Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The Strategy Side of Applying Four-Level Training Evaluation

This article is for HR Practitioners and Managers who cannot be bothered with detailed and nose-bleed-worthy analysis of training evaluation data. This is for those who just want to see if training works as a means to bring change in practices and performance.

The first time I read Kirkpatrick's book, I felt both awed and intimidated. What with all the number crunching required and my un-explainable fear of numbers, I wondered how I can do the important task of tracking down training impact without having to deal with so much numbers. Here's what I did: I came up with a set of hypotheses;
  1. For organizational strategies to work, employees must learn to do their work a certain way
  2.  In order for that to happen, they need to be equipped with needed skills through learning interventions
  3. The training program must be effective enough for them to appreciate it, learn the skills and be compelled to apply it in the workplace.
  4. The program must be designed in such a manner that it is more than a training intervention but a change intervention.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Recruitment - What You are Missing When You Focus on Experience Before Competencies

Let me say the obvious here, experience does not always mean competence. While this is common knowledge, I don't understand why  many hiring managers opt to highlight years of experience as one of the requirements for considering a candidate. I think it's okay if we are only talking of one or two years. But when we talk about 5, 10 or 15, we miss out on people who are capable of developing competence early in their career.

I get it, we look for people with long experience because we have better chance that they've seen and went through enough. They've accomplished much to gain confidence and failed enough times to learn. But all these are presumptions that can be matched by this similar presumption: Younger, less experienced but quick learning candidates, are probably smarter, more creative, ambitious and aggressive in their career. Depending on the situation we can all be both right or wrong.

So, if we can't depend on experience and if stating long years of work as a requirement causes us to miss young but very talented candidates, what can we do? We focus on COMPETENCIES.

Many companies in other countries are beginning to describe the competencies they are looking for in their job postings. We have not reached that level of maturity yet. We still look at degrees and years of work experience. I say we start drawing the needed competencies for each position in the organization and use them to look for talent. When we do this, we both broaden and then narrow our search. We broaden it in the sense that we can start welcoming younger candidates who can prove that they have the competencies we are looking for. We narrow the search because we can already drive away those who do not have the competencies regardless of how long they've worked.

Stay tuned. In the next few days, I'm going to start sharing my experience, in helping organizations develop their competency models.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Team Building; The Whole Nine Yards

One of the biggest challenges I encounter as a consultant and team building facilitator in the Philippines is convincing clients to take the whole nine yards in team building.  On many occasions, clients have made up their minds about what they want before they call a consultant which is usually limited to holding a one or two days team building event, nothing more and nothing less. In my opinion, if a team has a real need to improve  performance, that kind of thing rarely works.
 What do I consider the whole nine yards of team building? Let me explain. A holistic team development intervention, in my opinion starts with the intervener understanding the nature of the team's need and ends with an evaluation of their ability to demonstrate change that leads to result. On occasions when clients allow us to really work with them in enhancing their team culture, this is what my company, ExeQserve does:
  1.  We conduct a series of needs assessment activities to help us understand the team's organizational climate, the personalities, their challenges and their performance improvement needs. This is usually done through three meetings that include interview of leaders, another meeting to administer climate survey, personality test and members’ interview. The third meeting involves presentation of needs assessment, recommendations and program design.

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