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Published Articles by David Balovich

Title: Providing a Learning Environment
Published in: Creditworthy News
Date: 9/5/01

One of the consequences of downsizing is that staff members are being called upon to share in the leadership of work groups and departments. If the organization expects them to be successful in this endeavor they will require skills that go beyond those that they have today. This will require an effort on managementsí part to work with staff to develop these skills, both the decision-making and the job skills they will need to become efficient and an integral part of the organizationís denomination.

Interestingly, we have observed that the most talented and valuable of staff members often donít get the training they need to grow because their managers are reluctant to allow them the time away from the office to obtain the necessary training. The manager often considers their contribution to be so valuable that they canít be spared the time away from the job. We also observe this with department personnel who are permitted to attend off-site training sessions and then are called back to the office during the session because management is either unable or unwilling to cover their desk.

The successful manager does not permit this to occur. They recognize the importance of training particularly to the most talented of staff members. Successful managers find ways to free staff from the day-to-day routine so to allow them time off to advance their skills and increase the contributions they make to the organization.

During this period of tremendous change, the successful manager recognizes learning as critical and consequently creates an environment in which it is continuous. It should be understood that as staff members take on greater responsibilities mistakes will occur, but it is also hoped that staff will benefit from these mistakes. The organization as a whole will profit as its number one asset increases in value from taking on challenging projects and tasks with the minimum of supervision.

In the next few columns we will discuss the five critical steps that the successful manager must incorporate to create a true learning environment and increase the value of staff so that the organization may benefit as it restructures its operations.

  •  Training Needs Assessment.
  •  Structuring Work Groups.
  •  Practice Action Learning.
  •  Monitor On-The-Job Training.
  •  Assume the Role of Teacher.

I wish you well.

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