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A discussion on workforce training and development methods

To conduct a position assessment: Identify the job requirements and performance expectations of your current position Identify the knowledge, skills and abilities that will enhance your ability to perform your current job Identify and assess the impact on your position of changes taking place in the work environment such as changes in clients, programs, services and technology.

Based on your analysis in Steps 1 and 2, use the sample Individual Development Plan form to answer the following questions: What goals do you want to achieve in your career?

Which of these development goals are mutually beneficial to you and your organization? Write what you would like to achieve as goals.

Learning, Training & Development

Select two or three goals to work on at a time. Set a time frame for accomplishing your goals. Step 3 - Identify development activities Identify the best ways to achieve your development goals. What methods will you use? What resources will be required? Step 4 - Put your plan in action Once you have prepared a draft of your individual development plan: Review your plan with your supervisor for his or her input and approval Start working on your plan Evaluate your progress and make adjustments as necessary Celebrate your successes Cost-effective methods for employee training and development Employee training and development needs to suit your organization's context, job descriptions, employment contracts and collective agreements.

When selecting employee training and development methods, it is important to remember the learning process. There are many ways to provide employees with learning opportunities, including: On-the-job experience Committees Committees are part of every-day activity in any organization. They can also be effective learning tools, with the right focus Committees made up of staff from different areas of your organization will enhance learning by allowing members to see issues from different perspectives Set aside part of the committee's work time to discuss issues or trends that may impact on the organization in the future Conferences and forums Employees can attend conferences that focus on topics of relevance to their position and the organization Upon their return, have the employee make a presentation to other staff as a way of enhancing the individual's learning experience and as a way of enhancing the organization.

Some conferences and forums may be considered off-the-job learning Critical incident notes Day-to-day activities are always a source of learning opportunities Select the best of these opportunities and write up critical incident notes for staff to learn from.

The Most Effective Training Techniques

Maybe a client complaint was handled effectively. Write a brief summary of the incident and identify the employee's actions that led to a successful resolution Share the notes with the employee involved and with others as appropriate.

If the situation was not handled well, again write a brief description of the situation identifying areas for improvement Discuss the critical incident notes with the employee and identify the areas for the employee to improve upon and how you will assist the employee in doing this Field trips If your organization has staff at more than one site, provide employees with an opportunity to visit the other sites This helps your employees gain a better understanding of the full range of programs and clients that your organization serves Field trips to other organizations serving a similar clientele or with similar positions can also provide a valuable learning experience Give staff going on field trips a list of questions to answer or a list of things to look for Follow up the field trip by having staff explain what they have learned and how they can apply that learning to your organization.

Fieldtrips can also be an off-the-job activity Job aids Tools can be given to employees to help them perform their jobs better. Consider assigning new additional duties to the employee Which duties to assign should be decided by the employee and her or his manager Organizations with flat organizational structure are starting to give some managerial tasks to experienced staff as a way of keeping those staff challenged Job rotation On a temporary basis, employees can be given the opportunity to work in a different area of the organization The employee keeps his or her existing job but fills in for or exchanges responsibilities with another employee Job shadowing If an employee wants to learn what someone else in your organization does, your employee can follow that person and observe him or her at work Usually the person doing the shadowing does not help with the work that is being done Learning alerts Newspaper articles, government announcements and reports can be used as learning alerts Prepare a brief covering page which could include a short summary and one or two key questions for your employees to consider.

Then circulate the item Include the item on the agenda of your next staff meeting for a brief discussion Peer-assisted learning Two employees agree to help each other learn different tasks.

Both employees should have an area of expertise that the co-worker can benefit from The employees take turns helping their co-worker master the knowledge or skill that they have to share 'Stretch' assignments These assignments a discussion on workforce training and development methods the employee an opportunity to stretch past his or her current abilities. For example, a stretch assignment could require an employee to chair a meeting if the person has never done this before To ensure that chairing the meeting is a good learning experience, the manager should take time after the meeting to discuss with the employee what went well and what could have been improved Special projects Give an employee an opportunity to work on a project that is normally outside his or her job duties.

For example, someone who has expressed an interest in events planning could be given the opportunity to work as part of a special events team Relationships and feedback Coaching Coaching refers to a pre-arranged agreement between an experienced manager and his or her employee. Mentoring occurs when a senior, experienced manager provides guidance and advice to a junior employee The two people involved have usually developed a working relationship based on shared interest and values Networking Some professional specialties have informal networks designed to meet the professional development need of the members.

Members meet to discuss current issues and to share information and resources Performance appraisal Performance appraisals are partly evaluation and partly developmental. In traditional performance appraisals the manager and employee evaluate the employee's strengths and weaknesses. In a 360-degree performance appraisal, feedback is gathered from supervisors, peers, staff, other colleagues and sometimes clients.

Implementing an Employee Training & Development Program

The results of an appraisal can be used to identify areas for further development of the employee Classroom training Courses, seminars, workshops These are formal training opportunities that can be offered to employees either internally or externally. Employees may attend these classes on their own time or your organization may give them time off with pay to attend.

Meetings usually take place outside normal working hours, such as noon hour or right after work Self study Self-paced independent reading, e-learning courses and volunteer work all provide learning opportunities. The employee engages in the learning activity by choice and at his or her desired pace of learning Information and course offered by the internet are called e-learning.

A variety of learning opportunities can be accessed this way. The choices range from formal training offered by colleges and universities, to an informal walk-through of a given subject, to reading reports on a topic. E-learning can take place on or off the job.