What does your role involve?
Ensuring that all our staff are trained to use the IT platform that we share across the globe. In effect, it means working with a team of trainers who are based around the world to co-ordinate training strategy and delivery. Their successful delivery, and the assimilation and practice of our staff, will ensure that we are more productive as an organisation. This is critical if we are to embrace and be comfortable with newer technologies in the future.
What is your current major training project or strategic push?
We are currently in a global roll-out of a new IT platform to around 7,500 staff in 217 cities spanning 110 countries. This will provide staff with the latest versions of Microsoft Windows XP and Office 2003, and will involve upgrading all commonly-used applications to current versions. E-mail accounts will be moved to Exchange 2003.
What impact would you like to have on your organisation?
I would like to think that I contribute to continuous staff development through interventions such as training, access to materials and content, mentoring, and other training solutions. I want to influence a change in our culture from one where we provide a regular schedule of courses to one where our staff are more proactive in recognising their training needs and requesting more innovative training solutions.
What are the best and worst things about the job?
The best are the people I get to work with both in the UK and around the world, and the opportunity to travel. The worst are London’s cold winter mornings which I have noticed after working in Africa and Asia for the past seven years.
What did you want to do for a living when you were at school?
I wanted to be an artist. I studied art and technical drawing but didn’t pursue this at college or university.
How do you demonstrate return on investment (ROI) from training schemes?
It’s imperative that our staff are able to fully utilise and embrace the benefits of IT. One way to measure ROI is through the relatively small number of requests for help or training relating to applications-based training both internally and through our co-sourced partner, LogicaCMG. Also, by conducting an annual survey of training delivered and measuring how we have performed, we can verify whether the investment is paying off.
What do you think is the greatest challenge facing the training profession?
The ability to write e-content that captivates the users. E-learning needs to explore more creative ways of engaging the learner. But nothing can replace being in a classroom with a great trainer and a lively bunch of delegates.
How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time?
I think we will be increasingly using newer technologies. I also think that we will have much better connectivity, which will allow online classroom training delivered through video-conferencing technologies at the desktop.
What is the essential tool in your job?
There are two things. Firstly, e-mail, which I need to communicate easily with my team which is based across the world. Secondly, my diary. It is in a ‘vintage’ format, with handwritten entries.
Describe your dream job
It would have to be a motoring correspondent!