Integrate — Creating Successful Training and Development
In our final example of integration of MVVs into HR practices, we will explore Training and Development (T&D). In the past 25 years, I have watched T&D dwindle to an almost nonexistent state in most companies. I could write a book on the impact of not investing in the development of your people, but you might find it boring. It is what it is, and it won’t change all that soon, unfortunately. But, as leaders of organizations, we must decide how we are going to right ourselves and guide our employees to work in alignment with our Missions, strive for our Visions and operate within our organizational Values.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you are addressing the T&D needs of your organization without going overboard:
- Discover what is needed
- Define what needs to be addressed
- Seek the resources to accomplish the T&D
- Initiate the T&D
- Follow up to ensure it was worth the investment
Discover what is needed
Do some basic fact-finding and discover the gaps within your organization. Simply going through a job description review project can help you discover what skills and abilities are lacking in your team. Summarize these by category and you will start to discover trends across your organization. Take it even further and include a development aspect to your performance review process, and document what development is needed by each of your employees. When you couple this with rewriting your company’s job descriptions, you will take it to a greater, more desirable level of detail.
Define what needs to be addressed
Without a good outline of what gap(s) needs to be closed, you have the potential to be scattered all over the place. Take the list of items that you captured during your assessment stage and better define what is needed. Employees stating they need ‘communication training” is, frankly, too broad. Do they need public speaking classes? Would they benefit from e-mail etiquette guidelines? Or is it interpersonal conflict resolution training that is needed? Just saying we need “communication training” paints in overly broad strokes.
Seek the resources to accomplish the T&D
I am not generally an advocate of online training. While it may be good for some, I do not believe it is effective for the majority of employees. My experiences have demonstrated that people learn when there is real interaction. There is more than one way to develop and train an employee. For years, it has been customary to send people to seminars. That just does not happen much anymore.
Think outside the box.
A few years back, I was supporting a company that tragically allowed many immigrants to work without the benefit of English as a Second Language training for several years. When I discovered this, I was frankly outraged that these folks were never given the resources to better themselves. When the gap was discovered, I identified a resource, hiring a gentleman who had recently returned from Asia and who had been immersed in this same immigrant culture. He developed a curriculum to deliver and help these folks speak English for less than $1,500. Now, that is what building a ‘Kingdom Minded” organization is about. Ignoring the needs of your employees is not.
Follow up to ensure it was worth the investment
Another creative solution to a problem such as this is tasking an employee to become a trainer within an organization to deliver a topic that is relevant to the need that was discovered. One organization was lacking financial management skills within the company’s leadership. The American Management Association’s program, Finance for Non-Financial Managers, was delivered by an HR leader. Doing it in this fashion saved the company tens of thousands of dollars by avoiding sending managers out to seminars and also allowing the customization of the materials.
Was it worth the investment? The CEO said it was.
The CEO in this case witnessed an increase in the attention to detail of certain executives, an embrace of principles not so easily understood before, but it also gave him insight as to who were the “A” players versus who were the “C” players.
You’re probably wondering by now how this all fits into the integration of your organization’s Training and Development and its relation to the MVVs of the organization. I believe it dovetails, such as in the example of the Asian immigrant employees.
When you honor your employees by developing them, they will honor you.
When you honor your employees by training them, they will honor you. And when God is reflected in your heart and the way you respect your employees by not only paying them correctly and protecting them with benefits, but truly caring about their development, your employees will see Christ in you.
So don’t look the other way when it comes to T&D. Your employees will see you in a whole different way.
We value your contribution. What training and development programs have you worked with that were successful? Why were they successful?
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of managing organizations is the act of recruitment. It is not necessarily difficult only on the candidates; it’s also difficult on organizations as well. Even though we are living in tumultuous business times, with real unemployment exceeding 10 percent in almost every city in our nation, recruitment is still a challenge for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Lack of skilled candidates
- Wounded and hurt applicants lacking trust of any organization
- Having too many candidates to choose from makes it difficult to know where to begin
- Salary expectation alignment; many candidates are accustomed to more
These are all hurdles to climb over but organizations that have a well thought out process and strategy will prevail in hiring the best candidates to accelerate the performance of the organization. The entire process of building a “Kingdom Minded” company revolves around including your Mission Vision and Values into every HR practice as practicable. The recruitment process is not excluded.
In developing your strategy, you should weave into the process several concepts that will help recruit the best candidates to help you manage within your Mission, reach your Vision, and operate within your Values. Your process should include:
- Networking your vacancies to trusted sources
- Using employee referral systems to increase your candidate pool
- Use consistent hiring methodology when recruiting candidates
- Always include your MVV in the recruitment process
Networking. Most companies, because of turnover within their HR department, or a lack of HR professionals within the company, do not have a formalized network to which they can announce vacancies. This is a concerning drawback to the process. Organizations should consistently mine for talent and the community should be aware of the organization and have a general idea of what they do and what their hiring patterns are. Organizations should spend time marketing themselves as a great place to work; this is also and effective form of marketing to potential customers. People want to buy products and services from organizations that treat their employees well. Start networking with churches, Christian colleges, LinkedIn groups, alumni associations, nonprofit executives, mission organizations, seminaries — the list could go on forever! The problem is that many organizations do not create such a network list. Network today; it will pay dividends in years to come.
