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first_imgIncreasingresponsibility for T&D rests with line managers, but how much time do theyput into it and how effective is their involvement? Sue Clark asks across-section of organisations for their experiencesGaryMilesProgramme director, Roffey Park Management InstituteOursurvey of 180 line managers and team members in 1999 showed that the majorityrecognise development as an effective way to improve performance, increasemotivation or bring about change.Thekey types of development interventions most commonly used are coaching,feedback, counselling, on-the-job training, mentoring, help with the selectionof courses, work shadowing and arranging visits to other organisations.However,the survey revealed that nearly 30 per cent of line managers spend less thaneight hours a month developing others, while 47 per cent spend between eightand 16 hours on development.Timewas cited as a major barrier to effective coaching and development, whilefeedback was hampered if the culture in the organisation did not encourageopenness.Therewas also a mixed response to the idea of reward for developing people. Some seedeveloping others as a normal part of their job while others believe theyshould get a financial reward linked to team performance.Evaluatingthe development of others also appears to be a significant challenge and linemanagers clearly need more help with this.GlendaMartinTraining and development manager, Boots the Chemist, IrelandI’mnot surprised by the figures from Roffey Park, but you have to focus on theother aspects of development beyond the recognised training and developmentthat goes on between the individual and his or her line manager.AtBoots development is one of the key elements of their job, but it is often doneindirectly, for example by facilitating learning through buddy systems whereindividuals meet with their peers and share information. The line managers willset these groups up and monitor them but they won’t actually take part.Moredirectly, line managers provide coaching and leadership, and they cascadelearning down.Theyare also part of projects and working parties where groups will co-operate toachieve a goal. Developmentactivities are sandwiched between pre and post briefings that focus on how totransfer any learning back into the work place.Theirrole in training and development is crucial to the organisation.ChrisJefferiesHead of training, First QuenchThereis a danger where a training and development function exists within anorganisation that line managers, consciously or not, will not view T&D aspart of their job, especially when they have other priorities.Weemphasise the role of our line managers’ involvement in development byequipping them with coaching skills. Thenwe have a process whereby the line managers become self-sufficient. Theyidentify any training need and then solve it from their own resources.Anindividual from the team will provide the expertise to develop others, theT&D function equips them with the skills.Forexample we have been running a cascade programme where an evangelist or coachis chosen from each training event to pass on the skills to the next group. Itstarted at board level and is working its way to our 20,000 staff who are basedat 2,500 retail units around the UK.Itis a bit of a trade off, a compromise on quality. But we need to deliver agreat deal to many people rather than a little to a few.Trainingin our organisation is like fishing: we teach our people how to do it, ratherthan give them the fish.MikeSpillerGroup personnel and training director, Granada Food ServicesLinemanagers play an important role in training and development within ourorganisation as we believe it is the most effective way to improve performance andmotivation. It is sufficiently important to be included in the job descriptionsof all line managers.Professionaltrainers instruct managers on how to train, and they have developed modules andmaterials which enable the line managers to conduct the training with theirteams.Andas we promote training as a line responsibility, our trainers report to themanaging directors, thereby ensuring the training of line managers and that oftheir teams is focused on the needs of the business, individuals and teams.Wealso encourage line managers’ own development using internal and externalsources.Ifa line manager is being developed then it is more likely they will beencouraged to develop their own staff.However,training only becomes really effective when it is owned by line managers and islinked to business, individual and group needs.KirstenBarclayHuman resources manager, Welsh Development AgencyManytraining and development experts believe that individual training needs arebest identified jointly by the line manager and individual team member.Butif the individual and manager are best placed to identify individual trainingneeds, does it necessarily follow that they are best placed to identify themost appropriate means of addressing the need?Managersand their teams are often not aware of the different ways that learning canoccur and inevitably fall back upon the trainer-led course, neglecting otherlearning methodologies such as project work, CBT, professional networks, eventhe precursor of much CBT – directed reading!Nonetheless,devolving HR to the line means that managers increasingly have a role inidentifying and addressing training needs in their teams.Theinevitable next step is devolving some if not all of the training budget toline managers for their local level training.Ideallymanagers will then have an explicit objective in their annual appraisal –developing team members. 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