The belief in the need for and a level of collaboration between training providers, corporations as well as government agencies providing funding for training has been dismally low over the years. As a training provider, I often feel lost in despair when asked to conduct training sessions. Important issues that need to be ironed out for the session to be a success, such as the desired outcome of the training session, why the training session is required and the context for conducting training in the first place, is hazy and unclear. The requestor knows that training is required but does not seem to comprehend that a failure to engage the selected training provider could have dire consequences. There should be more collaboration in this regard. This collaboration should be based on mutual trust and lead to the achievement of desired outcomes, both for the training provider, corporations, as well as government agencies providing funding for training programs.
Sending staff for training programs is not the only way to upskill them. It is merely one of the tools in the Human Capital Development Toolbox. Coaching, mentoring, delegating, peer to peer dialogue, guided conversations and job rotation are other tools that should and can be used. Corporates should diversify their methods in upskilling their staff and use a mix and match approach to do so.
Likewise, training providers who offer training programs should diversify the training programs they offer. The diversification should enable the programs to be fine-tuned further, so that they become more suitable for specialized industries. For example, my risk management training sessions for the banking industry began being somewhat general in nature. It however gradually grew in complexity as I continued researching on non-financial risk management within banks, which covers areas such as facility risk management. The module was well received within the banking fraternity due to the increased specialization within the program which catered for their needs in a way no other training program could.
Depending on the business strategy set forth, the focus of training should change. There should be attempts made to identify what has to be focused on. For instance, if a company is seeking to diversify its business operations from manufacturing to providing IT services, the niche areas within IT should be identified and explored. Likewise, training providers should find their niche and specialize in this niche in order to deliver value for money. Training providers should seek to be specialist and not generalists as there are too many generalists in the game, who are “jacks of all trades but masters of none”.
The mantra “Collaborate, Diversify, Niche or Die” is one that rings a bells that beckons the need for a complete revamp of the methodology and approachtowards training. It has to be considered deeply and practiced routinely for participants of training programs to derive value from attending training programs.Only then will corporate training programsbecome a catalyst for growth in the human capital in corporates.