Developing Your People: The Key to a Successful In-plant Team
Many people are familiar with the "TEAM" acrostic: Together
To make this hold true, it is imperative that we develop the people on our teams. HR experts make a distinction between training (improving people's skills in their current job) and development (improving skills for future roles). Both training and development are essential and can be interrelated. We train and develop our people though a two-step process:
• Education (Learning what to do).
• Application (Doing what you learned).
What follows are 15 specific tools we can use to train and develop our people.
As a long-time university instructor I can attest to the value of having your people take classes to broaden their knowledge and sharpen their basic skills. Whether a person is degree-oriented or not, taking classes in management, operations, human resources, finance, information technology, etc. provides an educational foundation that enhances a person's ability to excel at doing real work back at the work place. My company (Portland General Electric) understands the value of formal education and offers a tuition reimbursement program for employees.
Larger companies often have in-house classes available on a variety of useful topics. Work with your HR folks—and don't be bashful about suggesting classes that would be of value to people on your team and throughout the organization.
External Seminars and Webinars
There are a number of companies (e.g. Fred Pryor, CareerTrack, SkillPath, AMA) that offer one- or two-day seminars on useful topics ranging from working with vendors, to time management to dealing with difficult employees. I build in dollars in my budget to cover some classes for employees, and I urge you to do so too.
Participating in conferences, like the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA) conference, is a great investment and has many benefits. I am actively involved in conferences and get some of my people involved because nothing matches the opportunities at a good conference: the ability to learn best practices from the top leaders and practitioners in the industry; the ability to learn and see in action the latest technology; the ability to network with peers, vendors and industry experts; and the stimulation to go back home and move your operation to a higher level of excellence. Some may say they can't afford to attend a conference—I would say, how can you afford not to?
Wes Friesen is a proven leader and developer of high performing teams and has extensive experience in both the corporate and non-profit worlds. A former in-plant manager, he is also an award-winning university instructor and speaker, and is the president of Solomon Training and Development, which provides leadership, management and team building training. His book, Your Team Can Soar! contains 42 valuable lessons that will inspire you, and give you practical pointers to help you—and your team—soar to new heights of performance. Your Team Can Soar! can be ordered from Xulonpress.com/bookstore or wesfriesen.com. Wes can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.