The most alluring training and development packages require us to engage with time and space. Helen Vandevelde explains why
The paradox that the best way to retain talented staff is to invest in their employability has now passed into the mainstream of thinking among training and development managers. The more competitive you make your employees, the greater their incentive is to stick around for more.
That insight puts a new kind of burden on to training and development managers. They need to think beyond the immediate interests of the organisation. That means coming up with human resource investment packages that will increase the value of their people in the labour market. And those packages had better be more attractive than the ones that rival companies put together.
How is it done? Why, you figure out what people need next. How is the labour market going to move? What’s going to be the next big thing?
In financial circles, this sort of activity is called “speculation”. And that’s just what training and development managers should be doing: speculating in skills futures.
But it isn’t that easy. Different market segments are moving in varied ways.
And in reality, there’s never just one big thing. Not even the Internet. It’s more a case of a number of medium-sized things coming along.
So, where do we look? Here are three suggestions, all linked in one way or another to globalisation.
1 - Invest in people’s cross-cultural skills and experience
This century will be cross-cultural. Just as currencies converge in the European Union, so will cultural values. This will happen more slowly, but as we participate in the same global markets as Malays and Mexicans, so will we need to acclimatise to their value structures (as they do to ours). To work effectively, people will need to relate well to different cultures.
2 - Create and extend opportunities for colleagues to work across national boundaries
This could occur within your own company if it has developed an international presence, or in collaboration with business partners overseas. If these don’t exist (as they won’t for many small businesses), c