Top training teams

Three
outstanding teams have been short-listed for the TD2000 Award. At around 5pm on
Tuesday 4 July, Will Hutton, chief executive of the Industrial Society will
announce the winner of the TD2000 Award. By Stephanie Sparrow

The
short-listed teams are from Barclays Bank Small Business Banking, Provident
Insurance and restaurant chain TGI Friday’s.

The
TD2000 campaign is run jointly by Training and the Industrial Society to seek
ways of increasing the standing of training and development in eyes of business
leaders.

The
award was launched earlier this year when Hutton explained to Training the
qualities which set high-flying training departments apart from the rest.

“They
have influence and respect at the most senior levels, they know exactly what
the real organisational issues are and they can demonstrate the value they add
to their organisation. We think it’s time to recognise these high-flying teams
and acknowledge their successes.”

Training’s
editor and joint creator of the award Andrew Rogers set applicants three key
challenges. “We asked entrants to show they have risen to at least two out of
three criteria,” he says. “They needed to be able to show they are integrated
into the rest of the organisation, have top table influence, and be able to
demonstrate improved performance as a result of their training and development
activities.”

Award
sponsor Raytheon Training agrees that training has to be seen as a vital part
of the business agenda. “We regard this integration as the single most
important challenge,” says Michael Nehrmann, director of sales and marketing,
Europe.

“We
are all currently witnessing unprecedented changes in the global business
environment. Acquisitions, mergers and outsourcing are just three examples of
this turbulence. This obviously puts training departments under increasing
pressure to demonstrate added value to the organisation. However, the good news
is that many are successfully embracing these changes, for example by employing
effective measurement and evaluation techniques.

“Professionals
know that if they are proactive in times of change they will raise the status
of training and development in the eyes of organisational leaders,” he says.

The
task of identifying the top team falls to two judges who are well-known in the
training and business fields – evaluation guru Paul Kearns and Nigel Crouch of
the DTI’s Innovation Unit.

They
believe Training readers have risen to the challenge. The two judges spent
April and May studying the entries which were received from 40 organisations.

“We
decided to cut the 40 down to a shortlist of 12 before picking the final
three,” explains Kearns. “Then it got really difficult. The enthusiasm and
dedication of those 12 shone through.”

Kearns,
who is known in the profession for his tough stance on training evaluation,
doesn’t praise lightly, and he emphasises the tough line he and Crouch are
taking.

“The
TD2000 Award sets very high standards; higher than other training awards, but
anyone who has entered this award and who had a go at the three criteria can
give themselves a pat on the back,” he says.

Crouch,
an industrialist working with the DTI’s Future and Innovation Unit says that
innovative companies put training at their centre, and vice versa: good
trainers put the needs of the business at the heart of what they are doing.

These
beliefs helped him interpret the criteria, he says. “In an innovative company,
training is generally integrated throughout the organisation. Some of the
judging called to mind the current work by the DTI and Design Council on the
companies behind the Council’s chosen Millennium Products. I have found that
for most of the companies who have designed products thought worthy to
represent the millennium, training is key to the business.”

Kearns
and Crouch will visit the three short-listed companies this month, in readiness
to announce the winner on 4 July.

As
befits such hard work by entrants and judges, the TD2000 Award will be
presented at the end of a very special day run by Training and The Industrial
Society as part of the Training Solutions Conference at the NEC Birmingham.

This
TD2000 day will include case studies, advice and debate which pick up on the
themes of the awards and will illustrate how training can force itself onto the
corporate agenda. Delegates will attend a lunch and the awards ceremony (see
box).

Organisation

Provident Insurance plc
Team: Training team
Entered by: Lisa Meigh training and development co-ordinator


Training activities are designed specifically to equip the team with the skills
required to achieve the company’s objectives and to develop individuals to
their full potential.


Overall responsibility for individual staff development is the responsibility
of the operational team leaders and supervisors.


Quarterly appraisals establish training and development needs, to meet the
future requirements of the individual’s role and to ensure the on-going
personal development of all staff.


The training team assists in identifying training needs and co-ordinating an
overall training and development plan to ensure the quality of training
delivered and relevance in the achievement of business objectives.


The enthusiasm and commitment of the staff and the positive attitude they have
towards the company define the culture. A structured support mechanism is in
place and senior team members act as coaches for more junior staff.


Performance is measured in terms of both quality and quantity of work, staff
are aware of their individual targets and are given weekly feedback and
coaching to improve their overall performance.


A review process is conducted in rotation on a one-to-one basis by the
departmental trainers to support the team leaders and identify individual and
generic training requirements.

Organisation

TGI Friday’s
Team: Training team
Entered by: Jane Briggs-Burkitt, training manager


Every team member of TGI Friday’s is part of the top training team from
managing and operations directors to team members working in the restaurants.


Directors participate in courses as tutors and also work regularly in the
restaurants.


All levels of management take an active part in pilot and focus research groups
to determine what training is needed, how it can be approached and review its
effectiveness.


The business has six strategic objectives sponsored by six directors. Each year
all strategies are reviewed at meetings attended by directors and senior
managers including Briggs-Burkitt.


A range of business benefit measures are used to evaluate training and
development. These include profit and loss and mystery diner scores.

Organisation

Barclays Bank Plc
Team: Small Business Training Team
Entered by: Barry Cross, training manager


The training team reports directly to the sales and performance management
director, ensuring training and development is involved at every stage of any
major new project


It adopts a troubleshooting role on a one-to-one basis


Its representatives are invited to add value at every stage of major projects


Its skills review process helps to evaluate the success of the training through
ensuring that skills are applied in the workplace.


Regular evaluation reports are produced for each programme, for example after a
pilot and at the end of each phase. 
These have a wide distribution list within the business.


Comments are sought from the top table and key people such as project managers.

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