By John Ager, Consultant, Kepner-Tregoe 

 

We invest in training when we believe our people are in need of additional skills to increase productivity and move organizational metrics more effectively and efficiently. We receive value from this investment when our people apply what was learned, and are effective in pushing those metrics beyond common company benchmarks. However, the longer the gap in time between when new skills are learned and when they are applied, the less likely individuals will remember what they learned. The result often is that people get frustrated and revert to behaviors and approaches most comfortable to them.  Thus, the ROI from this effort is minimal and the possibilities of our investment are not fully realized.

At Kepner-Tregoe, we address this age old issue by incorporating immediate applications of advanced skills into the learning experience to yield results in real time. In order for this to be effective, up-front structuring is required to diagnose needs, identify opportunities for change, and design the appropriate combination of classroom or online skill development, coaching, and hands-on applications to achieve targeted results. Skills mastered in this manner flow naturally from learning to doing. As our clients/employees become proficient, KT consultants step back to advise, leaving behind skills that are sustainable going forward.

In regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices or consumer products, employees charged with taking corrective and preventive actions, learn new approaches to CAPAs that document the thinking behind actions taken while addressing issues, responding to problems, and documenting results for regulatory review.  This approach quickly reduces incident backlog and builds regulator’s trust in an organization’s ability to investigate and take appropriate actions.

In mining and manufacturing companies, project managers work with KT consultants to define and execute projects, taking on more responsibility as they develop project management skills. This is achieved through a combination of skill development and on-the-job application as KT consultants work side-by-side with employees to execute projects. For example, client projects for shut-downs, turn-arounds, or other maintenance programs help clients get back on-line, maintain safety, coordinate employees and contractors, and execute projects on-time and on-budget.

In IT service and support, KT’s ITIL-recognized programs combine workshop and hands-on training with updating software and SOPs to dramatically improve service and support while reducing costs. Consultants, coaches, and in-company trainers ensure that skills will be supported going forward.

Whether working in an office environment, manufacturing, or service/support, companies seeking to improve problem solving, decision making, risk management and critical thinking are optimizing training dollars with a focused and agile approach that builds skills during application. By maximizing skill development within the work environment, organizations are bringing new efficiencies to training and development and achieving remarkable results that are sustainable long after training has been completed.

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