Staff development is the real key to business performance

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Insights survey findings will probably come as no surprise to many HR professionals ( see Employers spout empty rhetoric about investing in their workers, Personnel Today, 11 April).

It seems to me that there are two main reasons for the divergence between rhetoric and practice.

First, too many organisations still see training as a cost rather than a means of increasing the value of people in and to the organisation.

Second, training and development is still frequently regarded as merely sending employees on training courses. Too often, the cost of being
away from the workplace is considered far too high a price to pay.

Significant development of employees can actually be achieved through effective leadership in the organisation – particularly
if the chief executive and senior team set the right tone.

Clearly, there must be a means of ensuring that development needs align with business objectives. There are also occasions when formal training may be the most cost-effective way of meeting a development need. But organisations need to ensure that their managers see the development of their staff as a key driver of improvements in business performance, rather than an optional and time-consuming role once they have completed the real task.

Ian Wilder
Corporate Investors in People
project manager,
Ministry of Defence


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