The new Strategic approach to training must be organized and realized to satisfy two dominant parameters:
- The multicultural environment in which all Companies operate.
- The 4th Industrial Revolution
It is not as important to define whether work takes place in a national or multinational Company/Corporation but to understand that every business entity nowadays, operates in a multicultural environment.
Like every entity’s Business Model, so is its training. It must be strategically directed to enhance the capabilities of its employees to operate in a multicultural environment.
The business entity may have only one dominant ethnic/cultural employee identity, but it is certain that its customers, suppliers and associates have more than one ethnic/cultural identity.
In addition to that, all business entities must adapt to operate in a rapidly changing technical environment, in what is called the 4th industrial revolution, where Digitization, IoT, Blockchain, Fintech and AI are the principal emerging changes. These changes demand a new strategic approach to training that is focused on continuous adaptability.
The approach to training must be dual:
- Training covering the direct needs of the Business entity.
- Training covering the needs of Survival & Growth of a Business in a multicultural & operationally changing environment.
Training designed to cover only the present needs is not adequate, as by definition, the present needs were defined in the past.
In the ever-changing current business environment, training must be designed in such a way that it covers also the needs of the near future.
The first important aspect of the new Strategic Training approach is to bridge the gap between traditional businesses vs. the need to teach the employees to operate in a digital environment. This will enable them to capture key data fast, implementing digital systems and processes which will assist them in streamlining decisions based on rational algorithms and not guesswork.
The second important aspect is that, independent of whether training is aimed to cover the internal or the external needs of a Business, a search for the prevailing or dominant internal business culture comes first.
Culture can eat training for breakfast, if training is not adapted to the prevailing culture.
Culture is not only ethnic. Businesses have a centralized or decentralized culture, innovative or traditional culture; they are pipeline or platform type companies etc.
Training must first recognize that.
Strategic training decisions should not only acknowledge the training needs of today.
The Leadership must strategically decide where the Business must head to survive and prosper in the next 2-4 years. This will define holistically the training needs of the Company for the present and the near future.
The number of 2-4 years is not arbitrarily chosen. Very few can really see beyond the 4-year horizon in a useful, business wise, sense.
The next issue that training must address is the need for digital transformation. An assessment is required of the degree of digitization of the specific business, a Company operates. No Company can hope to survive if it is less digitized than its specific business environment demands.
Understand the digital literacy level, particularly of the higher and top Company echelons. Digital progress cannot be achieved without their full support. For this reason, a special session in which participation of all key decision-making executives of a company, is necessary.
Strategic Training aims to empower and support the continuous improvement of the digital capabilities of the employees. A continuous feedback loop of trainee progress must be established for training to have optimal results.
The training schedule should not be over ambitious. It should start small, allowing the Organization to digest and embed the process.
It must never overshoot the capabilities of a Company.
Training must not aim only to the development of specific skills of the employees.
As Hayssam Al Amine, the forward-thinking CEO of RPM Training Organization observed: “A modern Company should design a holistic training program, aiming at an Organizational Transformation rather than doing piecemeal parts of it.
Then, every training course, fits into the Transformation Strategy of the Company and creates added value.
It has to be accepted that, in our times, this is a continuous process, based on a feedback loop, to help the Company stay competitive.”
Companies are concerned about training costs and losing their employees, after training them, to another Company.
To this Hayssam Al Amine commented: “The real cost of training, is not the cost of the training program, but the cost of the man-hours that the employees spend in training. When this result in more man-hours saved by doing their tasks faster and better, this is the real added value obtained by training.
For the Company to retain its employees after training them, the Training Program must be designed for the specific Company’s needs.
An employee that is well trained to do his job inside the Company, feels comfortable and satisfied with it and will not likely change his position, for an unknown new position.
Good Training anchors more employees inside the Company than loses them to other Companies.”
The new Strategic approach to Training is here to stay.
The 4th Industrial Revolution and the Multiculturalism of modern Business make it imperative.