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Training strategies: People matter

by Slavka Atanasova on Oct 26, 2015

Elie Georgiou Botaris.
Elie Georgiou Botaris.

As employee retention in the Middle East becomes increasingly difficult, employers are faced with a serious challenge to retain their talent in the critical, high-potential and top-performing employee categories, especially with the increased mobility and a tight labour market where critical skills are scarce.

To overcome this challenge, companies must realise that they need to act fast and refocus their training efforts and initiatives on what is most critical to the business in the immediate and long-term. There needs to be a complete shift in their training philosophy and strategy.

For starters, companies need to increase their investment in developing their human capital. Such investment must be strategically planned and deployed to ensure the desired and immediate impact on the employees and the high return on the investment. Rather than spending training money equally and across the board, companies must focus the training and development investment on their key talent in critical/ pivotal roles, thus, increase the levels of loyalty and retention of such key talent as well as build their bench strength and pipeline of future leaders to ensure business continuity and growth from within. This approach will ensure a high level of engagement and retention among the employees who are critical to the business.

Training is a key business-driven HR process that when strategically planned by HR and taken seriously by employees, managers and leadership alike, will have a very positive impact on the company’s overall performance and its bottom line.

Needless to say, a training strategy can only be effective when it is derived from the people strategy and is fully aligned with the company’s business objectives and priorities at any phase during its business lifecycle.HR’s role, and specifically the training and development unit, is key in setting up an effective training strategy – with its related initiatives and programs - that will specifically address and focus on the key business priorities and people challenges, current and future. Nowadays, training can no longer be seen as an obligation or a reward to employees. Rather, it is an integral and key aspect of the business strategy that will help the business grow and sustain its competitive advantage in a highly competitive landscape.

This can be achieved by targeting the identified skill gaps or shortages that need to be nurtured and grown internally, as well as the identified key skill sets that need to be acquired by the company going forward, in order to cope with the planned future business growth or diversification.

Only then, a training strategy will be effective and have direct impact on the company’s overall performance and the achievement of its business objectives.


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