Establishing a Training Academy

0
- By:

Courtesy of Water Environment Federation (WEF)

ABSTRACT
In the current economic climate, the demands put upon a utility require education to be delivered faster, cheaper and more effectively to a fluid workplace and a mobile workforce. Learning effects must be measurable with a clear line of attribution to business performance. In order to be sustained, learning must be strategic as well as impacting the bottom line. This paper presents how utilities can implement an educational process. It is the choice of the organization to decide whether that process will be strategic or merely tactical. It provides a case study example of how a capital improvements management office maximized its education investment dollars as well as explains how this process could be implemented in other organizations. The education spectrum available to most utilities ranges from the provision of generic off-the-shelf type of training to the development of an internal university / training academy model. Experience shows that internal universities tend to improve relevance, establish a shared vocabulary, emphasize applicable experience learning, and most importantly, increase knowledge retention. A case study of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Capital Improvement Management Office (CIMO) illustrates how a training academy focused on core skills can be implemented. Improving the skills of individual employees enhances the capabilities of the organization as a whole. As the organizational profile of public utilities change rapidly in the coming years, greater attention will need to be placed on education and training in order to maintain operations and plan for the future.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
In the current economic climate, the demands put upon a utility require education to be delivered faster, cheaper and more effectively to a fluid workplace and a mobile workforce. Learning effects must be measurable with a clear line of attribution to business performance.

In order to be sustained, learning must be strategic as well as impacting the bottom line. Some of the critical learning issues facing today’s utilities include:

  • Reorganization and restructuring of staff assignments and reengineering of business processes for greater work efficiency
  • Increased skills shortages due to workers who are inadequately prepared for the high-tech work of the 21st century
  • Doubling of knowledge every year by virtue of the rapidity of knowledge sharing over the internet
  • Global competition from the world’s most powerful companies for limited resources
  • Escalating need for organizations and individuals to change to keep pace with the preceding
    issues
  • Evolving workforce resulting from shifting demographics due in large part to the pending
    retirement of the Baby Boomers

According to a study by the American Society for Training and Development (Sugrue, 2003), costs for training at U.S. firms typically amounts to approximately two percent of payroll costs. This is a considerable investment, given the large size of many organization's payrolls. Although it is now a common understanding that the acquisition of knowledge is central to the success of any organization, the question of how to manage this to get the most value for the investment
remains elusive.

This paper presents how utilities can implement an educational process. It is the choice of the organization to decide whether that process will be strategic or merely tactical. It provides a case study example of how a capital improvements management office maximized its education investment dollars and how this process could be implemented in other organizations.

Customer comments

No comments were found for Establishing a Training Academy. Be the first to comment!