With the first acknowledgement there is a skills crisis, it would tempting and understandable to scour contacts and the internet to find a good training course; to find a decent, reputable training company; to find a set of subjects that could be appropriate; to select a few candidates and send them away to see if any good comes of it.
In part 1 of this series, we asked whether people will receive the right training and education. By that we mean, will they sit in a classroom in which the ‘trainer’ tells them all he or she knows, rather than what the students need to know – and can actually use?
Well, what do people in any organisation need? In the first instance let’s be clear: it is not a great idea to train people to work more effectively if people (and the organisation) are still unclear about their job roles, expectations, responsibilities, accountabilities and the skills – and the competencies required to fulfil that role.
On so many occasions we have asked Managers and Supervisors why they have been sent on a particular course? ‘No idea’, comes the swift reply, ‘I was just told to go’. Whilst it may be ‘hit and miss’ whether people might learn something useful, it doesn’t help people’s frame of mind when they don’t know why they have been sent on a course in the first place.
Clarifying people’s job roles – and the actual competencies that are required to fulfil that role is a prerequisite, however obvious that my sound. Getting the organisational structure right is critical. Most organisations we are asked to examine are made up of various individuals placed in situ due to their experience, knowledge, tenacity, likeability or loyalty. The boxes in an organisation chart can become arbitrary fixtures based on a perception of individuals’ abilities rather than a real understanding of functional imperatives.
The organisation needs to be aligned with specific parts of the Management Control System that in turn measure specific parts of the Process. It is when organisations become detached from the Process that subjectivity, ambiguity and personal preference becomes prevalent.
Once the structure is defined and people understand what is expected of them, the educational work can begin. And that’s why building a usable Competency Framework is the next step in defining what skills and capabilities are required at each level in the organisation.
So, what does a Competency Framework include?
More of this in Part 3