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HR development and organisation survival

Emmanuel Jinda

Companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and core purposes that remained fixed while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. It, therefore, follows that training and development in organisations ceases to be just important but vital to ensure that adaptability.

Unfortunately, in the current climate, most employers are finding development opportunities expensive. However, despite these drawbacks, training and development provide both the individual and the organisation benefits that make the cost and time a worthwhile investment.

There are indeed a lot of benefits to the organisation offered by training and development opportunities given to employees. Training and development present a prime opportunity to expand the knowledge base of employees. This strategic imperative helps the organisation to improve performance as employees through training and development better understand their responsibilities and roles.

The importance of training employees both new and experienced can never be over emphasised. Among emerging HR practices is the creation or building of intellectual capital. Today every manager recognises that intellectual capital matters.

The challenges for most organisations lie in figuring out what it is and how to increase it. The concept has however been synthesised in the following definition: intellectual capital = competency x commitment. Because the equation has two factors which are multiplied together it implies that either of these elements alone is not enough. Both commitment and competence must be residing in an organisation’s labour force if the organisation is to create its intellectual capital.

Under these emerging practices, the need for building an organisation’s intellectual capital through various strategic human resourcing facets like training and development as a competency building strategy becomes an imperative. Once organisations are committed to developing their employees, the staff become committed to the organisation’s success. Employee satisfaction and morale rise as employee feel valued. Through training and development programmes employees’ weaknesses and potentials are identified. Weak links in teams and individuals are also strengthened. Resultantly, the ability of employees to work in teams and as individuals is improved as the employees are furnished with the needed skills and development to fully appreciate their roles and contribution.

Robust training and development ensure that employees have a consistent exposure and background knowledge to carry out their duties satisfactorily.
Some of the resultant benefits associated with training and development are increased innovation by organisation. It is through ongoing up skilling and staff empowerment that encourage creativity.

New ideas can be formed as a direct result of training and development. Innovation is only possible if employees are given opportunities to advance their skills and play a part in problem solving.

Staying on top of technology and market trends and striving to be ever more flexible has become everyone’s responsibility. Collectively all eyes need to be shifted to market forces. For these imperatives to be achieved, clearly the need to sharpen the saws becomes non-negotiable. While the corporate world fully appreciates the costs associated with building this intellectual capital the key thing becomes that of picking the relevant training and development programmes. Having a strong and successful training strategy will help to develop employees. Doing so not only help business develop their brand but such programmes make a company a prime consideration for career changes and advancement. It makes an organisation attractive to potential recruits who seek to improve their skills and opportunities associated with new skills.

To cut on training costs organisations have embraced what is known as blended learning. This is becoming more and more popular as it uses both online and classroom learning. Online platforms have taken a centre stage while on the job learning has also increased in popularity.

Many organisations focusing on creating career resilient workforces prefer using on site rather than attend off site training programmes. The advantage of using on site learning programmes allow organisations to train more people working across a large international footprint.

Blended learning helps organisations with multi-skilling staff in preparation for the changing market trends. Organisations focusing on creating career reliant workforce allow staff to work on their employability as opposed to being loyal to their careers.

Career resilient workforces are empowered with a lot of skills so that they easily jump ship and take up special projects allowing them to switch back and forth between regular duties and special projects.

Clearly, training and development remain critical and, in view of the advanced technology platforms now used as cost cutting methods, why should an organisation opt to lag behind? Businesses embracing these approaches are viewed as state of the art as they demonstrate the value they give their employees as a source of competitive advantage. Nowadays organisations and employees are more agile and adaptable if employees have multiple skills and easily move across functions.

Jinda is the managing consultant of PROSERVE Consulting Group, a leading supplier of professional HR and management services locally, regionally and internationally. — +263 773 00 4143 or +263 24 2772778 or visit www.proservehr.com.

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