Make training more effective by allowing your staff to take the lead in managing their own personal and professional development.
For instance, the Arts Council circulated a training request form to employees asking them to discuss what the employee would benefit personally, how they would utilise the skills/knowledge/confidence in their own tasks, how the team would gain from these, and how they would share the knowledge. This was effective in getting people to direct their focus on practical steps of improving their work. The progress was measurable in reviews with managers and it significantly motivated employees to put more value in the training that they were given.
Charities must not underestimate the importance of informal in-house learning.
It is quite difficult for both employees and managers to acknowledge informal learning as continuing professional development (CPD), unless it is included as part of a certain set up such as mentoring. In most cases, it is usually ignored or not specified on appraisals or reviews. But what they don’t realise is that this might be one of the ways managers help their employees to maximise on all kinds of learning opportunities. You should definitely consider asking people what they have learned from colleagues recently, especially if it involves conflict management training in retail. Conflict management is an important area in charity retail and must be addressed appropriately.
Charity and organisation meetups can be a cost-effective method of training.
Sometime back when working for smaller organisations, I exploited informal networking to find that kind of peer support (normally a tiny group of charity comms staff from various organisations meeting up once in a while in the pub) where questions, problems, and ideas are shared and discussed. Even if you can’t meet up in person, Skype and other similar technologies can be of benefit.
Organisations need to spare some time for trainees to think about what they have learned.
It has become essential for employers and employees to set aside space and time not only for CPD, but also for focused advance preparation and dissemination later on. We are in the process of testing a new feedback form that requests delegates to point out action points at the completion of their session, which our team will then remind them of after a short while. This will help to ensure that the learning stays fresh and adds value to them. Charities need to provide an opportunity in regular staff meetings where people can reinforce what they’ve recently learned.
Appointing just a single person to attend a training course can offset the financial burden and reinforce that learning for the trainee.
If you only have enough money or time to send just one person on a course, there are in fact a number of beneficial things that you can do. The first thing is to ask the person who is attending the course to provide feedback to other colleagues after they have gone. For instance, they can share any of the crucial lessons that they’ve gained from the course and also any templates. By doing so, this will not only help to share what they’ve learned with others, but it will also enable the individual who went on the course to reinforce their learning by going through it again. This means that training is more likely to have a more significant impact. The other alternative is to contact the training provider and find out if they can come and deliver the training specifically for one of your groups – this offers a more cost-effective option.
‘Reactive Learning’ is an affordable and effective way of training employees at smaller charities.
According to our research, there is an actual need for cheap, extensive, small chunked, and accessible training that tiny organisations can access as and when needed. This is what we refer to as ‘just-in-time’ learning and what others might refer to as ‘reactive learning’. This is one thing that we have actively attempted to respond to. We have discovered that trainers are open to offering courses free-of-charge to cater to this huge, and often overlooked market for tiny organisations.
Webinars can assist charities that are geographically isolated and those far from training providers.
Maybe the thought of bringing a trainer in-house can be actualised by involving webinars or webcasting – this can help to save a lot on travel costs for both the trainer and trainee charity.