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.