Is Your Staff Development Programme Like A Bad Online Tutorial?

Is Your Staff Development Programme Like A Bad Online Tutorial?


Learning and development


I spend a lot of time online in my role, searching for content of interest to the business, writing articles and partaking in the whole social media ‘scene’. One thing that really annoys me, day in day out, is a bad online tutorial. I’m not even talking about those articles that are teaching you something that is so niche that only one out of every two billion people will ever need it!

I’m talking (well, writing) about those tutorials that promise you ‘pearls of wisdom’ that deserve your attention and time, and turn out to teach you (and anyone else that may be unlucky enough to read them) nothing. Here are some examples of what I mean:

Example: 5 Ways to Rock at Social Media And Build Your Business

  1. Build an audience  – Well yeah, obviously…….but how? This is not telling anyone HOW!
  2. Write ‘killer content’ – Of course you need great content! Again, this is not really helping, it’s what people want to know HOW to do!
  3. Design a great website – That’s like saying to someone “design something that everyone wants to buy for me”, we know that we need a great looking site for our business, what people want to know from the ‘tutorial’ is how! What layout works and doesn’t work, what colours, etc, etc…… I’m getting angry just writing this! 😉
  4. Connect with influential people in your field – OK great, where do I find these people? How do I research people in my field and how should I approach them? These are what I need to know, not “meet people that will make you successful”!
  5. Track your online stats and improve them – Writing “improve your leads by 20% every 6 months” is NOT telling me anything, you might as well say “get a huge payrise every week”, it has as much meaning as the previous amazing titbit of wisdom!

Now, you may well be wondering what this all has to do with HR or daily work life!

Well, when dealing with employee development it is not enough to assign objectives and simply leave your employees get on with it. It is the businesses responsibility to work with the employee to define the HOW and WHY, as well as clearly outline the desired goal.

Setting an objective similar to the following is like a bad online tutorial:

Example: 3 Ways My Subordinate Can Make Our Company Amazing

  1. “Sales performance must improve by 25% over the next 6 months” – Sounds awesome. HOW? Unless the employee has been noticeably under-performing and can just suddenly start working properly, then there needs to be some sort of support in order for them to achieve this increase. New products, new channels, etc.
  2. “You must learn to use ‘Software X'” – Great, who’s going to teach me that then? Support must be offered to fund the training and also to allow the employee time to complete the training without detriment to their other duties. Simply leaving the employee to ‘get on with it’ is not a great strategy.
  3. “Reduce spending on recruitment by 15% over the next 6 months” – OK, can I streamline systems and potentially purchase 1 Recruitment/HR system that does the job of 2? Do I have a budget, a team or the support from the rest of the management team?

Without the support of the business regarding appropriate training and mentorship, is it really likely that the employee will magically start to meet these inflated targets (and if they do will they burn themselves out or leave)?

In the current economic environment, companies need to invest in their talent to avoid costly bills as a result of a high turnover caused by a lack of engagement and nurturing. A lack of investment in your employees will lead to low employee engagement, a lack of knowledge within the business (which will need to be transferred to new members of staff) and quite probably, a high turnover.

There are many ways of improving employee satisfaction, other than providing support where support is required, which will result in increased productivity, reduce turnover and well-being within your workforce. One of our previous articles detailed a number of these: