One of the most challenging issues in corporate management is the training, development and support of employees. The current environment increases the challenges for the reasons listed below.
- The change from hierarchical to flatter organizations places more responsibility on lower level employees to take decisions and act
- Flatter organizations tend to self-organize, making it less clear who is responsible for staff development
- Outsourced employees, project staff and contractors may require development to remain a viable alternative to employees
- The accelerating growth in relevant information and data finds employees needing a whole new tool set to stay current and informed
In considering the development of a new approach to corporate staff development and support, four factors need to be considered.
- Corporate strategic goals and objectives
- Regulatory requirements (SEC, HIPPA, etc.)
- Environment (competition, technology, economy, globalization, ecosystem, etc.)
- Standards for software, apps, dashboards and data are not set by corporate IT but rather by Uber, Dropbox, Medium and Apple
Corporate Strategic Goals and Objectives
I am sure most F500 corporate CEOs are confident that the company strategy is well articulated. Now imagine that we are onboarding a graphic designer contractor to a project. Imagine the contractor is from Tajikistan, a Moslem woman and English is her fourth language. Now how confident are we about the clarity of the strategy given the social, cultural and language issues? How confident are we that our information and support systems have been designed to recognize the particular needs of this woman contractor?
Since the 2008 financial crisis, U.S. federal regulators have scrutinized large corporations. Scrutiny with respect to risk exposures increased after the Snowden affair of 2014. Such events of extreme consequence will probably increase. Therefore, it becomes incumbent upon corporations to keep their staff abreast of regulatory requirements but also the philosophy and concepts underlying the regulation. I hope the woman contractor from Tajikistan is familiar with, for example, FCPA regulations.
The pace and scope of change has increased as computing power has increased, whether we examine the actual change or the pace at which new information circulates in world markets through informal communication systems (such as Twitter or WhatsApp). This complexity strains employee’s ability to stay current and understand new issues sufficiently to develop proactive strategies.
Standards for Software, etc
Employees and third party workers all over the world have become accustomed to beautiful interfaces for a large feature set of necessary information all on their phone. Formats include You Tube videos, Slideshare presentations, e-books, PDFs, MOOCs and 100 other formats and delivery mechanisms. On any subject you can get information in the format you prefer. Few corporations have yet reached this level on proprietary applications let alone their information archives (if they even exist).
Next post I will talk about the solution.