3 Common Problems with People Development and How to Overcome Them

One of the main things that keeps business managers and training managers up at night is how to apply people development in a practical, yet effective way to benefit not only the business, but also the employees. Every so often people development is overlooked, especially in small companies, and this does not bode well for the future of the company or the people involved. One of the best ways to ensure that the business is prepared for the future is to properly develop employees’ skills that will benefit the company; not just in the present, but also in the future. It is also one of the greatest motivators for people – knowing that the organisation values their contribution and is prepared to invest in teaching them new skills.

There are, however, a myriad of problems that are associated with people development. It is simply not enough to send them on the odd training course any longer, and many people are resistant to change when the training is aimed at improving their current work strategies or tasks. Other problems include how to best apply the training or people development, what to focus on, and how to ensure a return on the investment with proper post-training evaluation.

Three problems commonly stand out above the others, and here we discuss these problems and how to best overcome them.

Issue 1: Resource Limitations

There often are other issues within the company towards which the available resources are aimed, and sometimes spending money on people development is left until last. Most business managers do their best to create organisations that perform well in their industry against some serious competition. Stakeholders and shareholders have to be kept happy, and sometimes there is not enough money to deal with all the issues required, especially when it comes to small- or medium-sized enterprises. There is just no money to throw at problem solutions, and when people development or training is neglected, this may not show up in the bottom line immediately, but later, when it is almost too late to do something about it.

Many companies do show an interest in people development, but then go for the cheapest and, mostly, the least effective training options, such as computer-based training that the employee has to do in isolation. Studies have proven that CBT (computer-based training) is only effective as part of a blended learning solution that includes face-to-face training, as well as collaboration with other employees and/or tutors.

Issue 2: Not Enough Time

Employees are expected to perform on the job, but by doing this day in and day out, they do not learn any new skills to prepare them for the future challenges and tasks that the organisation may face. Because employees fulfil valuable roles, their absence is felt, and there is not enough time to send them away on lengthy courses or development exercises. It is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure that employees are equipped to deal with the present and the future in order for the company to flourish, yet the time it takes to learn these skills may be too long. Even if the time (and money) is spent on training programmes, this may lead to other employees having to pick up the slack and become overextended and demotivated.

Issue 3: Ineffective Training

Even when employees are sent to attend training courses or in-house training courses are built for people development, these courses may not be effective. There could be many reasons for this – the content is not completely applicable in the employee’s job context, the nature of the training may not suit some people, very little practise opportunity is provided during the course, information retention could be bad because of insufficient training materials, and many more. People development should focus on the abilities and requirements of the employee, and every so often must be tailored to the specific needs of the company. Not all organisations have the in-house skills to perform a proper skills analysis and then come up with people development programmes or training content that will increase performance exponentially.

The Solution: Take it Outside of the Company

Companies, such as FWA Organisational Development, are equipped and skilled at determining the exact development needs of the organisation. Training needs analysis is performed through various methods, and this allows the training programme developers to establish what is required from employees in order to 1) help them to perform better, and 2) to better equip them for future developments. They can also provide viable methods of measuring the effectiveness of their training, and to provide a good idea of return on investment.

If you need organised people development that will add value to your employees and your business, speak to our consultants at FWA Organisational Development. We have all the skill and expertise to analyse your specific training needs to ensure that your employees receive the correct development without it costing you an arm and a leg. We will also address the issue of time constraints by developing courses that your employees can do during suitable times. Give us a call today to find out more.

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