By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
Anyone who’s ever wasted a day sitting through a completely unnecessary training, especially one they could easily have taught from the front of the room, will concede that great employee development is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Time and money are wasted when training isn’t personalized to each individual’s verified needs, causing some individuals to tune out or become frustrated.
In the past, development often meant delays in delivery because of timing issues. Employees who genuinely needed immediate training for job effectiveness might be forced to wait months until the other seats could be filled. Getting all the right people in the room at the same time could be easily thwarted by travel, sick leave, vacations, etc., and in the meantime, performance stalls.
Sophisticated talent management systems offer development options that address the distinct needs of each individual, many of which can be accessed immediately. An internet delivery system combined with component-style trainings offers 24/7 access so high potentials can move forward faster. With their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses identified, employees use the system at will.
Rather than being a course or class, each individual training component in TTI University Online’s Rx6 development program is a stand alone information system that will identify more detail about a particular skill, with tips and suggestions about how to incorporate skill development into daily work life. They are designed to result in a consistent understanding of personal skills throughout the company and to help employees value having them in their working repertoires.
Managers refer employees to these components but don’t have to memorize the definitions. Otherwise, development would become a tremendous burden on managers. They can choose between prescribing a training path or simply monitoring one that the employee self-manages. Either way, both the employee and manager can focus development efforts on assuring that the high potential employee is boosting performance in the current position while building the strengths necessary to perform well in the next one.
Case Study 3
Food Manufacturer After three consecutive years of poor performance, the client hired Brent Patmos, Principal and Chief Thought Leader of Perpetual Development, Inc. In 2008 alone, losses totaled $2M, and the company’s lender had given them 18 months to reverse the trend.
• The turnaround process began with a comprehensive assessment process that correlated to benchmarked jobs. Brent is adamant in saying, “There is no ‘wiggle room’ for hiring bias. For example, don’t hire a candidate just because you like them. A benchmarked position is a must because it’s the foundation for superior performance. If the candidate doesn’t align with the benchmark, it’s a no-go.”
• Two new sales people were hired, and the VP of sales was replaced. The Perpetual Development group made sure that the entire sales team was a good match to the skills, behaviors and motivators that the sales benchmarks called for. Results from TTI assessments showed that the revised team fit the profile required for star performance potential in the job.
• Development plans were customized for each employee, using TTI University’s online Development Rx’s as a tool for each person to address the skill gaps that their assessment identified. Using these resources expanded employees’ understanding of their own capacity beyond their current performance.
• In some work groups, TTI Professional Development Series weekly seminars were used to establish a common language of performance that established consistency. For other teams, Perpetual Development delivered Dynamic Communication and Your Attitude is Showing single event seminars to quick-charge skills for an immediate return, such as when new employees need quick access to team communication.
Brent acknowledges that moving high potentials to star performance is a process that requires reaching every dimension of an individual’s capacity. The first priority is assuring that there is alignment between the candidate and the company culture, because the individual must have the ability to develop relationships within the company that make it possible for them to utilize available resources in their entirety. They must also be willing to put in the required effort.
By the time the client reached their lender’s deadline, Perpetual Development had guided the company through a process that resulted in a $2.2M turnaround, posting a profit of $200K for 2009. Going forward, the Perpetual Development team ensures that on boarding of new hires automatically has a development focus.
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