Strategic talent management–how trainings should effectively support your organizational development & growth

During the discussions in the day in two different meetings, I spoke with few friends about how the training & the planning for the trainings could effectively support the leadership development in the organization and help in teams and talent for future growth.


The topic of discussion was more on how the objective of corporate trainings have diluted from being strategy oriented to ‘task’ oriented.


Few interesting things that came out of our discussion were as follows,

  • Most of the training requirements are ‘technology’ oriented
  • The training requirements eventually are gathered by the Team Leaders with little help from managers
  • No strategic direction is set by Sr. management (apart from budget provision) so eventually the training identification does little to help future growth or leadership building
  • Very important topics such as succession planning, lead for growth, coaching, personal development planning, business transformation are not given its due consideration
  • Training is not powerfully used as a retention tool
  • The budget utilization is mostly done for the SE, SSE level (team members) to make them competent on the job. Very less attention is given to create MDPs & SMDPs.

IMHO, following should be the broad level objectives of the Sr Management & managers while planning the trainings for their teams.


Creating technically competent teams

Technology trainings essentially will always remain the backbone of the ‘IT’ companies. However all the technology trainings should be planned while asking the following questions,

  • Is this training going to increase the productivity of the teams? If yes, by how much?
  • Is this training going to improve the current working efficiency of the teams? Can the targets be revised due to this?
  • What is the direct benefit of this training for the teams in terms of Quality, Cost, Time?

If the technology training recommendations are not giving right answers to above questions, they need to be re-thought.


Having training plans tie up with personal development plans

I wrote earlier in one of my blogs about how the appraisals and the personal development plans are created ‘generally’ in the companies. Most of the times, they do not have any link up with the long term organizational growth, talent development plans and the individual development plans.


When the trainings are planned for teams and individuals, at least for the High-Performance-High-Potential people, they need to tie up with their individual development plans, team growth structures and the organizational growth plans.


Identifying the measures of training effectiveness

All the trainings that are provided to people in the organizations should be measured for effectiveness on the ground when the people go back to their work. Before identifying the training needs for the team, the managers should be clear about how they are going to measure the effectiveness of the training and what exactly is expected from people after they have finished their training.


Some of the questions that could help in planning for measuring effectiveness are as follows,

  • What change the training is expect to bring in the individual – self-behavioral change, behavior towards the team (team handling), more productive at work etc.
  • What is the category of the change? – Emotional (motivation at work etc), Subjective (can be seen at work),  objective (can be clearly measured)
  • What is the ‘delta’ of the change? Can you measure it?


Distributing the training content across hierarchy across competencies


imageThe training typically should be categorized in the following competency buckets,

  • Behavioral training – That affects interpersonal skills, personal leadership, managing people etc.
  • Professional training – That assists the role being played such as Risk Management, quality management, change management, project management etc.
  • Technical training – that affects the on-the-job results for technical jobs
  • Domain & business training – that makes people take right decisions about the business and its impacts across the teams and units

The image is a typical recommendation on how the trainings at different levels should be distributed and planned for.


Behavioral and professional training are very much even at the entry level because they define your organization culture.  The higher you go the, the means of the technology and domain training just becomes a refresher and should be to help people get an understanding of their work.


The budget of the training as well as the content of the training should always be a mix of above competencies for all levels.  After all, development of people and competencies are needed at all levels.


Include important organizational development aspects as a part of your training

As I mentioned above, once of the most overlooked aspect of planning the training within the organizations is how it contributed to overall organization building and development.  Some of the topics I mentioned above which needs to be looked into while planning the training are as follows,

  • Succession planning at all leadership roles
  • Lead for growth (people and organizations)
  • Coaching
  • Personal development planning for stretch roles
  • Business transformations

Although most of the above tie up very well in the leadership management & development, the trainings provide a great support towards the above. 

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