Archive for August, 2011

Smart Companies Foster Informal Learning

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Workforce studies have found that only 30 percent of essential job skills and knowledge are learned via formal training–generally in a classroom setting–with 70 percent gained informally through exchanges with co-workers, most often by swapping experiential stories). Now a report in Chief Learning Officer posits that “smart companies” are fostering informal learning; the author includes in that category such activities as reading books and participating in self-study programs, coaching, practice groups, expert communities and social media.

“In all of these examples,” writes Harry West, “the employee is learning from another person and not training materials and they are participating in learning rather than just receiving information. Indeed, some experts estimate that 80 percent of learning is informal and takes place on the job. For a specific metric to gauge its success, employee engagement is a useful measure and can be found with social feedback mechanisms. Among the benefits of informal learning are increased innovation, productivity, and knowledge transfer.”

Storytellling Supports Training Assessments

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Investing in employee and leadership training not only helps to develop a company’s current workforce but also attracts and retains more high-caliber people. David Conradie, director of human capital for Deloitte in New Zealand, addressed a “critical shortage of talent” in the country by offering ways for organizations to ensure ROI on training, including one ideally suited for storytelling.

First, Conradie says in an article in the Star-Telegram, it’s essential for corporate training leaders to understand organizational goals so they can design programs that support the goals. Second, leaders must be able to clearly communicate what success looks like at each level of the company. (Storytelling is a perfect tool for accomplishing this.) Third, organizations need to conduct in-depth assessments of their leaders’ abilities so they know exactly what the training and development needs are. These steps, in turn, lead to a more fully developed workforce, both current and future.

Training to Increase as Boomers Retire

Monday, August 8th, 2011

At the same time that the boomer generation is retiring, the pool of skilled workers, especially in manufacturing, is shrinking. As a result, the need for training is expected to increase.

Companies in Cleveland already are investing in more training and other manufacturers in the Midwest are making similar plans. Don Johnson, vice president of Advanced Technology Services in Peoria, Ill., says training will be critical to ensure the next generation of full-time employees is prepared to replace those who are exiting the workplace.

Rick Capretta of ProTech Staffing Solutions in Mayfield Heights says that “there are not a lot of good people who aren’t working…so the talent pool is getting smaller, especially in this region.”