Article (October-2019)


Training function should equally be respected

Anil Malik

Designation : -   Management Consultant HR & IR Strategies

Organization : -  AM HR Solutions, Indore


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The training to its people is a vital part of any organisation for its growth and development. It is an investment for the creation of people into an assets. It is a way to make potential strength of people in the organisation as per the need of competitive business and for the customer satisfaction. However, this is also a universal fact that in many organisations HR department and people who are handling the portfolio of learning and development face many challenges in execution of its training programme. It is essential but not inevitable and accepted as critical need as enabler accepts. People feel offended even by knowing that they need some training for further improving their skills and competencies. They take it as a challenge to their knowledge and talent aptitude. There are organisations where learning and development is a tool of engagement during non-production days or during slack seasons of the business.

However, such organisations need to rethink their outlook towards training. In a today's world of competition, no organisation can survive fora long time without the readiness of its people resource for meeting any kind of new challenges.

Here is a case study of an organisation where training is scheduled for the middle level Managers and Kamya, the training officer responsible for organising trainings and development programmess in the organisation is struggling for the attendees who were nominated by their respective heads of the department. She is facing anawkward situation and running from pillar to post for ensuring the committed attendance in the hall and for the saving of reputation of the company before the outside faculty. When she went into details, she came to know that many of the employees were keen to attend the sessions but their HODs have not sent them and they were assigned to do a different task. Obviously the attitude of HODs itself reveals that they are not concerned towards the need of training in the organisation. Even if they are occupied and accountable for their functional targets, they should not have disturbed the pre-planned and scheduled programme. Ultimately, they are the leaders of their work area. They are also expected to exhibit decency and respect to the other's function. If they had some other priorities cropped up, then a communication could have been made to HR for the rescheduling of the training programme. However, it seems here more of a cultural issue and attitude towards training.

Kamya took it as personal humiliation and expressed her annoyance and frustration to her superior HR Head, he certainly tried to console her with maturity and explain her how a cultural change is a challenge in an organisation and she is cultivating a barren land. Knowing the sincere efforts of Kamya towards bringing the culture of learning and development in the organisation the agitated HR head wrote a bit strongly worded mail to all the HODs and pointed their behaviour over the non-participation of employees from their respective functions.

Here the role of HR head also seems to be over aggressive. Instead of sending a mail in haste under the influence of annoyance of her subordinate, he could have discussed with CEO and call for a meeting of all HODs to express his concerns and disappointment and formulate strategies for the future training and development programs in the organisation. This was an opportunity for him to discuss the issues of HODs related to training etc. However, his mail received negative response from the CEO of the organisation who took it as a very indecent and disrespectful communication from the desk of HR Head. Kamya also over reacted and prompted her superior to take such an action.

The CEO called HR Head over phone and fired him a lot as why he was not updated on the issue before mailing to HODs and they all complained against the harshness of the mail sent by HR Head. He was furious and he defended HODs based on their need and seniority in the organisation. He found that HODs felt hurt and insulted with the mail of HR Head. He did not even listened to the HR head and dropped the phone. Nevertheless, here he has not shown his leadership traits. A leader must demonstrate its leadership with a balance approach. Obviously, CEO who is head of business in the organisation had a soft corner with the people who are engaged in core function like production, marketing, etc. However, HR is also an important function in the organisation, which takes care of the people as a key resource in making any business successful. His instant reactions and anger towards HR Head was not good. He could have called him in his office and counselled him.

Meanwhile, when HR Head saw a mail in his inbox related to meeting called by CEO of all HODS, he got bit upset and called Kamya and informed her over all reactions of HODs, their displeasure, CEO's anger  etc. He also directed Kamya to furnish all the details of last 6 months related to trainings, attendance, and post training evaluation details and trainings feedback about the participants' attitude.

Knowing all these, Kamya got demoralised and felt herself responsible for the situation, as she never thought that the issue would escalate up to that extent.

However, I feel HR Head should behave a bit more maturely in the meeting and invite suggestions from the HODs on their views on need of training initiatives and implementation of training plans, which are accepted to all. He can further explain that how training can help in enhancing skills, capabilities and knowledge of employees for doing their job effectively. Training process changes the thinking of employees and leads to quality performance of employees. It is continuous and never-ending processes.

CEO should first express his vision and thought processes towards learning and development of people.

He should precisely share his thought processes in the meeting of HODs by expressing his concern towards lack of commitment, discipline, mutual respect and coordination in communication with each other.

He can council the HODs that how learning and development processes can be helpful in achieving the vision, mission and goals of the organisation and how trained and competent people will be more effective in the organisation towards quality, productivity and delivery. Despite of all work and target pressures, training to the employees is also a need of the time. The health of the organisation is also assessed with the assets of its competent people with their capabilities and skills.

Lastly, being the CEO of the organisation, he must realise that HR Head can only function and deploy the vision of the organisation unless he agrees to it. HR Head should be appreciated for his efforts in driving the initiatives of learning and development despite of unending challenges. He must express his solidarity with people's management.