For many of our clients, increasing capability in their senior management and leaders is now an imperative, either because their business is innovating and growing with new clients, new services or new markets, or because the economic downturn has caused a depletion of their staff, requiring those that stay behind to meet increased needs and therefore to have new skills. Also, because of economic necessity, most training has been cut or restricted to the most urgent, creating a sense of neglect in the area.
Increasing capability is an arena that we specialise in, and having tried all the standard means of training programmes – we have evolved beyond such generic approaches. The capacity for people to grow relies on accessing their innate strengths and talents and releasing more of their capacity, rather than teaching them new skills that are way outside of what is natural or close to their strengths. It involves creating self awareness, self trust and self esteem in themselves and those around them in order to create supported internal networks that can expedite performance.
The tools and strategies that we use, that can lead to such results, derive not so much from the standard CIPD training programmes, but derive from leading edge thinking about human beings; they derive from the positive psychology field which acknowledge the innate talents and strengths that each person has and that makes them unique.
This kind of thinking is somewhat contrary to standard HR practise, because competency frameworks and role descriptions start from an assumption that all people are the same, and everyone at the same level, should have the same skills and capability. This kind of standardisation may be useful for determining pay grades and appraisal processes, but is quite contrary to the real world. Most managers recognise that each person is complex, with a unique mix of greatness and incompetence (the latter often because they have a total disinterest in an area).
So we never advocate training to make up for the weaknesses of people. We advocate investing in people’s development in order to make their strengths greater and to release the innate talents that may only be minimally utilised in their current role. We advocate training to build confidence, self assurance, self esteem and to create trust in themselves and with others. We advocate self empowerment and nothing grows people’s sense of ‘can-do’ than knowing that they know the best of themselves.
Investing in the development of your people will undoubtedly increase your business’ productivity, but more, it will increase your employees productivity and capacity that will lead to long-term benefits for them and organisation. It demonstrates that you value them and you want to keep them. It is a fact many times proven, that training improves retention: the more opportunity open to employees within your company, the less likely they are to look elsewhere. But if you help individuals’ identify their goals and ambitions and agree a programme of personal development you will build trust and loyalty that will survive the challenges of difficult scenarios that will regularly occur.
2 April 2014