Inadequate training jeopardises success of change projects

View Latest News Publish Date: 23-Mar-2006

Inadequate training jeopardises success of change projects

The success of organisational change in major organisations is being jeopardised by a failure to put in place adequate training and development measures, according to the 2006 Learning and Development Survey from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The survey also reveals employers fears of a worsening economic situation over the year ahead, with these fears translating into a decline in the funds available for training in many cases - particularly in public sector organisations.

Training and organisational change:

Two thirds of organisations (67%) say that insufficient training and development is in place to follow organisational change initiatives over half (56%) say that the training and development implications of change are simply not thought through.Yet separate CIPD research shows that major organisations can expect to undergo major restructuring, on average, every three years, and that 40% of these reorganisations fails to deliver on its objectives.

The '2006 Learning and Development Survey' reveals that 45% of reorganisations only involve learning and development professionals after all the major decisions have been made or at the final stages of the project. A further 9% do not involve learning and development professionals at all. On the plus side, 27% of organisations involve learning and development professionals from the initial planning stages, and in a further 19% of organisations they are brought in at the initial implementation stage.

Jessica Jarvis, CIPD Learning and Development Adviser, said:

"Any organisation planning a major reorganisation needs to plan resource issues, from IT implications to office space and furniture. But this research shows that many organisations don't pay the same level of attention to managing their human resources. Employers that do not equip their staff with the training and development needed to work effectively after a major reorganisation are running the risk of undermining their own objectives."

Economic circumstances and learning opportunities:

The 2006 survey also shows that twice as many employers believe that economic circumstances have got worse for their organisation than better during the past 12 months (41% and 19% respectively). Since last year there has been a particular decline in the expectations of public sector employers. In the
2006 survey, 56% of public sector employers expected circumstances to worsen (42% in 2005).

The worsening of economic circumstances is impacting on funds available for training, with 33% of organisations reporting that their funds for training have declined in the last 12 months, and only 17% experiencing an increase. Once again, the public sector has seen the most marked decline. 42% of public sector organisations have seen their training budgets squeezed (29% in 2005).

Jessica Jarvis said:

"The public sector is experiencing rapid change, significant reorganisations, and sustained pressure to find efficiency savings. But cutting training budgets at a time when employees need to deal with changing roles and structures is a false economy.

"More generally, although employers are expecting weaker economic conditions CIPD research also shows that recruitment difficulties remain severe and are unlikely to ease significantly. Against this background, a reduction in training and development opportunities for existing staff may harm productivity and efforts to retain talented staff."

Members of the Work Place Learning Centre team are available to provide journalists and media organisations with expert comment on all aspects of learning at work.

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