I am often asked for a template for developing a Training Strategy or Performance Improvement Strategy – which, based on the arguments in my last post, will be referred to as a Training for Performance Improvement (TPI) Strategy for the remainder of this post – perhaps I might be able to influence change!
Such a template can be very useful as a guide, but it should only be used as a guide. If taken too rigidly it will hinder your creative thinking or the adding of aspects that might be of particular importance to you and your organisation. I offer you this template with those words of caution.
There are 3 distinct parts within this Strategy template:
- Part 1 – The Foundation Stones
- Part 2 – The Standards and Responsibilities
- Part 3 – The Supporting Processes
Within this post, I will cover what I see as the Foundation Stones for a beneficial Strategy. These are required – as the name suggests – in order to ensure a sound platform for the remainder of the Strategy.
Section 1 – Statement of Values
This section should include a statement on behalf of the organisation setting out its commitment to performance improvement / staff development / training.
If your organisation has a Board of Governors or similar, the statement should be agreeable to both the Board and the Senior Management Team. This is important in terms of unity and clarity, and so that you can gain organisational acceptance for your TPI Strategy.
If you have your own Vision, this can also be included within this section.
Section 2 – Strategic Objectives
Consider these questions:
- What are the long term objectives of your organisation?
- What are the core skills required within your sector?
- What are the likely influences on your organisation over the coming years -you might want to undertake a PEST / PESTLE analysis (consider adding as an appendix the key documents you have considered)?
- What are the national learning and development issues that are likely to impact on your organisation?
As a result of this Strategic Assessment, you may well come up with several specific objectives, or you may decide to use just one, such as, “To develop the skills and improve the performance of our managers and their team members”.
Do which works best for you, but remember, whatever objective(s) you do come up with need to long term (5 years) and also link into the organisation’s long term objectives – and the links need to be obvious.
Section 3 – Guiding Principles to Underpin the Strategy
This section can be particularly useful in less mature organisations where you are still seeking to embed effective development processes.
The sorts of principles that you might see benefit from incorporating could include:
- The PDR / Appraisal process will be the effective link between personal development and organisational effectiveness
- Learning and Development is a critical support function working to enable the organisation to deliver improved organisational performance (particularly useful to include if your unit’s title is ‘Training’ or ‘Learning and Development’)
- The focus of activities will be on improving the performance of staff and the services we provide (the comments against the previous bullet point also apply here)
- Staff will be encouraged and supported to undertake appropriate self-development activities
- The content of programmes will be stimulating and challenging
- Leadership skills and valuing diversity will be key threads throughout learning activities
- Where possible, learning and development activities will be linked to nationally recognised qualifications
- Monitoring of transference of skills to the workplace will take place in order to ascertain the value of learning and development activities
So those are the Foundation Stones – in the next post I will explain Part 2 – the Standards and Responsibilities for the TPI Strategy.