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Facilitating corporate growth through training


CORPORATE organisations, on a regular basis, review their operations as part of measures to achieve set goals and sustain growth.

 Under the arrangement, options regarding up-to-date training for workers  are thoroughly reviewed in the interest of the organisation.

 Indeed, training and retraining coupled with carefully planned mentoring scheme play crucial role in sustain corporate growth and development.

Not entirely a new management technique, mentoring is usually when an experienced member of staff assist others to grow and understand the rudiment of the job and corporate strategy. It is a familiar approach in Africa because of its ability to ensure sustainable corporate growth and development.

  Corporations around the world rely heavily on the tradition of training and transferring skills to younger employees despite criticism in some quarters, which suggest that it perpetuate a particular way of doing things at the expense of diversity and development.

 Under a mentoring arrangement, both partners benefit, indicating that the best way to learn is to assist in the development and teaching of others. Mentoring takes place in all organisations whether it is adopted as a policy or not.

  According to experts, modern day mentoring scheme entails absorbing the culture and perceived values of the organisation through interactions with co-workers.

   Seasoned management experts such as John Murray, Jude Murray and Cliff Summer, explained that there are many factors that can affect the success rate of a mentoring programme in a school or company.

  “Mentoring will not be successful if done in a tense atmosphere because in such a case senior teachers will be more interested in self-development. They would be looking for ways to enhance their careers and stay ahead of the competition. The organisation must have the adequate number of mentors and if numbers fall short than required, the school must hire people than make do with those available.

     “Another important requirement is that the dealings between the mentor and the trainee must be very confidential, because the basis of the mentor-trainee relationship is confidence. If the trainee feels that the process is some sort of an assessment or that it would lead to a confidential report to the top management, he will be less forthcoming and will try to hold back himself, which destroys the very purpose of the activity. Usually, the requirement of the management is to see that the goals of the trainee are satisfied more than the mentor”.

   They explained that the mentor–trainee relationships could get out of hand sometimes because of close interactions, adding that most managements take necessary precautions before the launch of such programmes.

  It is in such cases that the reputation and professional skill of the mentor far outweighs anything else to the company. It’s   difficult to find effective mentors as it is. Many mentors don’t believe they need any training or advice.

  “Effective mentoring partnerships are goal-oriented and focus on the trainee’s skill, knowledge, and/or attitude development. It is very important that the trainee too have a plan of development before they come into contact with a mentor.

 “Research shows that people learn best by observing experts and by being given assignments. One of the main role and responsibly of the mentor is to review the progress of the trainee and to keep him accountable for what he does. Mentoring is a mutually beneficial arrangement because both the mentor and the trainee benefit from the exercise.

   “As far as the trainee is concerned, he will be able to tap into the rich experience and teaching strategies of the mentor. He or she   can be assured that the techniques of the mentor would work, because the mentor himself is a living example of success. He will also learn to avoid mistakes that would have been committed by the mentor. In short, the mentor takes him through an experimented and tried path of success. The difference in age is a very big factor that ensures the success of the mentor-trainee relationships. The difference in age in itself is a psychological factor that influences the trainee and makes him or her automatically respect the mentor. 

  “The importance of mentoring assumes significance for teachers because often, new teachers have to face problems that are similar in magnitude and complexity to the problems that are faced by experienced teachers. Since experience is a big asset in handling these problems, a good mentor will be able to guide new and inexperienced teachers to achieve his professional goals.

“Even statistics show that inexperienced teachers have a high probability to leave the profession because of the daily stress and workload that they have to face as part of their profession. It was seen that most new teachers leave their jobs in the first two years due to adverse working conditions in the work place”, explained Casey & Mitchell.

   Meanwhile, there are three major areas in which attention is required in the creation of effective training programmes and their implementation. These areas are inclusive of ability of the training to be transferred to the work environment, the readiness of the trainee and the structure of the training.    

  As reported by Ronald E. Riggio in Introduction to Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the structure of the training with regards to its frequency and style is particularly important in that it is the one element that is free from external influence such as the cognitive ability of the employee to transfer the training to their environment or the employees current skill level.

   Riggio explained that a solid training structure could be established by following specific steps such as the assessment of training needs, “The purpose of this is to specifically define what is required to do the work in question. Next, assessing the training objectives allows for the creation of a structural outline for the training programme that will not only help administer communicating the data but also the employees ability to understand, follow, retain and apply the information presented.      

  “It will also provide a foundation by which to evaluate the validity of the training programme after its use. Yet before the training programme is implemented, the methods by which the training will be conducted must be evaluated for so as to ensure the highest benefit at the lowest cost. In addition to this, the training programme must be applicable to its participants in areas such as cognitive ability, skill proficiency and education. If the training is not mindful of these factors it may not be effective and waste the company’s resources as well as possibly create a situation in which the participant feels overwhelmed and loses confidence in their ability to do the job effectively.

  “Implementation of the training programme for evaluative purposes is the next step in ensuring the cost to benefit ratio of the training programme. There are four main areas in which focus will be given with regards to the programme’s effectiveness. These areas are inclusive of reaction, learning, behavioral and result criteria. Reaction criteria will be performed to measure the participant’s opinion of the programme and its effectiveness by administration of a survey following completion of the training programme.

 “The learning criteria is an assessment of the amount of information retained by the participants. This data can be acquired using a correlated testing platform such as a quiz. Measurement of the behavioral criteria, inclusive of newly presented skills and/or increase in skills displayed by participant after training, gives the opportunity for hands on observational study allowing for immediate measurement of the programmes’s effectiveness”.

Over the years, the need for technical and vocational training has taken the centre stage because of its ability to tackle unemployment especially among youth.

The question often asked by concerned stakeholders is “can the youths give what they don’t have?”

    Director General (DG) of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Olusegun Osinowo explained recently that it was high time all stakeholders realise that training input would always determine output.

    “There is no rocket science about this. If the quality of your input in training is poor, then the output will be poor as well,” he said.

 Osinowo stressed that the starting point for Nigeria was to get the quality of her input right, whether it is from the hardware or software perspectives that has to do with the quality of instructors in school.

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