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“Ongoing Professional” Skills Training

You are the CEO of Worldwide E-Consultants, a services company specializing in all manner of IT computer services and consulting. You have 3,000 employees at seven different locations in six time zones.

Many of your employees, although not your key employees, were recruited primarily for their technical skills with the hopes that their professional skills would grow on the job. But you’ve noticed that many of the rough edges are not smoothing out just by working on the job. As a consequence, you’re setting up a new policy that requires each employee to complete five days of “professional” training each year in such topics as:

  • Negotiating
  • Leadership
  • Business Issues
  • Teamwork
  • Running meetings

What’s at Stake?

The training case study here is similar to Case Study #5 in that it’s important to your business, but it’s not critical. You’d like to have everyone better trained in these professional areas. But your business will continue at roughly current levels in the short term if your employees don’t improve their professional-type skills. Again, this case study falls into the category of a “strategically good thing to do” as long as it’s not going to cost too much.

Student Motivation

Your employees will have good intentions, but they will also need a job requirement like completing five days of this training every year. That five day requirement is the key to the student motivation. What happens to the employees who meet the requirement? What happens to those who don’t? You don’t have to create your own e-learning courseware if you can buy it from industry vendors.

Note: Stop a moment and think of your own e-learning solution before reading on.

Solution Factors

As in Case Study #5, a good solution approach here is to offer self directed, on-demand training to these students. The students can take the e-learning courses on their own at their convenience. You should try to buy this standard training from industry vendors instead of creating it yourself.

If you are currently sending employees to classroom courses for this sort of training, on-demand e-learning will result in an immediate savings in travel costs. A critical element of the solution must also include a tracking mechanism for students who complete e-learning courses. They need to get credit on their human resources record for completing the courses.

To help with student motivation, you could set up the e-learning solution so that you have a threaded discussion Web page for students taking the same course at roughly the same time. Students can leave messages at the page for others to respond to. In addition, you can involve a mentor or instructor in these message based discussions.

And you should think of other rewards for faithful students.