Investors in People & Training

TRAINING – appropriate deployment contributing to the bottom line.
TRAINING – appropriate deployment contributing to Investors in People (IiP)

… they are of course the same thing – BUT in that order.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?”

A belligerent question put in  the film ‘The Life of Brian’

… and of course the answer was ‘A lot’!

When it comes to starting off from first base in developing our strategy for IiP, asking people ‘What has my manager ever done for me?’ – often reveals: ‘very little’.  Too often that question does not reflect on the moments of guidance their manager has given:

  • at the coffee machine.
  • at the water dispenser.
  • on the way out of the office…

… none of this is seen as coaching, mentoring or manager led personal development !

… that sort of thing is done in a focused 1:1 meeting with notes being taken, isn’t it ?

The first step in IIP is the development of a coaching culture, in the workplace, in the team, but more importantly in the psyche of the people who work with us. People should know that coaching will happen, how it happens, when it is not happening and when it is being done badly !

Easy to do? – The easiest thing in the world – but so many managers don’t see it that way, mainly because they don’t know how to do it and as a result think it would take too much time any way.

Or worse, ‘just throw training at it’

The development of an organisation’s people has to be approached holistically. Although training is a component, it is only one key component to a practical and commonsense way of ensuring that people effectively contribute to the bottom line.

The three core IiP principles:

  1. PLAN
  2. DO
  3. REVIEW

… perfectly summaries this approach.

If we apply these principles purely to the training of an individual it translates:

COACH in identifying where the person is as far as their
skill and behaviour relates to the job to be done.

TRAIN to meet the identified need.

COACH to support the transfer of learning to the
workplace and review progress on the job.

Once we start to follow a framework, in this case that of IiP, it start to become clear which  are the steps to be taken to ensure any expenditure on training is done effectively. In many cases, it may well be discerned that training isn’t the answer at all, but good management and coaching will serve the need far better.

The first step…and the last – Coaching

Sports coaches use something called Evidential Feedback – they observe and like a video camera, feedback to the athlete what they observed and ask the athlete to respond. The Evidential Feedback process easily translates into the business world and is used extensively.

For evidential feedback to work, the manager has to get up and go out and get the evidence – but surely any manager closely involved with their team, will be observing people’s performance and capabilities. However, in many cases a manager is not co-located with their team members and gaining ‘evidence’ can prove to be a real time consuming task.

To complement the amount of evidence a manager is able to gain a development focused profiling system should be used. Often used for assessing the behavioural profiles of recruitment candidates, it can also be used for the development of existing staff.

A simple 20 minute on line survey questionnaire completed by the member of staff produces a report for the manager and the staff member to review performance against the job in hand. The report is the evidence on which the 1:1 is based, where an effective Evidential Feedback approach provides the catalyst for the member of staff to talk their way through their review and not the manager – easy !

IiP is a good thing to strive for, even if you don’t go for the recognition assessment and that triangular plaque on the wall. By just using the IIP structure as a guide you have a ready made plan of what and how to develop your most expensive resource – your people.