Time to get personal with top personnel

Your special report training & development (MW June 2) gave a broad overview of needs and trends, but it did miss a trick.

Your special report training & development (MW June 2) gave a broad overview of needs and trends, but it did miss a trick.

The overall emphasis was on marketing and technical development skills, when actually it is other skills – both interpersonal “soft” skills and organisational skills – that are crucial in modern business.

In addition, individual skills, development and leadership coaching failed to get a mention, despite being (according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) the fastest-growing sector of training and development. It is now used in 78 per cent of companies (Source: CIPD 2004 Training and Development Survey).

Individual coaching is growing for five reasons. First, being confidential, it addresses the “embarrassment about having a need” barrier. Second, it is personalised to the individual’s particular needs. Third, it is bite-sized and takes, typically, just one or two hours a month. Fourth, it is pragmatic, based on action and accountability – it tackles real-time business issues and challenges, so positive change happens fast. And finally, it equips bosses with coaching skills, helping them become better managers and to spread the effect and benefits of the investment.

Whole days spent out of the office on training courses is too long, and participants’ learning is typically not followed up – so the training folder and the participant’s memories gather dust and fade.

Wouldn’t it be inspirational if bosses were to set a good example to their staff, and show them it is all right not to be perfect? Having a need for training and professional development is both normal and natural.

Rachel Brushfield

Director

Energise Brand Communications

London WC2

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