In the UK, we get the idea that our staff need to be technically trained, but we have little or no understanding that the job of 'manager' is neither innate nor obvious. It can't just be learned by trial and error. Simply, we don't train our managers and, as a nation, this lack of management training is killing us. Here's what to do.
Whilst training interventions can indeed change the whole organisation, the culture change scenario differs from ‘normal’ training. ‘Normal’ training is in pursuit of change in competencies in individuals. Change in culture involves change in the way things are done in the organisation – the normative behaviour of all. Here's how they differ.
People believe that they must move up to progress. But in an SME, that’s rarely possible. Modern SMEs have flat structures and opportunities to move ‘up’ are few. So it’s often assumed that ambitious staff in SMEs have to leave to advance. To give careers in SMEs management and staff must e re-defined 'progress' on a personal level. It’s the taking on of greater responsibility, making greater contribution to the business and gaining greater personal achievement. Here's how progress becomes career.
Performance appraisals have come in for some serious criticism recently. And yet the books and articles written which criticise simply advocate performance appraisal by another name – or rather a collection of names. Here's an analysis of the issues.
The firm had been offering modelling of telecommunications systems. It had the necessary software tools. and a well-trained, experienced workforce. But the market was changing. New questions needed huge additional skills – skills in building massively more complex methods. Here's how those skills were achieved.
Commitment matters. If managers can get all staff to be committed, other management and leadership activities become possible. Without committed staff, there’s little the manager can do to achieve goals and the firm will just drift. This paper describes commitment and outlines research that shows what managers can do to achieve commitment. The research shows that there is correlation between the idiosyncratic granting of developmental opportunities and affective commitment in those benefitting.
Staff development is the act of persuading a member of staff to change – to change their skills, knowledge or behaviours – towards that wanted. That persuasion comes by way of training, mentoring or coaching. Staff have existing competencies and behaviours. The difference between what’s needed and what’s available today is what any development must focus on.