Bridge performance gaps using a Foundation Skills Catalogue
A fundamental measure of any organisation is its performance, especially in a time of change. The challenge is to make sure that performance is consistent and effective across the organisation and work to improve it. And that means identifying performance gaps and taking steps to bridge them. One way is to introduce Foundation Skills Training Catalogues to offer a range of courses across key areas of business competence.
Taking the First Steps
You can easily see the effects of poor performance in poor productivity, but you need to identify where gaps lie. This analysis, in the end, comes down to assessing people’s competence and preparedness for the tasks they’re required to perform. Ultimately the only way to guarantee their performance is through training, but training as we know can be forgettable and uninspiring, especially if it’s seen as removed for the work people need to do.
If people don’t see the direct relevance of training, they tend to regard it as ineffective even before they’ve taken it. No-one wants to learn what they already know or believe they don’t need. Hence the requirement for a needs gap analysis to discover who knows what and who doesn’t and to pinpoint which training is needed and where. If you can intervene at the onboarding stage all the better, but you can’t assume that more experienced employees no longer need assistance and some remedial training.
You should always evaluate the training you already have. Then think about how you can repurpose existing material to address a current need. Before starting any training, ensure the target audience takes a pre-assessment to find out what they do and don’t know. This prevents wasting time and means gaps that can be addressed in a more targeted way. If your organisation uses an LMS, you can also use its data to analyse what’s been used and viewed (and, just as important, what hasn’t) and how often.
The advantages of Foundation Skills Catalogues
The drive to keep pace with change not only affects organisations, but it also affects employees too. They need to adapt and update their skill sets or learn new ones. Pressure on time and resources mean that developing training solutions to plug particular gaps are difficult and costly to implement and potentially superseded by change. This is the main rationale for introducing broad-based Foundation Skills Training.
Foundation Skills Training Catalogues cover a wide variety of subject areas and topics. They’re designed to improve and develop individual abilities such as writing and presentation skills or producing a CV. They offer training on key management skills like leading teams or resolving workplace conflicts. Foundation Skills Training offers instruction on how to act as a coach or provide performance appraisals. The training is constantly updated to respond to new developments and topical subjects like GDPR and Health and Safety Legislation. And these catalogues provide a guide to managing change, a key imperative for all businesses and employees.
In short, Foundation Skills Catalogues work to establish and improve general business literacy and performance standard across organisations.
Providing Motivation through CPD
It’s not enough to purchase a suite of modules and expect employees to take the training. Learners need motivating, and that involves a combination of factors.
Obvious relevance to the job is a key requirement for engaging learners, but beyond that, there’s the need to have the value of training recognised. Increasingly employees are required to be part of CPD schemes. The advantage of CPD for managers is that it helps maintain standards for businesses and industries. The advantage for employees is that it’s a formal, shared recognition of their attainment and skills, directly linked to career advancement within the current organisation and beyond.
A Foundation Skills Catalogue that is recognised and accredited by a CPD scheme will help motivate learners and develop a workforce that continues proactively to enhance its skill set.
Making training engaging
Effective learning requires effort. If a learner engages, the training is more likely to make an impression and more likely to be applied. elearning is an engaging way of delivering content employing strategies that improve retention and explain the relevance.
Foundation Skills elearning Catalogues are designed by learning specialists and Subject Matter Experts. So, as a learner, you not only receive diverse training material, but you can be assured its content is in line with industry best practice. New modules and new topics are added regularly as the demand for upskilling grows.
These modules attract and retain learners’ attention by using a combination of features such as gamification, simulation, assessment, and accreditation. elearning appeals to modern learners who regularly obtain the information they need from online resources and social media. Videos and animations make learning more memorable and aid retention and application of information. The elearning modules can be easily customised to make training more obviously relevant to the organisation.
The use of digital content improves another key feature of successful learning: accessibility. The CPD model of incremental learning recognises that training needn’t mean a whole course or a diploma but may instead be just regular chunks of learning assessed on a frequent and repeated basis. In the modern workplace, learners are time poor and need to be able to access the information they need to the job at hand when they need it and where they need it. Using technology to bring training fully into the workflow increases its appeal and applicability. This is learning at work for work, beyond the classroom and LMS.
elearning can be made accessible across a range of devices. This interoperability combined with mobile connectivity allows for learning on the go, just in time, away from the desk as learners access training on their tablets and mobile phones. This flexibility places the control in learners’ hands allowing them to learn at their own pace and to take ownership of their personal training needs. ‘Just-in-time’ training reflects the way people increasingly access information every day, using mobile devices to get direct access to a world of information where and when they need it.
Retaining staff to deliver performance
Improving performance means maintaining standards and keeping trained personnel in position. High staff turnover has a negative impact on performance. It’s not just that productivity dips when a person leaves and another needs to be hired and trained to take that place. It’s also the loss of experience and expertise when an experienced person moves on.
Research has shown that better-trained staff perform better. Motivated employees look for training to improve their own performance and further their career prospects. A well-trained and highly-motivated workforce delivers efficiency and productivity and reduces performance gaps. Also, they set an example to inspire others and that virtuous circle makes the workplace an attractive place to work for existing employees and new talent.
Using Foundation Skills to promote a Learning Culture
The ultimate step is to make Foundation Skills training self-sustaining so that it becomes a reflex and part-and-parcel of what it means to be an employee of the organisation. This requires the development of a culture of learning where training is seen not only as necessary but as actively beneficial and something that is continually in progress. Training in the workplace needs to be a collaborative affair and reflect the way information is now shared in the social media space.
By making training more learner-centred elearning bolsters a key element of foundation skills: namely, personal development. But another vital component of Foundation Skills is the development of others through management or team leadership. Foundations Skills Training Catalogues helps develop an ethos of sharing information between employees and using the people’s expertise to help others learn and improve their skills.
Foundations Skills: a timely solution
Foundation Skills Training Catalogues offer a cost-effective, practical and flexible solution to bridging gaps in performance. The range and accessibility of the modules offered mean that they are highly adaptable and can be used, reused and repurposed to cover the fundamental areas of business training. They improve standards by providing high-quality, industry-approved content that offers real-world experience and can bring training into the workflow. With new modules being added all the time they help you keep pace with change and relieve organisations of the burden of limited time and resources.
Gaps in performance are always like to occur with change. The question is how you react in a timely and effective way to ensure those gaps are soon closed. With Foundation Skills Training Catalogues ensuring an even standard of fundamental business literacy, you’re not only addressing gaps in knowledge you’re also providing your people with the skills to adapt and keep pace with change.
About the author
Ryan Cooper is Learning Pool’s e-learning catalogue manager and works with customers and teams across Learning Pool to ensure that our e-learning content within our 9 product catalogues is up-to-date, relevant and fit-for-purpose.
As well as developing new content in these areas his role is to investigate and assess new catalogue ventures and to work with our subject matter experts to showcase their sector-leading knowledge and experience.