Strengthen Your Human Capital Investment with Staff Development
Leading printing executives into the future
Strengthen Your Human Capital Investment with Staff
By Jerry Scher
Published: November 2, 2012
Study after study has shown that the performance differential between your top performers and
average performers is substantial. Whether you measure productivity, revenue, profit or
innovative contributions, your "A" players can really pay off in the short and long term. In earlier
articles in this series we focused on how to re-engineer your recruiting and hiring systems and I
hope you gained valuable insights into this critical process. But once these "A" players are
employed, your focus must be on leveraging their capabilities and of course retaining them over
"The performance differential between your top performers and average performers is
Training and coaching is the fuel that drives your business's growth and the people that work
within your organization. The purpose of this article is to provide some insights into how you
develop effective training and coaching programs.
As your business transitions through the different stages of maturity, dependence on more skilled
and knowledgeable people becomes essential to your success. As you become focused on
increasing productivity, efficiency, business expansion, profitability and customer and employee
loyalty, it becomes increasingly clear that the knowledge, capability and skills of your team
members will either be a limiting factor or a source of unlimited opportunities.
Experience has demonstrated that well designed and executed employee training programs will
strengthen employee recruiting programs, increase productivity, improve quality, reduce
employee turnover, increase efficiencies resulting in superior profitability and minimize the need
for direct supervision or micro managing. In fact, when employees have the capabilities to
perform their best, the company performs at its best.
"Training and coaching is the fuel that drives your business's growth."
When you hire new employees are they capable of hitting the ground running or does it take
longer than you would like for them to be significant contributors? Are your experienced
employees continuously enhancing their skills or have they stopped growing professionally and
become a drain on your organization. Companies can gain a competitive advantage through their
employees' capabilities; they are the link to your clients.
A systematic program of training should be developed for your organization so that you can
provide skilled, competent staff; they are essential to building a strong and profitable company.
Programs for new hires should be well planned and customized to meet the specific needs of
your new team members. The emotional impact of participating in well-designed training
programs, starting on their first day, can do wonders for employee morale. As a result of
participation in on-going training programs, employees will become emotionally committed to
solving new challenges that continually arise.
If you agree that providing training to employees at all levels of experience (not just new
employees) is an essential ingredient to building a successful organization then you must bear in
mind the principles, content and process necessary to design an effective training program.
What's it like for new employees the first day on the job at your company? Who is responsible
for their orientation and what information is covered?
When it comes to new employees, it is crucial that their orientation be carefully planned. They
must be prepared to do the work they were hired to do as well as learn how to work within your
organization. The trainers must carefully communicate your organization's expectations and
facilitate the initiation of critical relationships as well as mentoring opportunities. Frequently,
new employees will select one company over another based upon the training they will receive
and the personal growth opportunities your organization can provide.
Carefully determine the skill level of your new employees. Observe their work performance,
interview them about their strengths and weaknesses and focus on the types of questions they
ask. Interview their more experienced colleagues about what training they require and provide
customized training opportunities as well as the standard programs you provide to all new
employees. If you want to maximize your return on investment, you must leverage every training
opportunity with new employees. The sooner they develop the required skills, the sooner they
will be productive contributors to your organization.
Seasoned, experienced employees require continuous education to maintain their knowledge,
skill level and capabilities. Training programs can communicate your organization's focus as
well as promote the need for personal development. During training sessions you can identify the
wants and needs of your employees and identify those people who can become your future
supervisors, managers and leaders.
"Companies can gain a competitive advantage through their employees' capabilities."
In an industry struggling with the challenges of continuous change, experienced employees must
stay current with changing technologies, methodologies and processes. Your investment in their
continuous improvement will reap an abundance of benefits. Studies have shown that employees
that participate in continuous personal development are more loyal, productive and long-term
contributors to their company's success.
Consider the following steps to designing a systematic program of training
Review your organizational objectives and determine the skills employees require to do their
Assess the skills of current employees and all new employees to determine their strengths and
Establish training objectives for each group of employees.
Select the employees that will participate.
Select the training methods and modalities that will be utilized (i.e., on the job training,
classroom, role playing and simulation, audio/visual media).
Select the trainers for your programs. Go outside your organization, if necessary.
Administer training to the selected employees (i.e., location, facilities, resources, timing).
Design an evaluation process for each training program utilizing both pre and post- tests.
Appraise the curriculum and modify and revise as needed.
Who should do the training?
You must identify people within your organization that have the required knowledge and skills
and have demonstrated the expertise to train others. These people should participate in train-thetrainer programs so they can learn the skills necessary to become effective teachers. If you don't
currently have people on staff, look outside your organization. Take advantage of programs
offered by industry and trade associations, as well as services provided by your valued suppliers.
If you carefully design a well thought-out systematic training program for all aspects of your
organization, the training resources are not difficult to identify. If you would like more
information about assessing eligibility, suitability and learning more about conducting
professional interviews, please contact Jerry Scher at email@example.com or 404-9319291.
You can also get information about the Harrison Assessment at
Stay tuned to this continual series – as we focus on how to design and implement an effective
sales management program.
Jerry Scher has been engaged in the graphic communication industry for over 35 years, Jerry's
primary goal - make those around him more successful.