TRAIN THEM, AND THEY WILL STAY

TRAIN­ING YOUR PEO­PLE IS CON­SID­ERED TO BE A GUAR­AN­TEED WIN­NING IN­VEST­MENT FOR YOUR OR­GAN­I­SA­TION, SO WHY WOULDN’T YOU DO IT? KEVIN KEVANY LOOKS AT SOME TRAIN­ING AND ED­U­CA­TION OP­TIONS FOR 2017.

NZ Business - - CONTENTS - BY K EVIN K EVANY

NZBusi­ness looks at some train­ing and de­vel­op­ment op­tions for 2017.

Wor­ried that you’ve missed the chance to in­vest in Auck­land prop­erty? Think­ing, per­haps, you should an­tic­i­pate the ‘crash’ and buy gold in­stead?

The reality is that there are so many in­flu­ences and fac­tors that could make ei­ther of those op­tions a win­ner – or a loser. Or nei­ther. So why not in­vest in train­ing and ed­u­cat­ing your staff in 2017? Steven Naudé, di­rec­tor Pro­fes­sional, Or­gan­i­sa­tion and Ex­ec­u­tive De­vel­op­ment, at Massey Univer­sity and CEO of The In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment NZ, would ar­gue that it is a guar­an­teed win­ning in­vest­ment de­liv­er­ing “the high­est re­turns of any type of out­lay”, cit­ing sta­tis­tics in­clud­ing the fol­low­ing: • The ROI for com­pa­nies which in­vest in train­ing is seven times

the ini­tial in­vest­ment (Source: PwC 2012). • Or­gan­i­sa­tions with a learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment frame­work demon­strate up to 250 per­cent higher pro­duc­tiv­ity (Source: Scales, 2013). • Com­pa­nies with ex­cel­lent cul­tural sup­port for train­ing have

13 per­cent stronger busi­ness re­sults. • Busi­nesses which take a strate­gic ap­proach to tal­ent man­age­ment have a 40 per­cent lower staff turnover; dou­ble the rev­enue per em­ployee and 38 per­cent higher en­gage­ment from their work­force. En­gaged peo­ple work with pas­sion and ap­ply their in­no­va­tion and ded­i­ca­tion to the busi­ness, Naudé says.

BUT WHAT TYPE OF TRAIN­ING IS BEST, YOU MIGHT ASK?

Bright­star Train­ing man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Steve Scott says “While the shift to var­i­ous meth­ods of on­line, mo­bile and newly emerg­ing aug­mented-reality learn­ing gains mo­men­tum, is it what peo­ple re­ally want and what the busi­ness needs?

“Our mar­ket re­search, ear­lier last year, shows there is still a clear pref­er­ence – 76 per­cent – for in-person, face-to-face, class­room-based train­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, other re­search (two re­cent stud­ies by Train­ing In­dus­try, Inc.), has demon­strated it is also the most ef­fec­tive method of train­ing for re­ten­tion, sus­tain­able learn­ing and be­hav­iour change.

“Th­ese re­sults are sup­ported by lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional data con­firm­ing peo­ple still want to learn in person, face-to­face with a skilled fa­cil­i­ta­tor clos­ing the skill and de­vel­op­ment gaps. Trans­for­ma­tive and so­cial learn­ing the­o­ries sug­gest learn­ing is a cog­ni­tive process which takes place in so­cial en­vi­ron­ments,” says Scott.

“Trans­for­ma­tive learn­ing is achieved by dis­cussing con­cepts with oth­ers, crit­i­cally analysing ev­i­dence and

con­sid­er­ing al­ter­na­tive points of view. In this way, true trans­for­ma­tion can pow­er­fully oc­cur through de­vel­op­ment of new frames of ref­er­ence, more self-re­flec­tive prac­tice and un­der­stand­ing of al­ter­na­tive view­points,” he adds.

Scott’s re­search also shows that when price is re­moved as a fac­tor, the most im­por­tant vari­able in a train­ing pack­age is the method of train­ing.

He em­pha­sises per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, soft skills, lead­er­ship train­ing and tech­ni­cal train­ing are the most pop­u­lar types of train­ing, re­ceiv­ing the high­est in­vest­ment. He also points to the strong un­der­stand­ing amongst re­cip­i­ents of the need for train­ing, in or­der to reach or­gan­i­sa­tional goals, and that more than three-quar­ters of those sur­veyed be­lieve pro­vid­ing on­go­ing train­ing for em­ploy­ees is im­por­tant for staff re­ten­tion.

“De­spite this un­der­stand­ing, only 22 per­cent re­ported their or­gan­i­sa­tions mea­sure the im­pact of train­ing well.”

TRAIN­ING TAKES COM­MIT­MENT

Sasha Lock­ley is a self-de­scribed “18-year-old univer­sity dropout”, who be­lieves the tranche of qual­i­fi­ca­tions she has sub­se­quently gained re­quired per­sonal in­ter­ac­tion to have the im­parted knowl­edge ‘stick’.

