. Training is significant investment for any business so be sure to get what you are looking for. Training should fit in with your timescale and often delivered on-site or at a specialist site if required.

When you review your vision and strategy an action plan should have been identified. Your training programme should support this action plan. Some planned training that targets areas that need developed should be rolled out and then measured to understand the impact it has had on your overall strategy.

This training may be delivered in house if you have suitable staff and space to deliver this. There is also an argument for outsourcing your training requirements. Before embarking on any training there are few key areas to consider ensuring best value:

  • What are the key objectives or purpose of the training?

  • Who can deliver this training?

  • Who will attend the training?

  • How long will the training take to deliver?

  • What is my training budget?

Context

Training will have different drivers. A robust training programme should be multi-faceted and at its core it always supports the vision.

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It should predominantly be pro-active; however, there may be times when reactive training is required to respond to a particular situation.

Mandatory training should be diarised as required and reminders set up so that a provider, appropriate date and delegates can be identified in good time.

Whole business or department training should be discussed with team leaders or department heads so that they understand the need and value of rolling out this training. Management at every level should support the training agenda so as not to undermine the process and send out mixed messages to staff. Managers and leaders also need to make sure that they too attend the training so that they understand what the staff have experienced.

When a business runs a CPD programme it will often mean that staff will bring their own training requests to their manager. An accommodating approach should always be adopted but don’t be afraid to remind staff of the business’s vision and encourage them to undertake training that supports this. Individual training may be useful to support staff with unique development requirements.

workshop

Solution

Whether you already provide training opportunities or are a new business that is introducing a training plan there are many approaches to consider.

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Not all of these need to be overly timely or costly. Be creative to make sure your training programme is motivational and supports your business vision.

  • Identify training needs during appraisal
    We spoke a few weeks ago about the power of regular staff appraisals. During this meeting is the perfect chance to explore the needs of each member of staff. This information can then be collated to feed into your training plan. If you feel a member of staff would benefit from some very focussed training, then you should share this with them and discuss what that training may look like.

  • Mentoring
    This is a great approach which has many benefits. Firstly, it allows you to utilise the skills and experience of your existing staff members. Secondly it fosters and develops relationships built on respect and trust. Lastly it is a cost-effective way to develop your staff using onsite. However, being an effective mentor does require very specialised inter-personal skills and will work if the mentor and mentee are comfortable learning together. Once the pairs have been decided then the business must provide the support and appropriate time for this practical, hands on process to be rolled out. For mentoring to really work then the mentor and mentee must have time to discuss and reflect on the learning after their sessions.

  • Using current skills sets
    Always value the skills and experiences of your existing staff. If there is a system, process or experience which is not working well then don’t overlook your staff when searching for solutions. Often businesses invest in consultants and outside organisations to come up with innovative new ways of doing something when your staff could tell you for free!!

  • Video/online
    The internet has a vast catalogue of online training programmes. Some of these are free or can be created very cost effectively. Always make sure you review the material in advance and make sure it is going to meet your objectives.

  • Share best practice
    The solution to your challenge is out there. It may be that your staff or customers have some great suggestions to improve your business. However, it is also useful to build a supportive network on the outside of your world so that you can call on them as required. Get out and about and see how the competition does things, don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn from others around you. Attend events and discover how other people get things done. The art of asking powerful questions and really listening to the answers will be extremely valuable when developing your business. Don’t live in a bubble, explore new ideas and ask for help when you need it.

  • External vs Internal training Workshops
    There may be many training sessions which can be delivered in house. Make sure that whoever delivers these sessions has had some training of their own as to how to deliver engaging and interactive workshops which will motivate and inspire staff.
    Internal training should still be executed in a professional and well-planned way. Providing enough space and time will be essential, consider hiring an appropriate venue if you do not have one of your won. There are many cost-effective rooms to hire if you shop around. Contact your local council as they will also have space available to hire.
    If you are going to use an external training provider, then make sure you get value for money. Meet with the training provider and let them know about your business vision and the importance of this message being used to underpin the training session. Agree content, timings, numbers, venue and cost in advance. Ask to see any training materials that will be used and ensure that an evaluation is handed out to all delegates.

Process

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We would appreciate your feedback for future business challenges to help our team support your business.

Follow Claire D'All:

I graduated from the University of Dundee in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Applied Computing. During my studies the field that I had a great interest in was web development however since graduating I have also become very interested in accessibility. I was born with Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and since the age of 3 I have used a wheelchair 24/7. Due to my disability I have always come across problems regarding accessibility, which is why it’s such a passion for me.

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