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the huge disconnectWhat is the job of a manager? This is not an easy question, and there are a number of possible answers. The talent management approach suggests that the job of the manager is to hire, develop, engage, and retain talented people. This makes a lot of sense—if you hire, develop, engage, and retain talented people, aren't you pretty much guaranteed to get good business results? Quality and Compliance?

When I teach managing trainers and assessors, I ask people to decide the extent to which they think managers should be held accountable for hiring, developing, engaging, and retaining talented people. Most people suggest pretty large numbers: 70 percent, 80 percent, and sometimes even 100 percent. Almost everyone agrees that the threshold should be more than 50 percent—in other words, such accountability should be the most important part of a manager's job.

Here's the problem: In most organisations, including RTOs, we do tell our managers that hiring, developing, engaging, and retaining people is important. But the same people who say that managers should be held accountable for these four talent practices between 50 and 100 percent report that managers are actually held accountable for them anywhere from 0 to 10 percent.

That's a pretty big disconnect. Most people believe managers should be held accountable to a great extent for hiring, developing, engaging, and retaining, but in practice we barely hold them accountable for these functions. Why is this?

Measurement is the biggest problem. Measuring a manager's ability to hire, develop, and engage talented people is hard (measuring retention is easy). However, measuring traditional business measures—sales, revenue, profit, productivity, and quality—is much easier. While the traditional business measures are important, they are lagging indicators. They tell us what has already happened. If we could accurately measure our managers' ability to hire, develop, and engage talented trainers and assessors, we would have leading indicators to help predict future results and course correct if we are not on target.

Measuring a manager's ability to hire, develop, and engage talented people is difficult—but it's not impossible. If we could do a better job of measurement, we could do a better job of accountability. And if we start holding managers accountable, we are much more likely to get the talent results we want.

This concept is so important that we have created some principles to manage the professional development of trainers and assessors to support RTOs' managers.

What are the domains where trainers and assessors should continuously develop their skills, knowledge and experience? Is there a framework that can be used to manage all trainers and assessors? How can we use trainers' development, and what is more important, the relevance of trainers' development for the training they are delivering, and the benefits for the RTO and the RTO's students?
I will provide insights to the above in our next edition of VET Insider.

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Handy Tips for Training a New Employee on Social Media Practices

Congratulations, it's time to hire a new person to the team! This is always an exciting time as it signifies that you're headed in the right direction. You're doing enough things right and you need to hand certain tasks off to other people.

That's when it hits you – you have to train this new person. Hopefully they know at least the basics of how to run social media campaigns. But when it comes to specific practices, well, that's a different game entirely.
You undoubtedly have a very specific way of doing things and any disruption in that can throw you off your game – and confuse your customers and fans. You'll want to integrate the newbie into your best practices – at the same time, though, you want to give them the creative freedom to find their own patterns.

Develop a Style Guide
Before you begin even the first day of training, write up (or update) a social media style guide. This isn't really a step by step guide so much as defining what your company's "voice" is. Without this simple guide a new representative might head down the right path.

For example, you're an RTO, the new person may be under the impression they have to stick to a serious tone. However, your company is a little more relaxed and social on various networks. If you have a wide social media presence the new employee may not realize this and keep it solemn even when they don't need to.

A style guide outlines all this for everyone involved. Try to keep your goals in mind: what is the ultimate aim of your social media efforts? Is it to get people talking or get customers to share content? Are you trying to build numbers or send customers from Twitter to Facebook in order to increase presence?

Slowly Decrease Monitoring
Naturally at first you'll be pretty skeptical of everything they're doing. Even if they're self-professed social media experts they still need to take time to learn your ways. There will likely be little adjustments and tweaks you'll tell them about for months.

However, the whole idea was for you to relinquish some of your responsibilities so you can do more elsewhere. Eventually you'll want to dial down how closely you monitor your employee and let them off the hook to do the job alone.

This also comes with a degree of freedom. They'll naturally want to play around a little bit with the various accounts. As long as they stick to the style guide you drafted, they'll be fine! Their new voice could just be what the account needed to really take off, so you shouldn't stifle their creativity.

Teach Them About the Worst Parts
Over time you've seen the highs and lows of running a social media campaign. You may want to gloss over the really rough parts of doing this but try not to shelter them. After all, if they're going to work in social media they should be prepared for the really dirty parts.

