Award celebrates best training ideas

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 September, 2010, 12:00am

The Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA), which is celebrating its golden jubilee this year, will hold a seminar today to coincide with the naming of the excellence in training and development award winner.

All award hopefuls have gone through a competitive process, including written submissions, interviews, and question-and-answer sessions. The HKMA has broadened the awards' scope from teaching and changing management attitudes to include development.

Training deals with teaching skills in specific areas of expertise, whereas development has a broader focus and encompasses more programmes, says John Allison, chairman of the awards organising committee.

'Over the past years, we have seen an increasing number of programmes that have gone beyond mere training skills and have merged various aspects, such as enhancing employee engagement.'

The award helps improve the quality of staff training and development initiatives in the local business community, he says. The six finalists will explain their successful initiatives to the audience, comprising training and development professionals from other corporations. They in turn can then apply these ideas to their own organisations, he says. Competitors are from a wide range of enterprises, including the financial sector, hospitals and food services. 'We aim to reach as broad a spectrum of the business community as possible,' Allison says. 'We also want to encourage more small- and medium-sized enterprises [SMEs] to participate and give SMEs special recognition.'

Initiatives are tailored to meet the needs of corporations of various sizes and in different sectors, but the common theme is that all companies are striving to achieve a higher level of employee engagement and participation, he says. 'A critical point is that the contestants need to show the connection of their programmes to business results. Among the judges are CEOs of companies who specifically look at the return on investment.'

Financial gains are not the only criteria for success; contestants must also show how their plans have raised morale and increased staff engagement.

Training and development budgets should not be slashed due to economic uncertainty, Allison says.

The economic downturn provided training and development professionals with the opportunity to retool and update their programmes to prepare for when companies resume their recruitment drives, he says.

Training and development helps enterprises increase employee productivity. With effective and thorough training supplemented by effective on-the-job development, individuals will complete their studies equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge of the processes to perform their jobs properly.