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Employee voice is important; Leadership Skills 101

A short while ago, I talked about the importance of listening to your employees as a key element of leadership skills.  Employee voice is important, both for the health of your organisation and the well being of your people.

In the video above we see a very humorous scenario that comes from an advert for Careerbuilder.com.  It has a very serious message, that we as leaders would benefit from hearing. That message is, listen to your people!  It was only a short while ago, I was blogging about the alleged situation at MidStaffs NHS trust.  It appears that people were not listened to, or were fearful of the outcome of being the one to give bad news.

I have previously stated that as a manager and leader it is healthy to hear the bad news today to create the good news of tomorrow and I stand by this.  If the situation with the culture in MidStaffs NHS Trust was one where leaders and managers did not want to hear the bad news, then I fear that it is not the only place that this is occurring.  I have experience of other public and private sector organisations where this is common.

My view and that of Performance Works is that a good leader has the humility to recognise when they have got things wrong and the wisdom to actively seek feedback to improve their own personal performance and that of the organisation.   Being open to feedback is critical to leadership skills.

How many of you have seen your managers or leaders behaving in the way demonstrated in the video?

Performance Works can provide Leadership Training to enable your leaders be the best they can be.

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Key to successful training.

An article published yesterday on the People Management website made me stop and think about the difference between success and failure in training delivery.

In my view, whether training succeeds or fails is decided long before individual steps into the classroom or logs onto the computer.  The journey to success starts just after the point that an organisation decides that training is needed.

At this point, a Learning Needs Analysis (LNA) should be commissioned and this will result in the identification of the WHAT that needs training, the WHO needs training, the WHEN it will happen and the HOW it will be delivered.  This also can cover the WHERE as sometimes venue can be critical to the success of an event.

A comprehensive LNA will ensure that organisational objectives are met.  It will identify the WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW that can be communicated, thus meeting the bullet points 1 and 4 on the People Management website.

The other items on the five points are covered through creating an effective evaluation strategy (this should include the pilot, initial evaluation, modification of materials and methods as necessary), delivery plan, and communications strategy.

If all of the above takes place then there is a very high chance of success.  The time, money and resources invested in the training will have been worth it.

Example of how an LNA can save time and money:

A large metropolitan police service was rolling out one day training program that had been nationally mandated.  It required approximately 300 individuals to attend this one day course.  The total opportunity cost to the organisation was going to be in the region of £75K or would be the equivalent of taking one supervisor from their core role for 300 days.

The organisation conducted a quick time LNA and discovered that the same learning could be delivered through a blended learning approach.   The e-learning was completed at the place of work during conventional working hours (fitted in when possible without disrupting core role).  There was a short briefing session to consolidate the learning which was completed in a 2 hr period.  This greatly reduced the cost of the training, from £75,000 to £18,750 (a 75% saving) and returned 225 days worth of supervisor time to core role.

The above example shows how a properly and contextualised Learning Needs Analysis can provide considerable savings and ensure success of your training events.

For more information on Learning Needs Analysis (the key to successful training) click here

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