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CEO’s Letter: The HR Training Train is in Danger of Derailing…

This month, HRO Today focuses on the training and development industry. There are significant changes to training that were wrought during the pandemic. We cover the state of corporate training by reporting on the best providers with our 2022 HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Ratingsâ„¢ for Learning and Development in this issue. It occurred to us that while we were talking about learning and development for everyone else, we should have checked on learning and development for HR.

So, we did a survey. And those barefoot children that you see in the HR suite are the cobbler’s kids. When asked about the opportunity to improve training for HR, 72% of more than 100 HR executive-level respondents agreed that it could be better. Three out of four leaders tasked with leading training for entire enterprises would state that the training for the HR department is in need of improvement is not particularly shocking. The phrase about the cobbler’s kids comes from somewhere and the reason the aphorism is still in use is because it has a ring of truth to it. HR is underfunded compared to some of the many other management departments for which it does provide services.

In fact, a leading cause of the disconnect, according to 37% of the respondents, is a lack of the “right tools” to manage and track the deployment of training to HR. When asked about how HR received training, 69% said that event attendance was a critical element for their ongoing training needs.

In 2021, HRO Today launched the HRO Today Professional Development Institute partly because we had already observed some of these situational challenges even before doing this recent study. We found that many organizations were sending multiple HR leaders to our events, but when we contacted them to let them know they qualified for group discounts, many were unaware that more than one of their HR associates were registered. We saw a lack of overall coordination.

The survey asked how important it would be to have more centralized controls in place and 83% indicated it was “important,” with 29% saying it was “extremely” important and 37% saying it was “very.” That shows that HR training is budgeted with simple LMS tools that are used in other areas of most enterprises and are not being used well to manage HR training. This is even more pertinent when you consider that 87% felt that maintaining certifications were important. Being professionally prepared and updated is critical to HR and I doubt there is much disagreement with that.

This training organizational challenge is juxtaposed against an era where the pressure and responsibility on HR has been enormous and is likely to increase as workforce issues mount in the near future. The research study was validation for our business concept, the HRO Today Professional Development Institute, which offers complimentary LMS reports for clients and a “Training Concierge” to make sure that all credits are used by the designated resources and that management can see what course work is being selected. In addition, all of our live interactive training at events or our on-demand library content is certified.

Two thousand years ago, Sparta did not dominate the other city states of Greece because they were physically larger or had better technology. The Spartan military was just better trained than their competitors. If there is a war for talent, you want your team to be the best trained and the best prepared for the challenges they face. There is much opportunity for improvement based upon this study, and now is the time to start making those improvements happen.

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