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L&D Challenges in India - learned from a recent India trip

February 28, 2012 17:22 by Wei Wang

ASTD International Relations Manager Alex Franklin recently visit India. Please see what he learned.

On my recent trip to India I met with some of the top companies operating around the country, including Infosys, Intel, Wipro, IBM, Genpact, Tata, and HDFC Life (to name a few).
During each trip to India it is amazing to see the transformations taking place within the Learning & Development functions at these organizations, and the Indian economy in general! Based on my conversations with different Heads of Learning, I have noticed some common L&D challenges that many organizations are currently facing:  
1) Leadership Development: As Indian companies continue to grow at faster rates and expand into new markets, how do you prepare current and future leaders for the needs of larger, more formalized organizations?  
2) Bridging the Skills Gap: Many companies in India not only face the challenge of training recent graduates to meet global standards, but must also train a large number of new hires over short periods of time. How do you scale effective and efficient training programs to meet the needs of a large and dispersed workforce that faces global competition?
3) Return on Investment (ROI): As organizations continue to understand the benefits of training, more business partners are asking about the ROI of training. How do you measure and evaluate different training programs and what are the different methods used?
Many organizations are overcoming these challenges with new and innovative approaches to L&D and it will be fascinating to see where the profession heads over the next few years.
What are your thoughts on the challenges listed above? Do they apply to all companies in today’s global economy? And how are you overcoming these challenges? We’d love to hear your feedback.
Cheers,
Alex


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Categories: International

Italian women hope for workplace changes

February 14, 2012 13:30 by Ann Pace

(From Reuters) -- Maria Grazia Fera was looking forward to getting back to work after her first child was born. But three months into her maternity leave, her temporary contract as a teacher for the disabled expired and suddenly, her job was gone.
 
More than two years later, the 31-year-old is still out of work and often passed over by potential employers now she has a small daughter.

Italian women have long complained of discrimination in the workplace, from employers who fail to respect their maternity rights to a patriarchal society that still thinks their primary role is in the home.

Labor reforms touted by the new government of Prime Minister Mario Monti and public disgust at the sex scandals and macho behavior of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi may finally change all that.

"Our country is still very backward, culturally and on the services side, when it comes to balancing care roles in the family," Labour Minister Elsa Fornero said in a recent interview in the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Read more.


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Categories: International | News

Employees would rather suffer a hangover or receive a credit card bill than talk to their boss, global survey shows

February 9, 2012 15:30 by Ann Pace

(From HRmagazine.co.uk) -- Leaders lack empathy with their staff, have poor leadership skills and that a third of them are ineffective, according to global research published this morning by talent management firm DDI.

The report found one in three respondents (34%) only sometimes or never consider their leader to be effective, and over a third (37%) are only sometimes or never motivated to give their best by their leader.
 
Lessons for Leaders from the People Who Matter includes data from an online survey undertaken for DDI by Harris Interactive.
 
This polled more than 1,250 full-time employees in non-management positions in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, India, Germany and South East Asia (Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore), and found they would rather suffer a bad hangover, do housework or see their credit card bill arrive in the mail than face the prospect of sitting through a performance discussion with their boss. And only 40% of respondents report that their boss never damages their personal self-esteem, leaving 60% saying they do sometimes, most of the time or always.

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Categories: International | News | Research

Survey reveals lack of UK workplace training

February 7, 2012 12:30 by Ann Pace

(From Thomsons Online Benefits) -- Despite the fact that workplace training is one of the most popular employee benefits among staff, new research has shown that 41 per cent of UK firms failed to train any of their staff in 2011.

The UK Employer Skills Survey also revealed that 46 per cent of workers in the UK were not given any training during the year - equating to around 13 million employees.

These findings were condemned by Unionlearn, the Trades Union Congress' (TUC's) learning and skills organisation, saying they represent "a massive loss to the economy".

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Categories: International | News | Research

Engaging Employees Pays Off

January 24, 2012 14:30 by Ann Pace

(From Human Resource Executive Online) -- Australian research has shed new light on the importance of employee orientation to a company's bottom line.

Employee orientation has more of an impact on a corporation's financial performance than a focus on any other individual stakeholder -- including shareholders, customers, suppliers or the community, according to Most Valuable Stakeholders: The Impact of Employee Orientation on Corporate Financial Performance, by Nigel de Bussy, a marketing and business professor at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia.

The key managerial point to take from his work is "engage your employees [from the start of their employment], pay attention to your employees, and you'll make more money," he said in a July 14 speech at the BledCom symposium, a global gathering of academicians and practitioners exploring communications and public relations management issues.

