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close this bookHundred Tips for a Better Management (Aga Khan Foundation, 1993, 70 p.)
close this folderTraining I
View the document(introduction...)
View the document87. Training isn't always the answer72
View the document88. Determine where you are going before training your people to get there73
View the document89. Do your staff need training? To find out, ask74
View the document90. Get the best training for your organisation75
View the document91. Cultivate those who can teach you (Baltasar Gracian, Priest and writer 1601-1658)
View the document92. Continue learning by teaching others
View the document93. Help people work smarter. Schedule ''Knowledge Circles''76


Retention is best when the learner is involved. Edward Scannell, Educator

87. Training isn't always the answer72

Know that lack of training is not the only reason people cannot do what they are supposed to do. Other reasons include: not having enough resources, unclear job descriptions, misunderstanding of tasks, lack of reward or promotion, and poor teamwork.

Before deciding to conduct a training programme, you should answer these questions:

1. Is there a work deficiency? For example, are there too few immunizations, no improvements in sanitation, or mistakes in record-keeping? test staff on what they already know and can do. Don' t waste time training people to do what they already can do do not train people for tasks that they will not be allowed to do

2. Can training improve this deficency? Will the staff member be able to do something better than if he or she were not trained.

88. Determine where you are going before training your people to get there73

Training is too often conducted just to fulfil an organisational requirement, such as to qualify for a credential or because it is budgeted. The best reason to provide training is to develop your staff, but only if it makes sense for your organisation.

Are you training for the right reason? Some questions for you and other members of your organisation:

  • Is the training linked to your organisational strategies and objectives?
  • Will the training prevent problems?
  • Will it correct existing problems?
  • Will the training change the attitudes of your workers?
  • Will it affect the behaviour of your workers?
  • Will it increase their levels of knowledge?
  • Will it build their skills?
  • Is training the best solution as opposed to job enrichment or individual coaching?
  • Is training needed as opposed to discipline or termination?
  • What resources are available for your training?

89. Do your staff need training? To find out, ask74

Conduct a training needs analysis which truly represents the needs of those being trained.

The goal of training is to provide staff with knowledge and skills they don't have. To determine what skills and knowledge workers lack, you need to ask managers, employees, and clients.

Don't assume that management is responsible for knowing where all the deficiencies are. If a training is being designed to improve the skills of staff members, doesn't it make sense to ask them what skills the training should focus on? Similarly, if a training is planned in an effort to improve service delivery, then ask those who receive the service what needs to be improved.

Some tips for conducting a training needs analysis:

  • Check out the complaints you're receiving from clients, for, complaints are symptoms of training needs.
  • Monitor the work force for personal problems or concerns like health that could be met with a training.
  • Provide exit interviews to employees who leave voluntarily and analyse the trends, wherein, they have found problems with the organisation.
  • Administer an employee attitude survey which will yield important information about the need for employee or management training.
  • Develop a simple questionnaire for managers with open-ended questions like, "What training programmes do you think we have to offer to improve the skills of our employees?"
  • Examine the major deficiencies that are highlighted in employee performance reports.
  • Conduct interviews, with both managers and employees, that probe deeper into training needs than a survey form.

90. Get the best training for your organisation75

If your organisation does not have a training staff then management and workers will have to be trained by outside providers. A training programme is only as good as the trainer, therefore, be cautious and thorough in your selection. Below are some tips before choosing two types of outside providers.

Before sending staff to a training programme:

  • Get a detailed outline of the training content, time devoted to each topic, and methods of instruction.
  • Be confident in the trainer's expertise, prior organisational experience, and familiarity with the topic.
  • Be sure there is an evaluation system in which trainer's assess participants and participants assess the trainers and the programme.
  • Contact previous participants to ask them specific questions about the training programme.
  • Consider price and location.

Before bringing an outside trainer inside your organisation:

  • Consider the same tips as you would before sending staff to a training programme.
  • Be sure that the provider performs a training needs assessment so that they are familiar with the organisation.
  • Decide whether you want the provider's standard programme or a training designed to your specifications.
  • Decide whether the training programme needs to be delivered just once or repeated in the future.
  • Be sure that the provider follows up with an impact assessment of the training, a progress report of the participants' progress, and additional training if necessary.

91. Cultivate those who can teach you (Baltasar Gracian, Priest and writer 1601-1658)

Managers are expected to do everything and provide support to everyone. Quite often they do not receive training and support to help them grow and improve. Everyone needs someone to talk to. Find people who can stimulate you, give advice and ideas.

92. Continue learning by teaching others

One of the side benefits of teaching is that you learn at the same time. First, you have to prepare, which requires some learning of new material, or relearning of old material. Second, you have to communicate this information to your "students," which reinforces your own grasp of the subject. Third, and most important, when you and your students discuss and debate the material, you will probably learn of different ways to look at the material, and you will learn still more.

93. Help people work smarter. Schedule ''Knowledge Circles''76

A "Knowledge Circle" is a way to share one's knowledge and experience with others. Short, 1-10 minute, presentations are made at these meetings to pass along tips, shortcuts, new ideas, significant findings, or any other information that would help people in the group do their job better or faster. There can be several presenters at one meeting, and they can be drawn from within or outside of your organisation. To be effective, the presentations should be followed by group discussion. Schedule your Knowledge Circles on a regular basis, say once per month, to make them a part of your routine in-house continuing education system. If and when your group runs out of useful information to share, call the Knowledge Circles off ast for awhile.