Consolidating internal training initiatives

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In the last edition I introduced the concept of internal consultancy as an alternative to persue when the organisation’s budget cannot support training and development programmes.

It was highlighted that setting up a pool of resource persons drawn from experienced employees results in tailor-made courses, relevant to the organisation’s unique needs.

This week I will focus on some practical ways that the training and development professional could introduce which could assist line managers in offering personalised and relevant training to employees.

It is, however, important to realise that internal training offers an opportunity to provide personalised training and has the potential of increasing employee engagement when the employees are encouraged to share their job-related knowledge with their colleagues.

There are simple, easy-to-use practical ways that can be introduced. I will examine a few of these with a view to identifying their benefits both to the organisation and employees.

Peer training: This method of training offers an opportunity to experienced employees to deliver a short training session to their peers which is based on some area of the job which they are good at.

This is normally done in a relaxed environment, which provides an opportunity for the peers to learn more from a fellow employee.

The major strength of this form of training is it does not require a lot of time off the job, a situation that is likely going to get the support of the management and employees alike.

Presentations: Just as with peer training, experienced employees could be encouraged to share the knowledge which they have in informal session.

The session could last for anything between just five minutes and an hour. The beauty of this form of internal training is that the organisation can save money by sending just one employee for external training and then run internal training which could be in the form of a presentation so as to impart their knowledge to other employees.

Apart from disseminating information on what could have been learnt during outside training, these presentations could offer an opportunity to assist employees to improve their presentation skills.

It may then be necessary to deliver the presentation with the aid of a power point projector or just a flip chart.

Buddies or job shadowing: This form of training is most suited to inducting new employees. The new employee is attached to an experienced employee who will take him through the job, especially during the probation period, on a one-on-one basis.

Its advantage lies in the fact that the new employee quickly comes to terms with the job and becomes more productive early.

It has also been observed that this form of training makes the buddy and the new employee feel valued.

Documentation: Most organisations undervalue the importance of developing documentation that outlines the processes to follow in conducting a particular task.

Documentation could simply involve coming up with simple instructions that indicate what steps to follow when performing a particular task.

The various documentations could be bound into a departmental standard operating manual which could act as an effective tool for continuity in cases where employees leave the organisation.

The forms of internal training which I have discussed above have been tried and tested.

Why not focus on one form at a time and evaluate its effectiveness before moving on to the next?

This will surely strengthen your internal training initiatives with a lot of benefits accruing to both the organisation and the employees.

Paul Nyausaru is a training and development practitioner. Email: pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk or pnyausaru@gmail.com. Views contained in this article are personal.