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A perspective on current employee development issues and setting the agenda 2015

In the last five to ten years, the nature of work has changed considerably largely because the organizational, economic and technological context in which workplaces function has changed beyond recognition. Organizations have been subject to a range of technology-driven changes, business process re-engineering; and home-based work settings have increased.   The volume and variety of tasks that employees have had to learn to cope with; and increasing globalization has created a more competitive environment where businesses have had to become leaner, this often have been achieved by the ruthless implementation of reducing spending in development programs.


What are companies to do?

The outcomes of the these and other processes of change have brought about an intensification in the nature of training and development programs, therefore changing the skills that employees need in order to be effective in the changed context in which they have to operate. In order for businesses to survive and remain competitive, new skills would have to be developed. However, the delivery of relevant and effective employee development programs is becoming increasingly difficult given the high level and increasing pace of change in the workforce.



Adapt unique business strategies

In a global economy, where survival will depend on organization’s ability to add value, to adapt to rapid change and to adapt to radically changing managerial contexts, it is important for firms to be supported by practices unique to directly supporting their vision. No longer will universal practices prevail across structures, cultures, and unrelated work settings.


Align employee development programs with the company’s vision

Employees’ beliefs about workplace issues seem to be crucial in the process of implementing best practices. Since senior leaders hold the discretionary authority allowing them to act with great autonomy, they are able to champion development practices to improve employee efficiency. Aligning such strategies to the vision at hand is essential for the accelerated success of any organization.



Cultural awareness is essential to survival

While the overall level of training provided by corporations is low, there is a particular concern for the type of training being provided and its added value. It is an object of concern that perhaps 35 per cent of training budgets may be being wasted. It is an even greater concern that with today’s globally diverse workforce, a lack of diligence exist in the effort of raising awareness concerning the effect of culture on ethical standards, communication, performance management, and general business practices.

Assigning and designating roles to each employee ensures that they are contributing to the organization in the right way. An inefficient workforce would do the organization more harm than good. With that said, senior leaders and managers have to remember to keep their employees updated on the achievements at hand. Not only will this ensure a company’s workforce is efficient, but it will also reduce the loss of precious time and money.

By Sophia Sanchez, PhD(c), SPHR

Founder and Principal Consultant
Develop For Results International
Author of  “The Development Alternative: Powerful Strategies for unparalleled Business Results”

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