The dy­namic head of op­er­a­tions at Avanti Fi­nance was a Top 5 fi­nal­ist in the 2016 Deloitte Top 200 Young Ex­ec­u­tive of the Year, is a trained clas­si­cal singer, flautist and pi­anist, and mother of a young son. “We all have jug­gles in life and the key thing is we can get caught up in the word ‘busy’, but even­tu­ally it’s just a mind­ful choice,” she says.

Bot­tom-line, says Lock­ley, if you want to work and ad­vance your­self at the same time, you make the time.

She is cur­rently fin­ish­ing the course-work on a Master of Ad­vanced Lead­er­ship Prac­tice at Massey Univer­sity, with a dis­ser­ta­tion to come. This to go with her CPA, ACCA and FCCA achieve­ments and an Ox­ford Brookes Univer­sity, BSc, Ap­plied Ac­count­ing.

Be­ing an out­side-the-box thinker and doer, she’s look­ing for ideas for her the­sis look­ing at “how to en­gage to­day’s young cre­ative thinkers (in­clud­ing di­ver­sity of thought and learn­ing) so that they can find the so­lu­tions for to­mor­row’s prob­lems”.

A quar­ter of Avanti’s staff are fol­low­ing in her foot­steps on an IMNZ in­ter­nal lead­er­ship pro­gramme, part-time.

Tom Street, founder of the IN­TENT Group would en­dorse: “In the dy­namic world of busi­ness, what worked yes­ter­day won’t suit to­day. To­mor­row will be dif­fer­ent again. For a busi­ness to be able to con­tin­u­ally im­prove, staff need to ob­serve, sense and adapt to chang­ing cir­cum­stances. This re­quires an ac­tive learn­ing ap­proach, tai­lored for every in­di­vid­ual and com­pany.

“Teach­ing is no longer lim­ited to the class­room. The trans­fer­ence of knowl­edge and ca­pa­bil­ity is much more a func­tion of the stu­dent learn­ing what they need, when they need it, and build­ing a broader more flex­i­ble ca­pa­bil­ity,” says Street.

“We’ve long un­der­stood the need to make ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing more en­gag­ing, by pro­vid­ing more ac­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments, us­ing var­i­ous sim­u­la­tions to pro­vide ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing.”

An ex­am­ple is Poly­mer Sys­tems In­ter­na­tional Ltd (PSI), whose team achieved a 233 per­cent in­crease in pro­duc­tion within weeks of com­plet­ing a sim­u­la­tion in­volv­ing the con­struc­tion of aero­planes us­ing Lego pieces.

“Few or­gan­i­sa­tions can spare the time to gather sev­eral stu­dents in one place, at one time and ad­dress their in­di­vid­ual learn­ing needs,” con­tin­ues Street. “So for us, the next

evo­lu­tion­ary phase has been to ad­dress the chal­lenges of dis­tance and time avail­abil­ity.

“We now col­lab­o­rate with tech­nol­ogy provider Jump­shift De­vel­op­ment, which un­der­stands learn­ing meth­ods, and use their Knowl­edge-to-Ac­tion plat­form with its own in-built learn­ing method­ol­ogy – de­vel­oped by a team of highly-ed­u­cated en­trepreneurs and spe­cial­ists. Us­ing their own ex­pe­ri­ences of learn­ing sit­u­a­tions and ex­ten­sive re­search about the brain, how it learns and re­tains in­for­ma­tion, they de­vel­oped the D-I-Y frame­work (Di­ag­nose-In­spire-Your Ac­tion).

“This pro­vides the learner with a struc­tured process to use which, over time, be­comes their self-di­rected learn­ing tool, em­pow­er­ing them to con­vert their knowl­edge into ac­tion. As they re­alise they have just ap­plied what they’ve learnt, a pow­er­ful feed­back loop oc­curs en­cour­ag­ing fur­ther learn­ing, while build­ing con­fi­dence.”

ZERO FEES

James Wilkin­son, The South­ern In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy’s projects co­or­di­na­tor, team leader and mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant, points to their ‘Zero Fees Scheme’ which al­lows New Zealand ci­ti­zens and res­i­dents, along with per­ma­nent res­i­dents liv­ing here dur­ing stud­ies, as an ad­di­tional rea­son to choose SIT. The scheme ap­plies only to the base tu­ition fee at­tached to each el­i­gi­ble pro­gramme of study.

“To re­tain this in­cen­tive, stu­dents on the scheme must meet a num­ber of con­di­tions. Th­ese in­clude demon­strat­ing ‘sat­is­fac­tory aca­demic progress’; at least 80 per­cent at­ten­dance (or oth­er­wise spec­i­fied by pro­gramme); and ad­here to the pro­gramme's spe­cific rules and re­quire­ments and the Stu­dent Code.

“Our flag­ship busi­ness and commerce pro­grammes are the Post­grad­u­ate Diploma in Busi­ness En­ter­prise, and three-year Bach­e­lor of Commerce, which of­fers a choice of three ma­jors – Ac­count­ing, Man­age­ment or Mar­ket­ing. We be­lieve both pro­grammes of­fer an un­ri­valled mix of aca­demic and prac­ti­cal learn­ing, and are de­liv­ered by top tu­tors.

