A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Workforce Development Does Not End with Training

Originally posted by Katrina Kersch on MarekBros.com.

As our workforce program has grown in depth, scope and experience, I would like to pause and reflect on what workforce development looks like versus conducting training programs. As our team takes on career paths development opportunities for our professional employees, the WFD team (Workforce Development) will be looking to incorporate standards that exist beyond the training experience and into developing a winning team for our organization.

In writing this blog, I intended to outline this difference between training and workforce development, but then I found an excellent article titled Workforce Development is More Than Just Training by Dick Grimes which says it perfectly. Please read the entire article.  Some but not all of my favorite points include the following.

Workforce development in its best sense includes:

  • Before sending employees to a class, we require leaders to tell us first how they will work with the employee to reinforce the application of it AFTER the training event because we know that training without reinforcement is a waste of resources.
  • Before sending employees to a class, we require leaders to review the learning outcomes most associated with the employee's job, meet with the employee to be sure they learn them, and schedule a post-class opportunity for the employee to share those learning points with other employees in a departmental learning moment. This provides added value to the supervisor for the training.
  • Every department has an orientation and training program that ensures new hires (or transfers) become as productive as quickly as possible. It isn't the same program for all departments but one that is tailored to their unique functions within the organization.
  • Each employee can explain the difference between being "productive" and simply "busy".

Incorporating these alone would elevate our workforce development program. I will keep you posted of our progress.


Paul Anthony Bernard's picture

Attention and responsibility regarding workplace harassment and H&S is increasing… recent Cdn $1.4M & $800,000 sexual harassment settlements have increased the need for compliance. In the US some settlements have been in the tens of millions with a 2012 $168M ruling. Two senior executives in North America and their front line managers faced criminal charges over safety issues and spent time in jail.

Regulators and courts are putting the onus on management ('ought to have known' the legal language) and we have a system for compliance: to Listen, Respond & Manage.

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