Thursday, May 14, 2009

Training for a Turnaround

Some valuable insights from the current cover story in The Human Factor magazine and our good friend and associate Dr. Pi Wen Looi of Novacrea Research Consulting on the importance of training in this economy.

Dr. Pi Wen Looi, who has led a global research team for Hewitt’s Best Employers Study, says, “If you have had a layoff, some of your employees are likely to take on additional responsibilities and have increased workload. Sometimes employees are asked to take on roles that they are not trained for and are beyond their current capabilities. At best, this can result in employee resentment and burnt out. At worst, it can cost your company its reputation and lose its customers, as employees who are not trained for their role are more likely to make mistakes and the quality of products or services will suffer.”

To avoid such a disastrous scenario from unfolding, training is the single most effective measure of keeping employees engaged when times are tough. Hewitt Associates’ Global Best Employers Study has tried to answer the question of what makes a ‘best employer’ through its survey conducted every year. The company clearly says that “best employers have a commitment to people that is more substantial than the latest fad in employee benefits”,and that this trait of a best employer is “consistent acrossnational culture, economic conditions, and political situations”.This would suggest that the current global economic downturn is no different a situation for those companies which take the responsibility for ‘taking care’ of their employees seriously.

While the specifics of how this is done may vary across industries and regions, there is no doubt that training plays an imperative role in keeping star performers engaged at a time when the economy as a whole maybe going through a tough time. Moreover, continuous learning opportunities reinforce the organisational values and commitment within the workforce and this especially helps in maintaining morale and motivation levels across all levels of employees.

Link to Novacrea Research Consulting

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