Is your training agenda BCP ready?

BCP

Small businesses should not wait until there is a major issue to contend with. They need to plan for it and rest easy when it doesn’t eventuate. 

September 11, 2001 made many organisations prepare for the unexpected and they designed and implemented new regimes such as Business Continuity Plans (BCP), Disaster Recovery Plans (DRP), broader Risk Management Strategies and the list goes on.

Little did we realise at the time that we would need to invoke them due to natural disasters in our own country such as Yasi, Queensland floods and several bushfires over the past few years.

Does your organisation factor training into your BCPs? Most would say no as it would become a secondary priority in the scheme of getting systems and processes back online as they did with the recent Queensland floods.

But what happens if your core business is training or education? Well, Bond University found out after Cyclone Oswald passed through in January.

In a recent Australian IT there was an article about Bond University called ‘Mining games to hone a masterclass in construction’ by Jennifer Foreshew. This article was about the necessity to become creative in adversity as the show must go on.

Jeff Brand, Professor of Communication and Media took his regular classroom session online. After delivering his lecture virtually, his nine students then had to construct buildings of the University using a game simulation called Minecraft, which was deployed on the University’s Learning Management System (LMS).

The final outcome reported by the Professor was ‘for the first time in a long time 100 percent compliance’ with the assignment.

Many organisations fail to appreciate that the capability of their workforce could be a competitive advantage in the not so distant future. You need to be clear about your people development agenda. This agenda should directly contribute to the shaping of your organisational DNA – the way you do things in your organisation.

Investment in building workforce capability has produced positive impact on individual/team morale, performance and employee retention in many organisations. These factors are key influences in servicing and meeting the expectations of your customers, which in turn equates to customer retention and achievement of your bottom line.

So with constant pressure to reduce our training budget, what can you do to help make your training dollar go further? Many people have evolved their thinking around eLearning and LMS over the past 10 years, including questioning the relevance of these solutions.

Depending on the size, geographic spread, staff turnover and a number of other factors, technology can play a vital role in enabling your workforce for today and the future.

LMS technology has seriously evolved from being used as a ‘risk mitigation’ strategy for compliance purposes.

Many vendors today have leveraged social media  and built capabilities that support the application of this medium within our own business. The possibilities for use are endless, depending on the demographics of your employees. Organisations with large numbers of digital natives relish the opportunity to collaborate with peer and management using this type of technology.

Best practice is all about having a clear learning agenda and using technology as an enabler. Facebook has shown all of us how important social media has become in many people’s daily life.

I believe this stickiness can be replicated within our organisations by using learning technology as an enabler to encourage collaboration, support innovation and the sharing of best practice, along with the ability to disseminate and retrieve information from a knowledge management perspective.

Learning within your organisation should be as easy as a Google search – available anywhere, anytime, just in time!

Speed to competency is the new ‘black’ as we face changing technologies, unskilled labour resources, coupled with more sophisticated customer audience/s. What is always important to bear in mind is speed to competency is one factor; retention of the knowledge is another.

There needs to be constant reinforcement in the workplace, where professional top-up of knowledge is second nature – part of your organisational DNA. If this is not happening inside your organisation, then what are you going to do about it?

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