Share this Page URL

Chapter 23. Honing the Team Members' Ski... > Formal and Informal Training Program... - Pg. 302

Honing the Team Members' Skills 302 Team Builder Tip for members:As jobs change, people must also change. Anticipate the types of jobs you think your com- pany will eventually need. If your company doesn't provide training in those areas, find your own ways to acquire the necessary skills. Take computer training, enroll in interpersonal relations courses, or learn a foreign lan- guage. Take the initiative--your career is in your own hands. Skill Training Basic skills training has its place in the business world. The fundamentals of a job must be acquired as a start. But we can't stop there. Continued training must be an ongoing concern. Training in new technologies is essential, but even that's not enough. The following list shows five ways to bring your training and development up-to-date: · Instead of teaching employees how to deal with specific problems, teach them how to identify and solve all problems. · Place the ultimate responsibility for learning on the individual (or, in team learning, on the team). The person who conducts the training is a facilitator: Rather than spoon-feeding information to trainees, he or she guides them through the process and summarizes and reinforces the re- sulting insights. · Make sure that people who will learn together share a common vocabulary, are trained to use the same analytical tools, and have communication channels available so that they can work together and with other people or teams within an organization. A company, through its training department or HR department, should provide these tools. · To learn to solve problems, trainees should be encouraged to tap resources in other departments or from outside the company, such as customers, suppliers, and trade or professional associa- tions. · Enlist people from all job categories (managers, team leaders, human resources specialists, technicians in all fields) to be the facilitators. This not only expands a company's training re- sources but also helps develop future leaders. Train for the Soft Skills Much of the need for training is to improve members' abilities to communicate, to relate with other members, to deal with customers, to sell their ideas, and to develop other intangible assets. These are often referred to as the soft skills . A study of training effectiveness by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) in 1999 brought out a startling discovery. Although American companies were spending huge amounts in training employees in information technology over the past five or six years, productivity gains have been only 1 percent to 1.5 percent per year. Why so poor?