For most firms the big question is how committed is the firm toward promoting continuing education for their employees? Assuming that the leadership of the firm is committed to the professional growth of their employees then assessment of employees and firm needs, analysis of the data, and setting measurable objectives are the basics to insuring that implementation of the best process will succeed.
There is no shortage of eager education providers and consultants available, firms should have little difficulty matching education to needs. Many firms that have successful internal professional education programs start by forming and education committee that handles the administration functions of need assessment, selection, implementation, delivery format and other administrative type functions. Generally a staff member is volunteered to handle the facilitation of these duties. As a rule of thumb, if the firm has more than 50 employees the position could be half time with pay or shift of billable hour responsibility. When the firm reaches 100 employees it is time to consider committing to a full time staff person to coordinate the responsibilities of education.
What use to be predominantly a choice between sending staff somewhere externally for training or allowing vendors and consultants to come into the firm has radically changed these last 5-10 years. The use of the internet changed everything and has opened up many new possibilities for adding new delivery formats of education to the firmâs staff. Surprisingly, a hot issue now is what policies are needed to âcontrolâ the use of the internet by employees. While cost is the excuse often given for not using new technologies, control of employeeâs use of time is more often the concern. Some firms have embraced the new technology and invest in expensive LMS tools. However, there are many solutions available today that are inexpensive that firms could use for implementation and delivery of planned employee education. Other firms withdraw from the technology tools completely and block access to social media tools such as Facebook and limit delivery format types like flash. The education committee needs to match the firmâs strategic plan, with employee needs, and delivery formats. There are so many options available that a blended approach should be seriously considered. Internal technology policies should be realistic and open to considering what are the firmâs education needs. You can either educate your staff or spend time recruiting and training replacements. Identify a qualified staff member and provide the direction and support necessary to maximize on the opportunities. There are now four generations in the workplace. They donât all learn the same way. Be flexible!