When the training department is not present at the strategy meeting for the company, they not only lack the infamous “seat at the table” but are regarded more as the hired help than a part of the team.
In my book I discuss that training managers need to be more than the waiter who takes the order of a senior manager, runs back to the kitchen and then delivers the food. The training manager needs to be involved in the process from strategy to implementation.
I was talking with a very experienced training manager this week that was preparing her boss (head of HR) to “represent” training at the annual strategic planning meeting. It was her hope that this year they will be able to convince this company to focus on customer service training since both sales and service levels were in decline.
The main reason this topic never gets very far with the senior management team, is the person delivering the message is unqualified to speak to the value of improved skills and how training could return on the investment ten-fold if applied correctly.
I’m taking bets that the results this year will be the same as previous years. The focus will be diverted to other topics, and a revenue generating initiative will be replaced with a lower producing project.
The lack of leadership is standing in the way of success at this company, because they are excluding the one person who could make a difference because she can build a case for the training. I only hope that senior management wakes up soon and uses the talent they have on board, or this training manager finds a better place to work.
In any case this training department is currently unhealthy, and the treatment is to allow the training manager to participate at a higher level.