In an earlier post, we discussed the immense benefits to be gained from maximising employee productivity and increasing retention.
In this post we’ll look at how the changes in performance may be achieved.
Obviously, we are looking at a significant shift in thinking and culture within the organisation. This comes with a commitment from the top, involving the senior managers first, and then their subordinates. To get the best results, everyone needs to have a common understanding and alignment. How do we achieve this when we have a workplace with diversity in experience, motivation, thinking, culture, expectations and goals?
In most organisations, people who demonstrate aptitude and intelligence are chosen for promotion to supervisory and/or managerial positions. That is a good start. However, after some cursory training, they are often left to sink or swim, learning the job as they go along. Those with good thinking and organisational skills and instinct often survive and continue their careers; however because they haven’t learnt to become professional managers, using best practise in all the facets of their roles, their results are significantly less than they could be.
Let’s first consider what these different facets might include:
- Personal effectiveness
- Managing Meetings
- Managing Risk
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Project Management
- Leading Effective Teams
- Providing Quality Customer Service
- Implementing and Managing Continuous Improvement Programs
- Effective Presentations
- Business and Strategic Planning
- Recruitment, Selection and Induction
- Executing the Organisational Plan
Look at your managers today – are you confident that they are thoroughly conversant with and are delivering the best possible result in all these areas? If you are, then stop reading now. If, as I suspect, you are not, read on.
About 25 years ago, the Australian Government implemented a vocational training program whose central principle was delivering quality outcomes. It achieved this by ensuring quality in every stage of the process:
- through training, testing and certifying trainers who would deliver the courses;
- through auditing and reviewing training organisations regularly and managing their registration and scope of allowed training; and
- through the use of approved industry defined courseware that covered and tested for specific outcomes in each of the modules.
This system was formalised in the Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF).
The result of this program is that people who undertake these courses emerge as professionals in their fields. Their employers are confident in their knowledge and skills in their profession, and know with a strong degree of certainty what outcomes in each course module they have demonstrated understanding of. The certifications are recognised nationally, embody best practice principles, and mean the same thing regardless where the training and certification were performed. Other countries have seen the success of this program and are now learning how to implement it themselves.
In the past, organisations have hired trainers based on reputations that were sometimes built through successful marketing; they never knew what the results of the training were, or in fact if any of it was absorbed or not. This risk is removed for those who avail their staff of the AQTF courses.
As a result of AQTF courses relying on assessments based on application of the theory to the learners’ workplaces, learners associate the things they learn with their department’s and organisation’s performance. They spend hours post instruction thinking about how the principles may be applied in their workplace, and the lessons stick. Not only that, but the benefits of the learning are often immediately felt, through the assessment projects.
When managers from the same organisation attend these courses, they often get inspired to find ways of making their departments work more efficiently with each other. Amazing outcomes are achieved when the courses are run internally within organisations, getting staff from different divisions to discuss performance and improvements in the class forums and activities. Strong relations develop across department lines as managers respect and appreciate each others’ knowledge, input and efforts, and work together for the common good.
If you are in a position of leadership within an organisation, probably the most significant thing you could do this year to positively impact the prosperous survival of the organisation is to investigate and commit to training for your management staff, starting from the top and working down. Even the most seasoned managers will learn new insights and approaches that will improve their performance. The effect on the newer managers will be profound and will positively affect their contribution for the rest of their careers.
Company-wide management training under the AQTF will transform the organisation into an exciting place to work, make it wildly profitable and become the leader in its industry.