Building Workforce Capability Outside of the Classroom
There’s just something about the start of a new year. I love the energy that is generated from the prospect of fresh ideas and goals.
One of the business goals I have set for 2018 is to encourage other businesses to think more broadly than content training when it comes to building workforce capability. Committing to strategy and operational implementation is something that I hope to see more businesses invest in. It’s not about stopping training, but rather investing in all aspects of the process in order to achieve a genuine uplift in capability.
Start this new year by reviewing the alignment between your internal operations and capability goals. For each training course you consider throughout the year, make it a habit to also consider if there are alternative learning opportunities that can be drawn from the business. In turn you will provide greater benefits back to the business and create more meaningful learning opportunities for staff.
Here are a 3 different learning ideas that go beyond the classroom:
1. The Great Debate
A popular discussion of late is around the importance of businesses acquiring skills such as creativity and critical thinking. Relevant to this discussion however is the reality that many people do not feel confident or safe to really push the status quo in workplaces. In order to shift this, a business needs to build trust by consistently demonstrating that questioning and differences of opinion are encouraged and accepted. If your workplace is genuine about supporting these type of skills, start the process of building trust by actively creating safe opportunities for people to challenge each other and themselves. One effective (and fun!) way to start this is by hosting regular debates in the workplace. Choose a topic, form teams and allocate each side of the argument. There are so many benefits that come from practising the fine art of debate and when combined with other internal reinforcements, it sets a positive tone for questioning in the workplace.
2. A Problem To Solve
No business is short on problems to solve, however many fall into the habit of heavily relying on the same decision makers to solve them. Complex problem solving is highlighted by The World Economic Forum as the top skill workplaces will need by 2020. Start developing this now in new areas of the business by facilitating a change in your usual decision makers. It shares genuine business improvement opportunities and brings fresh ideas and experiences. This process also provides an opportunity for knowledge share across the organisation as mixed levels can work together or review how other areas approached the issue. When solutions arise that can be implemented back into the business, staff gain a sense of achievement from contributing to a worthwhile business initiative.
3. Senior Leadership Coaching: Humanising Strategy
I really enjoy working with senior leaders to step beyond outsourced surveys and get them actively talking to staff and customers. It adds a dimension to the decisions they make by enabling a deeper understanding of what experiences and outcomes have resulted from their leadership. Experienced leaders can sometimes struggle with finding relevant development options and this coaching process provides an opportunity for them to critically review their understanding of the business through meaningful insights from customers and staff.
When a business commits to providing more relevant and creative learning opportunities that are reinforced by their internal operations, the options really are endless.
If your workplace is looking to review your capability strategy this year, talk to us about how we can assist. Our combined experience in Operational Management and Learning will ensure a better return on investment when it comes to your capability strategy: Workforce Capability