With the global economy going down, many organisations are finding it difficult to finance their budgetary requirements as per the needs of the various departments.
As organisations take a re-look at their budgets, it has been observed with concern that the first item to be revised downwards is the training and development budget.
In developing countries like Zimbabwe, most organisations do not realise the long-term value of developing an employee.
They regard such an exercise as an unnecessary expense, hence any request to send an employee for training is not considered a priority.
What innovations should Learning and Development professionals come up with in order for them to avoid the risk of being irrelevant?
Most organisations do have abundant resources of employees who have taken the initiative to develop themselves professionally who can be utilised in designing and delivering courses, let alone the vast on-the-job experience possessed by senior employees.
How then can the learning and development professional tap into this ideal source of training?
The learning and development professional can consider the following tips that have been tried and realised to be successful in ensuring the learning and development function does not end up irrelevant.
Consider job-related training programmes
The learning and development professional should consider forming smart partnerships with line managers in coming up with job-related courses which could be designed based on the standard operating procedure manuals.
These could be standard courses that are designed in a unique manner that is relevant to the organisation’s unique needs and designed to close any training gaps that would have been identified by the line managers during the training needs identification process.
The designed courses are evaluated by the learning and development professional in consultation with the relevant line manager so that they are developed into a training manual to be used whenever there is need.
The Learning and development department then becomes the custodian of the training manuals which will be updated as and when there are changes in work processes.
Set up an internal learning and development consultancy
As alluded to earlier on, organisations are full of learning and development resources that could be utilised by the learning and development practitioners.
Why not tap into these ideal and readily available resources and start up an internal training consultancy made up of these employees?
How then can this be implementation?
As a learning and development professional, identify the areas that you wish to have the internal learning and development resource persons design and facilitate training and invite them to submit their profiles which highlight the areas they are good at as well as their qualifications and experience in their areas of interest.
Once you have a pool of interested persons, set up a panel that will look at the interested respondents and select the best resource persons who can be used for developing and delivering the courses.
Organise a train-the-trainer course for the selected resource persons which is meant to equip them with technical skills that they require in order for them to be proficient in training others.
The learning and development department should them create a database of these resource persons who will be called upon to assist with training when the need arises.
However, the issue of motivation must not be ignored.
These resource persons need some recognition for the extra role since their coming in results in huge savings for the organisation.
Such recognition could come in the form of a “token of appreciation” to be determined by management in recognition of the wonderful job which they do.
With such an arrangement in place, even when the going gets tough for the organisation, learning and development will not be relegated to the periphery but will continue to get its due recognition as it should always be.
Paul Nyausaru is an HR Practitioner and leadership coach. For all your HR interventions and leadership development training you can get in touch with him on WhatsApp/call +263774062756 or Email email@example.com