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To achieve its business objectives, an organisation needs people with the right skills and knowledge to be in place at the right time. The Training Plan describes how the organisation is going to achieve this. Creating an Organisational Training Plan: • Is an opportunity for the management team to step back and identify the skills and knowledge gaps in the organisation • Encourages the exploration of various options for training and development before deciding what to do • Enables the budget and resources required for training to be planned and allocated during the business planning cycle • Captures strategic training requirements in a single document as a point of reference for everyone.
An Organisational Training Plan is a document created by the senior team that explains what strategic training the organisation needs to do and how it will do it. It does not address maintenance training, or personal development, both of which can be picked up at team level or through the appraisal system. Strategic training is any training and development of people that is required to enable the organisation to achieve its objectives. Maintenance training is the routine training that an organisation carries out to meet its legal requirements and operate smoothly. For example: first aid skills or basic IT. Personal development is developing individuals so that they fulfil their longer-term career potential in the organisation.
Key steps in developing an Organisational Training Plan
Consider the following questions as you develop your plan: 1. Have you developed a vision? 2. What are your organisational objectives? 3. Are the objectives SMART? 4. How do the various groups in the organisation help achieve these? 5. Have you involved people and representative groups in the development? 6. Does each group have the skills and knowledge it needs? 7. What training and development do you need to do? 8. How will you evaluate its effectiveness? 9. Do you know how the impact will be measured?
1. Organisational objectives
An essential starting point is an understanding of the organisational objectives. This can be in the form of a Business Plan, or at its simplest, a set of SMART objectives.
2. How do the various groups in the organisation help achieve the organisation’s objectives? Start by identifying how each of the teams, departments or occupational areas in your organisation contributes to your organisational objectives. CBX is a medium sized software company that develops database management systems. It has 51 staff:
Next year, CBX is planning two major business growth initiatives: • It is planning to release a new on-line version of its flagship product ‘Lab Manager’. The market for the existing version of Lab Manager is approaching saturation, and CBX believes that the new version will kick start demand again. Development is currently behind schedule. Product Development will build the on-line version, the Sales and Marketing team are preparing sales and marketing plans that include global product launches. Operations are involved in creating the new packaging, and the Customer Services team needs to tool itself up to support the new product. • It is extending its chain of sales agents to include the Middle East, Far East and Australia. The Sales and Marketing team are working with the newly appointed agents to create plans and sales literature. The Customer Services team will initially support the new agencies.
3. Does each group have the skills and knowledge that it needs? Now, think about the skills and knowledge that each group needs. What are their strengths and do they have any development needs? Here’s an analysis for some of the teams at CBX: Product Development (PD) Strengths in line with achieving the organisation’s goals • Good understanding of the target market and its requirement • Experience of building similar applications • Well established team that works well together. Development needs to achieve the organisation’s goals • More effective project management • Advanced development in Internet technologies.
Sales and Marketing (SM) Strengths in line with achieving the organisation’s goals • Good understanding of UK/European market and their requirements • Relationship building skills • Good knowledge of existing products. Development needs to achieve the organisation’s goals • Improved understanding of cultural diversity • Briefing on new on-line product • Project planning skills.
Management Team (MT) Strengths in line with achieving the organisation’s goals • Works well as a team • Good understanding of market and its requirements • Global vision. Development needs to achieve the organisation’s goals • Briefing on new on-line product • Improved understanding of cultural diversity.
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4. What training and development do you need to do?
Now, think about how what training activities you will put in place for each of the development areas in the matrix. Here are some options for you to consider: Team briefings Team training sessions run by the team leader. Useful for cascading information about new initiatives or for improving work standards in a group. Training sessions with an external training organisation to develop a new skill or knowledge. Can range from a one day workshop to a longer-term programme.
1:1 guidance and support for an individual who is developing a new skill or solving work problems. Individuals work though learning resources (e.g. interactive workbooks or on-line learning sessions) at their own pace. Useful for learning a new skill or gaining new knowledge. Run by people from within your organisation. Useful for delivering organisationspecific knowledge. The individual works with a more experienced staff member who shows them how to do the job or a particular task.
The plan has to be achievable, and so you should allocate budget and resources to it at the planning stage. Many organisations believe that Investors in People assessors will be impressed with how much money the organisation spends on training and development. This isn’t true. The standard is about effective training and development in line with your organisation’s goals.
5. How will you evaluate its effectiveness?
Think about how you will measure the success of the training activities in your plan. Try to develop success criteria that express the outputs or results that you expect in each development area. Your criteria should be measurable in terms of money, quality, productivity or time.