As fast as things move these days if we don't train and communicate effectively we are running very high risks. The modern era in which we live demands that training is sophisticated, interactive and responsive to changing times. It should evolve out of core company processes and contain feedback mechanisms.
Some training will be global, such as policy, corporate ethics and human relations. Other training will be specialized, such as changes in law, company policy or technology by functional areas.
Principal among the topics at the head of the list for generic training in the art of something would be "Communicating Effectively" to employees to customers, to regulators; both orally and in writing.
Once the span of control of the major functions begins to grow or get more complex, the manager in charge establishes processes and a policy to insure the company succeeds. If this is overdone in many instances it can result in a bureaucratic environment that stifles innovation.
Only those firms that recognize this human weakness and take steps to minimize its impact continue to foster innovation and lean operation.
Functional interface points are the most sensitive. These are the critical areas where one functional organization meets another in the company.
- Engineering Design meets Manufacturing
- Finance meets Estimating
- Marketing meets Project Management
- Accounting meets Cost Control
- Human Resources meets the Hiring Manager
If management fails to understand the risk in these interfacing areas and drives the procedural and process detail too low the organizations will strangle each other with interface control issues and efficiency will suffer.
 PROGRAM PREPARATION
- Train with the idea that materials will be used in customer proposals and reflect internal processes for consistency.
- Make sure the company vision, mission and capability statement are common knowledge. One example is a Company Capability Statement
- Insist that public law compliance, fair employment, EEO and anti-discrimination, practices, government property care and other regulatory matters are reflected in process and training materials.
- Convey the company travel and expense reports.
- Train on time card process and completion timeliness.
- Issue guidance on intranet and company press releases.
- Instruct on customer relations and customer service.
- Provide details on handling government and audits and insure to name focal points for these activities.
- Convey negotiation techniques and skills expected to those whose roles involve committing the company.
- If ISO 9000, TQM, Six Sigma and other major quality and process programs the above are in our future, use your training program and processes to build certification preparedness.
Training in business is a form of communication. It is not an academic pursuit, although elements of it may include learning new information.
Still, it is not schooling in the sense of personal improvement as much as it is communication of company policy and expectations.
The best organizations make sure everyone from the chairman of the board to the janitor understands that training is a privilege, a right and a requirement and that it will be conducted as a matter of record for everyone.
The author of this article is Ken Larson.
Ken Larson has over 40 years experience in the Defense Industrial Complex.
He is a Veteran with two tours with the US Army in Vietnam. Subsequently, he spent over 30 years in federal government program and contract management and 10 years in small business consulting.
Ken is a Micro Mentor Volunteer Counselor and assists many small businesses with their planning and operations processes. Small business owners or prospective owners can locate free services through a background search at the Micro Mentor Web Site.
Ken receives and handles many inquiries from small companies wishing to enter or enhance their position in federal government contracting.
Jen volunteers his time, books, articles, and resources which are 100% free through Micro Mentor and his blog.
Ken maintains a blog on SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING (SBFGC) to help small business succeed in the federal government market.//www.smalltofeds.com