Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Traineeships

It is not exactly a rosy picture at the moment if you are on the corporate front line - stocks are tumbling and unprecedented events are taking place.
The impact on training teams is immense. When tough times bite the first thing to go is the training budget and that is if the L and D team still has its job and they aren't cut as well.
Well - let's accept that it is not business as usual and do something positive. Our pleas for extra budget are probably going to fall on deaf ears - so what can we proactively do to ensure that skills needs are met and that those who remain in the business are motivated and engaged.
First up, have a look at government-funded training. Forget about those who have turned their noses up at it on the basis that their business is so specific and on such a high level that "we don't need the forms and paperwork that a traineeship entails". $4000 per person who completes a traineeship is a substantial boost to any organisation's learning and development budget.
So instead of sitting back and waiting for an internal budget that is not going to come for a while, investigate whether funded training would be viable for your business.
Besides providing participants with needed skills, you are also ensuring that they remain motivated as they are acquiring nationally recognised, fully portable qualifications.
It is clearly a win-win-win situation.
It is very frustrating watching organisations who do not take up this incredible opportunity to boost budgets, upskill employees and create a positive environment.
Without question the most common objections to traineeships are:
1. The paperwork and bureaucracy
2. The organisation has its own way of doing things that is not in line with the traineeship
3. Lack of senior management buy-in or resistance from management.
In answer to these challenges:
1. Yes there is paperwork - but so is there paperwork to take a bank loan. Efficient systems keep this to a minimum. When you have a slashed training budget, learn to shuffle a few papers.
2. National qualifications are designed so that each organisation can utilise them in their own way. Participants do need to demonstrate that they can apply skills in the workplace and each workplace's standard procedures are allowed for. In any event, is it not better to display skills in the workplace instead of just looking at the happy sheets after a training session??
3. Get your figures correct and put a strong case to management based on the benefits to the business. Talk in financial terms - show how much the government pays and what this money would be used for. Talk about the impact of what the traineeships will be to the business. For example, how a frontline management program will assist managers who have to break bad news to team members.
Other tips:
Start keeping records not of everything you do - but of the impact that this has had on the business. Results count now more than ever and the days of the happy sheets is over - do not be as concerned about whether people "enjoyed" the training or not. Rather document what did they do differently as a result of the training. If nothing has changed, why was the training done at all?
Agree to make some sacrifices to the budget - this makes you look like a team player and that you don't always fight the system. If your interventions have been prioritised by the impact they have on the business, you will know which programs can be cut.
Have a look at the article on the Management Consultancy International website on traineeships for more concrete information.
http://www.mci.edu.au/article.php?article_id=35


2 comments:

Dee said...

Does anyone know where I can download the time audit e-book mentioned in the Time Management podcast???!? I've gone crazy looking for it all over the website!

Denise Meyerson said...

We need your email address and we will email a copy to you