In his research -- which encompassed two separate studies of 491 Australia-based chief financial officers conducted in 2004 and 2010 -- de Bussy measured how strongly orientation toward the different stakeholder groups influenced corporate financial performance, resulting in an employment-orientation coefficient measurement of 0.84, compared to 0.36 for customers, 0.32 for communities and 0.08 for shareholders.

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Categories: International | News

WEF seeks to rewire global leadership

January 19, 2012 12:00 by Ann Pace

(From swissinfo.ch) -- The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) flagship meeting in Davos will this year attempt to close widening gaps between world leaders and different sections of society. The 2012 meeting will be held against the backdrop of the European sovereign debt crisis, continued social unrest in various places in the world and the danger of emerging economies expanding so fast that they overheat.

WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab told the media on Wednesday that established systems of governance and business are in urgent need of a radical overhaul.
 
“Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us,” Schwab said. “We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009. A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility.”
 
“We are looking desperately around the world for people who can offer solutions,” he added. “We are in danger of losing the confidence of future generations.”

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Categories: International | News

UK: Top Learning Trends for 2012

January 12, 2012 14:00 by Ann Pace

(From hrzone.co.uk) -- Following the economic events and strategies of 2011, the theme of 2012 will be doing more with less. When it comes to learning management, cost cutting and time cutting have always been initiatives that seemed difficult to incorporate while still delivering learning effectively. But technology has progressed, and learning management solutions can be integrated and centralized, delivered on-the-go with formal or informal learning, created for consumption by a variety of audiences, and updated and innovated with behind-the-scenes smoothness.

It is these technologies and motivations that are influencing the five trends in today’s learning management space: the continued convergence around integrated solutions, the emergence of using social media for effective informal learning, the adoption of mobile learning, the importance of progressive SaaS model, and the evolution of a global understanding in learning content. Though not all novel, the more familiar trends tend to focus on increasing the reach and potential of existing solutions so companies can leverage their existing systems instead of replacing them. Recognizing the relevance of these trends is the first step in maximizing them for your organization in the next year and the years to come.

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Categories: International | News

All Cream and No Bottle—The Talent Management Challenge

January 10, 2012 16:30 by Ann Pace

(From HRMagazine.co.uk) -- Talent development and talent management are not entirely synonyms: the former is an intervention applied to some or all of the people in an organisation, while the latter is a matter of strategy that should ideally be seen as 'husbandry' activity – maximising the human resources of the organisation by the judicious and informed application of its non-human resources. (Or 'time, money and energy', in plainer speech.)

Talent management is a far more complex discipline than simply skimming the cream from the milk – good use has to be made of the skimmed milk and care taken to prevent the cream from curdling. Simple pampering of the 'winners' is not the answer, although an element of it will be required – those with the ambition to rise tend also to expect more than a modicum of special treatment to keep them onside. A 2010 Harvard Business Review article showed that 25% of Hi-Pos expect to be working elsewhere within a year (no doubt a higher percentage were less candid with their current employer).

One of the conundrums for the talent manager is to strike the right balance between talent identification and fairness. Grounds for the identification of potential are not as straightforward as they might seem: current performance is no guarantee of future potential, especially when what will be performed may be substantially different from the individual's current repertoire. Selection needs to factor in more nuanced criteria: individual learning agility and the motivation to learn and improve are just two, and they are in turn influenced by reward and recognition practices. That does not mean that informed selection is impossible, but it does take more effort and insight than is often allowed.

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Categories: International | News

ASTD Archive Image of the Day: China's Learning Revolution, Circa 2003

January 9, 2012 10:47 by aallen

This image appeared in the May 2003 issue of T+D, under the headline "The Next China Revolution." According to the article written by Jonathon Levy, the development of online learning in China may have far greater importance and urgency than in the West. This article examined the belief that "given its size, need, technological capacity, and track record of success with improbable scenarios, China could become the global e-learning giant."

How has e-learning changed since 2003? What role has social media tools played in that transformation?

For more information about T+D, visit www.astd.org/td.

 


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Categories: Learning Technologies | International | News | T+D

Britain sees 'seismic collapse' in workplace pensions

January 3, 2012 13:00 by Ann Pace

(From The Telegraph) -- The Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) said that in the last year alone a fifth of all private sector final-salary pension schemes have closed to existing members because companies can no longer afford to run them.

It also found that one in three large companies is looking to cut its overall spending on pensions in the future.

More than 3 million people are active members of occupational pension schemes, which both they and their employers contribute to.

The schemes include final salary schemes as well as less generous defined contribution schemes. This is a fall from 8 million members in the late 1960s.

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Categories: International | News