This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 4, 2004

Corporate Training Becoming More Important

For years, it has been an accepted fact that personal and professional growth are valued benefits of working for an employer. This area of interest includes formal training and education seminars and classes, personal coaching by a supervisor or an external professional, mentoring, cross- training, and stretch assignments. Good learning programs incorporate on- the-job experience that gets employees more engaged in their work, their results, and their relationships with others. Emotional bonds are forged, while competencies are enriched.

As we look into the future, we call to mind several recent studies to give us perspective on the importance of employee growth initiatives in the increasingly competitive years ahead.

A survey by TrueCareers, Reston, Virginia, reported that 61 percent of 500 workers surveyed said that continuing their education will help make them more attractive in the employment market. The concern in workers' minds is marketability. Another study reported in Human Resource Executive magazine was conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. In this case, 37 percent of 428 human resource professionals surveyed said that they had increased training to prepare for the skilled worker shortages forecasted for 2010. The magazine also reported a study by Towers Perrin, New York that looked at levels of engagement---willingness and ability to contribute to their employer's success. Nineteen percent of the 40,000 employees surveyed responded that they were "disengaged." That's almost one-fifth of the workforce that was not connected psychologically to their employers.

Skill building will be vital to the success of tomorrow's corporate workforce, but building stronger interpersonal relationships between workers, management, and corporate leadership will become a more integral part of corporate training and development. For this reason, companies will employ more professional trainers and coaches to integrate learning with a personal engagement to the job and the employer. Trainer/coaches will follow up with learners and their superiors to be sure that the follow-through is achieved to link the training with the job and the employee's career.

Supervisors of trainees---at all levels---will be evaluated on their effectiveness in using training and development to improve performance and employee retention.

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