Enhancing Workforce Capabilities
Enhancing Workforce Capabilities
A mid-sized conservative, risk averse organization with a highly educated, technical, staff identified a universal communication skills gap. Employees identified this problem area in their Employee Preferences Survey, and HR also acknowledged the gap as the root cause of multiple, time consuming, and complex Employee Relations cases. The Senior Leadership team sought a development resource for the staff which would provide tools, skills and knowledge to communicate more effectively and with more impact.
Tomi began by reviewing the Employee Preferences Survey, as well as employee relations case reports and summaries to gain a better understanding of the gaps and challenges. She also held one-on-one conversations with leadership and employees from around the organization. Training was clearly needed; however, for this organization’s culture and employee demographic, Tomi concluded that it was more crucial to find the right training resource, facilitator, and approach to gain credibility, buy-in(trust), participation, and results. Tomi took several steps to resolve this issue.
Identifying A Resource
Given her knowledge about the needs of the organization and employees, Tomi researched and reviewed several potential training resources. She reached out to her network to identify a course that would meet the needs of the organization and employees.
Tomi recommended using a test-group of employees to evaluate the course. The test-group would be representative of the organization (cross-functional, multi-level, gender, and ethnically diverse) and would be asked to attend a public offering of the course, evaluate that course (with criteria provided by Tomi), and share their thoughts with the Senior Leadership Team. The Senior Leadership Team welcomed the approach and worked with Tomi to identify the test group participants. Tomi coordinated logistics with the training vendor and attended the training session with the test group. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from the test-group, the Senior Leadership Team allocated budget and time to provide this training to all interested employees.
Tomi interviewed potential facilitators and presented her finalist to the VP of HR and CEO to obtain their approval. The organization began by offering 1 class. Because of the positive participant response, 4 additional courses were provided. Tomi managed the rosters and waitlists, as well as the post-course surveys. Additionally, she compiled the survey data and presented it to senior leadership to ensure expectations were being met.
About 25% of the organization, including the entire Senior Leadership Team, completed the 1-day course. The surveys revealed the participants felt their time was well spent and the content added value. They left with actionable tools they could apply immediately with colleagues, clients and even in their personal lives. Those who attended felt more quipped and noted positive changes in their abilities to communicate more effectively and with more impact.
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