Best Practices in Training and Development Dr. John Dzimba

Best Practices in Training and
Dr. John Dzimba
Structure of the paper
Challenges faced by Today’s complex organisations
2. Importance of Organization’s specialized value chain to
training and development
3. Training and Development’s Value Chain that lead
employment and extend beyond termination
4. Best Practices in Employee Development
5. Elements of Best Practices for Effective Training and
Development Programs
6. Required Principles and Best Practices in Training
and development
To accomplish great things we must
first dream, then visualize, then
plan, believe and act!
Challenges faced by Today’s complex
 To address the increasing shortage of skilled workforce
 traditional training and development methods
 not adequately producing employees with the complex skills needed to
thrive in today’s knowledge economy
 The complexity of organisations today reflects
 the inter-connectedness of systems, processes and people
 we need to develop leaders who embrace
 vision over motion,
 change management over meaningless action and
 issue resolution over fire-fighting
 Success is not tied to the latest technology or business model
• In the way our leaders see the organisation’s future,
• create a path to realize it, and
• resolve the issues that impede the way
 “vision without action is a daydream and action without vision is a nightmare.”
 Best practice in training and development must focus at developing and
creating new leaders;
• can create a vision,
• manage change and resolve issues as leaders, and
• can build the workable strength for tomorrow’s success.
Importance of Organization’s specialized
value chain to training &development
 Every organisation’s value chain consist of unique activities that make
products and services beneficial to customers
Knowledge of the value chain and its accompanying strengths and deficits
is essential to training and development
The process of gaining such knowledge is known as value chain analysis,
Value chain analysis is a powerful tool for business leaders, particularly
those who oversee training and development
Best-practice training and development, along with other human
resource (HR) functions, supports the primary activities of the business
 Top training and development professionals first seek to understand
how value is created by the business they support
Then translate the understanding of the value chain into the
knowledge, skills and abilities of the people involved in missioncritical activities.
Next step is to organize these key capabilities into competency models
for each level of the organization
Competency models define successful behaviors that ultimately make
the products and services of the business valuable to customers
Competency models drive not only training and development
activities, but also other HR activities
 Manage Knowledge and Keep It
• High-performing organizations create a culture that facilitates the retention
and sharing of organizational knowledge
• Harnessing and sharing the knowledge of workers is also critical to the long-
term success of operations
• Knowledge management encompasses two areas:
the sharing of knowledge within the organization to identify best practices and
find synergies among operating departments and business units
the retention of organizational knowledge, which is increasingly important in the
face of impending retirements.
 To avoid common training pitfalls training and development
professionals must build their programs around the business
value chain
 Training programs must offer the fundamental activities that lead
to value creation in the business
Training and Development’s Value Chain that lead
employment and extend beyond termination
 Pre-employment:
Community, governmental and educational outreach programs
Sourcing and recruitment activities
Employer-of-choice branding and realistic job-preview activities
Pre-employment assessments and interviews
 During employment:
On-boarding activities
Enculturation, reinforcement of values and basic operational training
Career guidance and management activities
Functional, professional, management and leadership training
Mentoring and coaching –genuine feedback on performance
Assessment for promotion or individual insight and development
Safety, compliance and regulatory training
 Post-employment:
• Exit interviews and surveys
• Outplacement support
• Employee alumni groups and networks
Best Practices in Employee Development
 Competency models
• defines desired skills and abilities required by individual business units for the employee to be
trained and developed
• It allows the business unit to determine which critical skills are needed to meet business goals.
 Leverage Online Systems
• can enable the deployment of common training needs to a wider audience.
• training via an intranet or Internet connection helps reduce overall costs, improves access to
learning resources, and improve consistency of messaging.
 Formalized Leadership Development Program
• prepares the next generation of leaders – succession planning
• helps to ensure that all business units are following common strategic objectives and leads to the
sharing of best practices
• Identification of high-potential employees- nomination process, a 360- degree process or other
purposeful method to ensure that the best and brightest are given an opportunity to participate.
 Augment & Adjust:
• No business is static.
• It must respond to market forces, adjust and change—or be left dead in the water.
• Training and development programs must be augmented, adjusted and changed
• Keep looking for something new or different out there that is right for your latest
 Skills-based training
• builds on awareness training by adding a behavioural aspect
• equips employees with the skills they need to manage themselves and others in a diverse
working environment.
• It has a genuine impact on the behaviours of employees and the culture of your
 Comprehensive Career Development:
• Important to provide a comprehensive career development services to employees,
integrating the process into the overall performance management system
• Work with employees to develop individual career development plans that provide
opportunities for professional advancement.
• A clear plan for employees’ long-term development helps to ensure that personnel remain
at your company rather than look for other job opportunities
• It helps to define career paths within the organization
Elements of Best Practices for Effective
Training and Development Programs
 Strategy driven
• All training and development programs must cascade down from the overall strategic goals.
• No programs are developed and implemented unless they produce results that are identified as critical to
the strategy or business initiatives.
There should be explicit alignment between programs, learning objectives, and business objectives.
