As companies extend their reach overseas and workforces become increasingly diverse, the nature of employee training and development has started to change shape. According to a survey of 3,100 senior human resources executives by the Novations Group, a co
by Site Staff
May 1, 2006
As companies extend their reach overseas and workforces become increasingly diverse, the nature of employee training and development has started to change shape. According to a survey of 3,100 senior human resources executives by the Novations Group, a consulting and training organization based in Boston, globalization has begun to influence employee training and development by North American companies.
Globalization and overseas outsourcing have affected T&D priorities at 15 percent of companies, while the trend is being studied by 25 percent. A majority of organizations do not anticipate any changes in employee development programs due to globalization during the year ahead.
Of those companies reporting changes in their T&D programs, 60 percent reported they have stepped up training in core skills, and 45 percent reported they are placing more focus on creative skills and intellectual development. Increased training in new technologies accounted for 30 percent of respondents.
According to Novations Group President and COO Mike Hyter, training and development executives are well aware of the pressures of globalization and outsourcing. “But so far, employers are responding differently, the findings tell us. While core skills always seem to need improvement, we’re most struck by the emphasis on encouraging creativity and a higher level of intellectual development,” Hyter said.
According to Hyter, companies are beginning to make creative skills a major focus within employee development. “We’re always going to agree that core skills are important, but encouraging creativity is really where the value-add of competitive differentiation lies,” he said. “There will be sort of basic jobs that require a lot of repetition, production-related jobs that are easier to outsource. But you can’t outsource the creative stuff. It’s difficult to outsource to another culture. There’s a small band that’s on the front end of this trend. The differential for an organization is going to be the quality of the individuals that work there—the human resources or brain-power element. Companies are becoming more creative and making that as a focus.”
Hyter said creativity isn’t necessarily an innate skill. It’s something that can be taught. “A fundamental skill and a core line as a basis for creativity is helping people get in touch with and learn about their propensity for risks,” Hyter said. “It’s an incremental way to become more and more comfortable with pushing the envelope against risk. But I think creativity oftentimes is something that isn’t always accessible to many of us. It tends to be stifled based on the fear of rejection of negative judgment. We have found you can help people encourage their creative side. In the spirit of problem solving and the kinds of exercises and practices that can incrementally help them, creativity is not an innate skill. Creativity comes from working with and partnership with different cultures. Addressing the high and lows of options are developable skills. They just aren’t skills that aren’t easily changed in one two-hour event.”
Hyter said the survey showed that organizations use blended approaches for creativity training. “Interestingly enough, how it’s playing out is a combination of instructor-led processes coupled with pre-work and presentations,” he said. “The development is more of a process. They’re using a blend of instructor-led and self-work stuff. Companies are training people that way around the world.”