Fi­nal year Bach­e­lor of Commerce stu­dents com­plete a con­sul­ta­tion pa­per that pro­vides a so­lu­tion to a real need, as iden­ti­fied by their own em­ployer or other in­dus­try ben­e­fi­ciary.

“If you're a school leaver, chang­ing ca­reers or want­ing to up­date your skills to re­turn to the work­force, our Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion cour­ses are a fan­tas­tic first step,” Wilkin­son says.

SIT is also a lead­ing provider of project man­age­ment train­ing and busi­ness lead­er­ship and coach­ing ed­u­ca­tion. It’s de­liv­ered by SIT2LRN dis­tance learn­ing or flex­i­ble mixed-mode de­liv­ery at SIT’s Christchurch cam­pus.

FLEX­I­BLE STUDY OP­TIONS

The Auck­land In­sti­tute of Stud­ies (AIS) is an in­de­pen­dent, de­gree­grant­ing in­sti­tu­tion of­fer­ing NZQA-ap­proved de­gree, diploma and lan­guage qual­i­fi­ca­tions, in­clud­ing TESOL.

AIS demon­strates a strong stu­dent-fo­cus. This in­cludes: • Of­fer­ing a flex­i­ble three-se­mes­ter sys­tem, which al­lows stu­dents to fast

track their stud­ies, get a head start and flex­i­ble en­try dates. • Pro­vid­ing ca­reer as­sis­tance and sup­port dur­ing employment is­sues, dur­ing and after their stud­ies – in­clud­ing ar­rang­ing in­ter­views and in­tern­ships with po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers. • Stu­dents ex­pe­ri­ence ‘ex­pert per­son­alised ed­u­ca­tion through per­sonal

con­tact with knowl­edge­able and ap­proach­able teach­ing fac­ulty’. • En­sur­ing a ‘friendly, nur­tur­ing en­vi­ron­ment’ which bal­ances and sup­ports AIS’s rig­or­ous and de­mand­ing aca­demic pro­grammes. “A good ex­am­ple of this would also be that classes in our Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­grammes are con­cen­trated around week­ends to fit in around employment sched­ules, mak­ing th­ese classes an ideal way to up­skill and study while you con­tinue to earn,” says Kasanita Holani, stu­dent ser­vices-mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive at AIS.

AIS is also proud of its Post­grad­u­ate stud­ies in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion, says Holani.

“Th­ese will help pre­pare you for man­age­ment-level employment op­por­tu­ni­ties and ca­reer ad­vance­ment. Our highly in­ter­ac­tive for­mat of th­ese pro­grammes, lec­tures, work­shops and sem­i­nars, en­ables you to prac­tise and ap­ply your learn­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment which im­i­tates real-world busi­ness sit­u­a­tions.

“The Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­grammes are prac­ti­cal pro­grammes with the­o­ret­i­cal, ap­plied and re­search un­der­pin­nings. If you’re al­ready work­ing at a man­age­ment level, study here will en­able you to in­crease and broaden your skills base and en­hance your abil­ity to think lat­er­ally.

“Even at an early stage of their work­ing life, our Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion pro­grammes help stu­dents gain ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing, sound cor­po­rate val­ues, pro­fes­sional skills de­vel­op­ment and over­all per­sonal growth.”

THE BIG­GER PIC­TURE

Lurk­ing in the back of the minds of all SME owner-man­agers is that fun­da­men­tal fear of: “What if we in­vest in train­ing our staff and they leave?”

“The real ques­tion,” says IMNZ’s Naudé, “is what hap­pens if we don’t in­vest and they stay? “Train­ing should be part of a greater de­vel­op­ment plan for the busi­ness, and in­volves suc­ces­sion plan­ning, busi­ness growth and strat­egy. So se­lect­ing the right peo­ple to train is cru­cial, and se­lect­ing the right kind of train­ing is im­por­tant. Re­ten­tion is easy to mea­sure.

“Don’t get me wrong, train­ing can’t change every­thing; if you have a toxic cul­ture in the work­place, a sin­gle train­ing course is not go­ing to change that. You need to look ‘un­der the hood’ to iden­tify the real prob­lems in the busi­ness and then train­ing can be part of a greater so­lu­tion.”

Naudé be­lieves that de­pend­ing on their per­sonal cir­cum­stances and age, staff will leave if they feel that they are not be­ing de­vel­oped and that their cur­rent role of­fers them no room for growth.

“It may not al­ways be pos­si­ble to give peo­ple a salary in­crease or pro­mo­tion, but gen­er­ally speak­ing, peo­ple value an in­vest­ment in im­prov­ing their skills as far more im­por­tant than money or rank.

“In re­turn, they will ap­ply their new skills in the work­place and re­main more loyal to the or­gan­i­sa­tion.”

“We’ve long un­der­stood the need to make ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing more en­gag­ing, by pro­vid­ing more ac­tive learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments, us­ing var­i­ous sim­u­la­tions to pro­vide ex­pe­ri­en­tial learn­ing.” – Tom Street, IN­TENT Group.

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