For example, if your company is routinely on the news, you should expect a lot more visitors. When this happens, you can also expect a portion of these new visitors to act rudely. Telling the new hire about these rude people ahead of time can better prepare them for when it happens. This way they don't have an adverse reaction or say something rude back because they felt defensive. If your organisation maintain blogs and/or newsletters, you should expect a lot of interaction with people subscribed to your newsletter around the posts content, it is important to set an strategy for the promotion on social media of the information provided.

Reference: Business 2 Communities

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In today's highly competitive business environments, it is vital that companies have well-trained staff. Any business, regardless of its size is only as strong as its weakest link. It is, therefore important that all members of staff have similar levels of ability and experience.

corporate-trainingTo achieve these high-level skill sets, many companies invest in dedicated training courses to offer continual development to all of their key personnel. In fact, for many employees, good training courses are valued as highly as actual job benefits packages. For Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) maintaining relevance of its staff's skill sets, specially trainers and assessors, gets to the next level as currency incorporates a new dimension to continual development.

RTOs need to achieve and maintain consistency within its staff's skill set in areas such as: Australian's vocational education compliance requirements, training design and delivery techniques, and assessment practices. In-house training, or public workshops are great alternatives to achieve this goal.

At the same time, due to the leadership role that RTOs are called to take in our society, maintaining currency means having knowledge of the latest techniques and processes used in the industry, possessing a high level of product knowledge produced in the industry, understand current customer needs, understanding current industry legislative requirements. Workshops, seminars, conferences, professional associations, research activities, are some alternatives for industry specific continual professional development.

To get a clearer idea of what your money gets, you need to have a concise understanding of some of the key benefits that Insources, an experienced training course provider can offer both you and your staff.

1. Addressing Employee Weaknesses

All employees will have certain weaknesses in their general workplace skills. A good training course will help to identify these weaknesses and target that area for development. The upshot being, if you identify and improve underperforming areas of your workforce's skill sets, you will have a more balanced and dynamic working unit. For most employers this is an area that is most definitely worth investing in.

2. Improving Performance

As well as targeting weakness in employee's skill sets, a good corporate training course can significantly improve overall performance levels. A better understanding of ever changing business procedures, and practises in the workplace helps to improve efficiency and output levels. Remember, continual training will help all of your employees to stay abreast of all of the latest business developments as and when they occur.

3. Keeping Your Employees

The ability for a business to retain its key employees is vital for its future development and success. Studies show that a higher amount of employees will stay with a company, if the company invests its time and money into them. Having experienced, well-trained loyal staff should be one of the main priorities for every business. Training and development courses have proven to be a deciding factor when it comes to employee retention and loyalty.

4. Tech Training

In today's fast paced technologically progressive world, and increasing regulatory complexity, employees need to embrace new tech and update compliance knowledge on almost an annual basis. This, of course, means greater efficiency for a company if their staff can learn to harness this ever changing technical knowhow and understanding. In this area, a good training course can keep all of your employees completely up-to-date with any new changes or major technical breakthroughs that have recently been unveiled. For your business to stay competitive, your employees need to have a thorough understanding of all of the latest technical advances and current regulatory framework.

5. Maintaining and Understanding Good Corporate Culture

Regular training courses can help to establish a positive corporate culture within you business. Courses focus on the importance of transparency communication and creativity. A healthy corporate culture within a company is conducive to efficiency, loyalty and a strong sense of value. If your employees believe in the company, they will be more productive and have a more positive outlook towards their jobs.

6. Management Training

Properly trained managers understand how to do their jobs well. A major part of the job boils down to good communication skills and how well they can deal with certain situations. In the trenches on the office floor, the classroom, or on-the-job-training scenario, a well-trained manager will be respected, which in turn leads to better overall performance levels. Good managers can play a pivotal role in maintaining morale and discipline. It's well worth investing in training, to keep your mid and lower management personnel at their optimum performance levels.

7. Boosting Confidence

Regular training courses can help to significantly boost the confidence of your employees. This, of course, leads to better decision making, as well as improving their ability to develop within the company. A confident workforce will be one that is not afraid to take on new challenges or make difficult decisions. This point alone is for many businesses well worth the expense of a few monthly corporate training programmes.

As with most things in life, the more you put in, the more your will get out. Having well trained staff will result in higher efficiency, compliant, more creativity and above all else, greater loyalty to the company.

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