Global organizations face rising costs and need to plan effectively so they can efficiently recruit and hire the best manpower, both permanent and temporary. Managing the development needs of a diverse employee population typically involves assessing the performance issues and designing, developing and deploying training solutions.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
The main manpower problems for companies include providing consistent orientation programs, supplying enriching yet cost-effective career development in complicated subject areas, developing leaders and managing employee performance during rapid change.
Surviving in an Environment of Rising Costs
Often, staff cutbacks mean there are fewer management layers and less support staff. This makes it more difficult to provide new employees with the personalized attention they typically need to get started.
Self-paced training courses that provide details about how to use company tools, such as email or accounting systems, often replace instructor-led classroom sessions. Workers may not have an office at the same location as their manager and rely on web conferencing software such as GoToMeeting, LiveMeeting or WebEx instead spending the extra time and expense to travel to a common location for meetings. Employees need training and tips on how to use these alternatives effectively.
Changing and Competing Priorities
Companies typically set strategic goals on an annual basis. Training programs should be aligned with strategic plans. For example, if company executives want to see an increase in customer satisfaction, training professionals should focus on identifying problems in providing customer support proficiently. Then, they can design training courses and career development opportunities that help employees learn the best techniques for troubleshooting problems and handling customer complaints skillfully.
Once operational metrics improve, the focus may change to other areas, such as reducing product defects or eliminating waste.
Managing a Diverse Workforce
Company leaders need to manage a diverse workforce. Providing training courses to all employees on diversity and team work enables participants to develop the skills and knowledge they need to function effectively. Employees need to learn to work with those from other countries in different time zones and communicate effectively with others who may not speak the same primary language as they do.
By regularly sending employees paper-based or online surveys about what they need to help them complete their job tasks, training professionals can respond with relevant programs. For example, many companies provide training in cultural awareness or English as a second language to employees who interact with other staff or customers from around the globe.
Problems of Training and Development
With constant changes in technology, business professionals need to keep up-to-date by taking courses designed to improve their technical skills and knowledge. Programs such as the Microsoft Certified Professional certification provide comprehensive training, practice and testing opportunities to business professionals seeking to further their careers. Flexible alternatives such as web-based training, coaching and mentoring or recorded multimedia sessions enable busy professionals to train for an advanced role or even a career change.
Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.