Employee Referral Systems Nine out of ten companies I meet with do not have either a formal or informal employee referral systems for candidates. If they do have one, it is stale and not yielding any results. This is unfortunate, because people want to work with people who match the company culture, and know how and want to get the job done. Reinvent this program or develop it if you don’t have one. The easiest way to do so is to bring together a cross section of employees for half an hour and ask them straight out: would you refer your friends to work here? If not, why not? And what do we need to do to make this an environment that you would want to refer them to? Delve into what the referral reward should be in the program. Some miserly HR folks suggest one to two hundred-dollar bonuses. Considering a Monster board ad is three hundred dollars, not to mention the hassle of screening 10 to 20 candidates to get to one good candidate, don’t you think this is a bit stingy? Reward your people!
Consistent Hiring Methodology Lack of a consistent hiring methodology will get you burned. Getting an EEOC or Human Relations commission charge becomes not an “if” proposition but a “when.” But, stepping outside of the legal concerns, why not take the high road right off, and ensure your practice is beyond reproach? When recruiting, always have a job description, always have interview evaluation sheets, and always have decent but not copious notes of the candidate selection meeting when all interviewers give input. I have experienced some embarrassing situations at all levels of the organization where a document to support hiring or not hiring candidates didn’t even exist. If you don’t have this in place, make sure you keep your checkbook handy. You will need it.
And, finally, include your MVV in your process. You see, when candidates see this, they are intrigued, especially when the presenter presents it in a way that is exciting.
Candidates love to see people with passion and energy around their Mission.
Organizations have lost their mojo. Show candidates your passion! Most people want to work for a company that has direction. They are tired of the lack of leadership in government, in corporate America, and their local schools. The last thing they want to do is join a company that is weak and non-directional. Show them your passion through your MVV!
Explain to each candidate your Values, where they came from and why you have them. Let them know that you are a company founded on Christian principles. Most often the reaction I get from candidates when they hear this is, “Wow! Finally a place that might treat me with dignity and respect.”
Don’t worry about offending anyone. You are not pushing your values onto them; you are simply demonstrating what they are. I have had candidates say that they are not Christians, but that working for a company like ours would help them understand Christianity better. Exposing people to Christ — that is what we all desire.. That is the work God really wants us to focus on.
What have been your experiences in recruitment? Are there any best practices you would like to share? Be a difference maker today. Please contribute to the community and help others learn from your experiences. Thank you.
In HIS Name HR is currently accepting dates for January through March 2012 to present, “How to Build Kingdom Minded Companies.” This presentation is designed for Christian-owned businesses with 50 or more employees.
With over 20 years of Human Resources experience ranging from Fortune 100 (Kodak, Quaker Oats, and Merck Pharmaceuticals) to small- and mid-sized companies, Mark Griffin has seen it all. Please come and enjoy Mark’s presentation on how you might best build Kingdom Minded Companies in today’s politically correct business world. Let Mark inspire you to be bold and brave in your faith by ensuring Christ is present in your workplace.
If you have a conference, roundtable group, seminar series or a Church business group that would be interested to have Mark address them in person, please contact us at your earliest convenience to book your event. Additionally, if you know of a pastor or Christian leader who might be interested in hearing this message or supporting a presentation, please forward this message to them.
Enjoy listening to this recent interview with Glenn Mertz on WHKW-AM Cleveland Ohio
Mark will discuss how Christian business owners can prosper their businesses using sound HR Practices while being outward in their faith.
A Little bit about Glenn:
Glenn Mertz hosts Living the Word, a program with a purpose. Glenn talks with people both nationally and locally who are Living the Word. Be encouraged and challenged as you discover how others are living out their Christian faith.
Glenn Mertz guides you through an incredible line-up of Bible teachers each weekday morning on WHKW. Glenn started in radio at Baldwin Wallace College and has worked at stations including WMJI, WWWE and WEOL. He’s now at Salem Communications at AM 1220 ‘The Word’ (WHKW), and hosts the daily Christian talk show ‘Living the Word’ (weekdays 10:30am). Glenn lives in Elyria with his wife, Jackie and his children Rachel and Evan.
A Little bit about Mark:
Mark has a Bachelors degree in Human Resources from Saint Leo College and an MBA from Bloomsburg University. Mark Lives in Manheim Township Pennsylvania with his wife, Gail, and daughter, Emily. Mark attends LCBCChurch and also leads a Career Ministry in which he helped start 6 years ago. Mark is really passionate about the workplace, and especially Christian business owners’ opportunity to reach their employees. He believes employees and companies should work closely together to prosper the company for mutual purposes.
Mark is Chief Consultant, In HIS Name HR LLC, a Christian Business Consulting firm that he created to help Christian business owners prosper their business and engage their employees. Join Mark on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Available on iTunes here. Click