In my book The Training Physical, I state that every company should be evaluating the condition of their training function annually, and I mention that every company has a training function. This week I ran across a small organization that needed my help identifying a skill gap in a single employee and recommend the appropriate performance solutions.
While it is normally my habit to inquire (especially when it is the CEO calling me) what their training department has identified so I am not stepping on anyone’s toes, I knew this company was too small to have a trainer let alone a whole department devoted to training. It was a simple needs analysis, and something I was glad to assist them with, and at the same time disappointed that their internal HR person was unable to handle.
This company has around 25 employees, so there is no fiscally responsible way to justify a training department, but as I mentioned in my book, “where there are employees there is a need for training.” It really does not matter how many employees a company has, they still need to address the learning needs and requirements of their workers.
It does make finding training solutions for small groups more challenging, but listen to me, it is not impossible! If the HR Leader is not competent or desires to add training to their already full hat rack, then the CEO should find another leader to accept the mantel of training and learning. If that is not an option, then the CEO has the responsibility to link up with a performance consultant like me, and have them oversee the learning function on a part-time basis.
This last option is really the best for the organization because they are tapping into talent and only paying for services rendered. I have the philosophy that I can do this job for a fraction of the cost of hiring a trainer, and I am not going to over charge a small company like the large consulting firms do. And the kicker is that many of the large consulting firms actually sub-contract out to folks like me, up charge the service and the client is the one getting the shaft from a cost standpoint.
So today I really just want to remind all readers that no matter what size company you work for, there is a training function. It is either a formal or informal process, but both need an annual “Training Physical” to remain healthy!