 Positive cost/benefit ratio
• Training today is not only strategically linked, but is also subject to the same measurements as every other
business activity.
• It must show a return on the investment, either in the long term or the short term.
• Best companies now realize that many training and development initiatives take years to fully achieve their
 Supported by key strategies, systems, structures, policies, and practices:
• Organizations that receive a true return on their learning investments ensure that learning is aligned with and
directly supported by key areas such as organizational structures, lines of authority, decision making, values,
planning, budgeting, career development, information sharing, compensation, performance management, rewards
and recognition, staffing, recruiting, and succession planning.
• These direct links help to both set boundaries and reinforce desired results.
 Driven through many channels
• Utilization of multiple modalities such as the classroom, workplace, blended learning, eLearning, technology
support tools, and
• co-workers to ensure that people get the right skills at the right time, in the right way, and at the right cost to
• Modalities are selected to match specific learning styles, business issues, budgets, and cultures.
 Maximize employee ability and potential through shared accountability
• Best organisations tape the ability and potential of their employees through self-directed training and
• Employees identify their own needs, create individual learning plans, and seek learning opportunities.
• Training strategies are aimed at knowledge retention and transfer to the workplace, enabling employees to be
more effective and to acquire more skills
 Work-related training
• Knowledge and skills that are acquired through training and development programs must be
relevant and useful, to both the organization and the individual's work requirements.
• Employees can only participate in programs that will add value to their current and future work
effectiveness and will contribute to organizational success.
 Learning by doing
• training employees by making them perform "real" tasks and projects in a training environment
and on-the-job in important . Rather than teaching theory and expecting employees to apply it to
their own work.
 Transferability of knowledge and skills back to the job
• most important elements of best practice training and development is that it is easily transferred
back to the workplace.
• It is achieved through the timing of the training, the quality of the content, and the quality and
appropriateness of the delivery method.
• the maintenance of the new skill or knowledge once training has been completed is crucial
Linked to other people-related programs and departments
• Best organisations do not train their employees in a vacuum.
• In many instances, training is now conducted by line managers, who also perform evaluations, set
performance objectives, and draft compensation and promotion systems for the same employees
 Continuous learning process
• To drive lasting change in behaviors and habits, best companies ensure
that learning occurs before, during, and after scheduled learning events.
• The process of doing, reflecting, learning, and doing again never ceases.
Required Principles and Best Practices
 Best practice requires that there be:
• Regular learning needs assessment
• Broad range of learning opportunities, both formal and informal;
 formal offerings in a choice of formats,
 designed to meet identified needs,
 in modules structured to cover topics from introductory through advanced.
• Organizational commitment and leadership from staff development
• Continuing Education (CE) activities design that includes learning objectives
aligned with identified needs;
 follows principles of instructional design and learning theory; selects course instructors
on the basis of both subject knowledge and teaching ability;
 attends to transfer of training and feedback;
• Consistent documentation of individuals' participation in learning and
recognition of continuing learning in hiring and promotion decisions;
 Evaluation of continuing education and staff development offerings and
 the main objectives of evaluations are to improve decision-making, resource allocation and
 A evaluations must be part of a wider performance management framework.
 The key value of evaluation is that it allows for in-depth study of performance and
independent assessment of effectiveness of other performance management instruments.
 Evaluation encourages innovation and adaptation to a changing environment and this helps
an organisation to stay relevant, continues to learn from feedback about results.
 Research that assesses the state of Continuing Professional Development
 examines the efficacy and outcomes of continuing education and staff
development programs
 Best practice calls for regular, performance-related learning needs
 that involves individual employees and management, in concert with organizational goals
and objectives..
 Best practice requires that those responsible for providing CE programs or
in-service training and development create and/or make available a wide range of
activities and products designed to meet identified learning needs.
Best practice requires administrative commitment; formal policies
 that spell out what is expected of both staff and the organization in regard to staff development
coordinators who have the support of the administration and the expertise to plan and implement
Best practice requires that formal CE offerings be presented by experts
 in the topic who are also good instructors. Systems of Continuing Professional Development
(CPD) should provide train-the-trainer opportunities.
 Employers should strive to create a supportive environment in which staff is encouraged to apply what
they have learned.
 Employers should take employees’ efforts to develop skills and knowledge into account when making
personnel decisions.
Best practice requires that an adequate percentage of an institution’s personnel budget be allocated to staff
 Best practice requires that employers give staff paid time off to attend conferences and workshops relevant
to their jobs, and also allow for part of their work time to be spent on learning.
 Best practice requires that CE providers gather feedback from their learners not only at the conclusion of
CE events,
 but also conduct at least periodic follow-up evaluations to determine what effect the CE has had on practice.
 The results of evaluation should be used to improve future CE offerings and should also be factored into needs
Best practice requires that there be regular benchmarking studies of best practices in staff development,
 matched with quality assessment of the participating institutions.
 Such studies should advance understanding of and implementation of effective CPD and would justify
resources expended on it.
 The conduct of such studies must have cooperation and support from a cross-section of international
institutions, and the results have to be broadly shared.
“We must become the change we want to see.”
Thank you