Capacity Building : Need of the hour
learning never ends in the past, capacity building was the sole objective of university education. Learning Or upgrading any skill or knowledge was just confined to the institution of Higher Education. But now capacity building is mandatorily available and delivered anywhere especially the workplace. The 21st century is volatile time and demanding, be it an IT Industry or manufacturing unit or banking organisation. Change in every sphere of life and work is swift and forces people to adhere to it . to remain relevant and skilful in the workplace is a big challenge in this age of fast, continuous change and development. therefore, to keep learning long after leaving college. And the quest for professional growth has shifted to a new paradigm of learning, unlearning and relearning -a magical mantra which is gaining prominence at the workplace today. Continuous learning or capacity building is the real asset that professionals can bank on for facing competition successfully throughout their lives. Capacity building is the key to your survival as dramatic changes are persistently challenging the work environment. it gives you the adaptability to unlearn and relearn with the changing times and stay tuned to what is relevant in the workplace
Need and Importance of Capacity Building
In this era of fast and continuous development, it becomes critical for employees and organisations to move in step with the speed of the market and their competitors, otherwise, they will lag behind with a severe impact on their productivity and profits . for this reason, capacity building through workplace training is vital to retain talent, keep the organisation growing and ensure the development of all stakeholders. Lifelong learning for employees has become essential for increasing the productivity and efficiency of the organisation. the following are certain issues because of which capacity building has become important for employees and organisation to achieve their goals:
- Change is permanent: keeping pace with time and market is a big issue that companies and workers face every now and then. Their ability to cope with changes, particularly those brought by new technologies, HR practice, etc. Makes their business or profession sustainable. Any resistance to new business learning or professional is like inviting a disaster. Learning new skills during one’s job prepares one to face the dynamics of change and adapt accordingly.
- Technology is volatile: professionals cannot imagine to become resourceful, capable and productive unless they are tech-savvy. Technology empowers both employees and organisation to move forward for scaling new heights of progress.
- Innovation is the blood of business: Continuous innovation by man to improve himself or being a new technology is a prerequisite to survive in today’s competitive market. Innovation makes things simple and keeps people motivated. Capacity building ensures that innovative ideas are generated in the workplace to enable the organisation to handle new challenges and face competition effectively and create new growth records.
- Leading to higher productivity: Capacity building improves the efficiency of employees. Any training programme, aimed at capacity building, imparts new skills to employees for better performance in the workplace and in life. Such training programmes are necessary because, with time, some skills of employees become useless, some do not match with new job responsibilities and some need revamping.
- People are our most prized assets: Creating an environment for every employee’s growth and engaging employees creatively are the best HR practices that an organisation can follow to efficiently manage its human resources and develop it further for facing a new challenge. The organisation’s capacity-building efforts on employing its own trained and skilled human resource to nurture new talent, motivating the old guard and maximising profits.
Elements of Capacity building
There are three major elements of capacity building which stress on the importance of building correct relationships and enhancing the productivity of individuals and employees as well as the organisation. There are three major elements of capacity building which emphasise the importance of building correct relationships, enhancing the productivity of an individual as well as group and developing the civic bodies.
- Partnership: This element refers to the initiatives aimed at building or strengthening partnerships and enhancing resources. Good partnerships and better work and maximum productivity through better resource help in building capacity and promote empowerment of each individual in the organisation, which lead to better work and maximum productivity through innovation and management.
- Organisational development: Capacity building finally leads to organisational development by maximising profits and stakes. It also helps the organisation acquire a leading position in the market ahead of its competitors.
- Civil society strengthening: Strengthening skills and building capacity of an organisation in the areas of strategic planning, advocacy, project development and management finally leads to the empowerment of the society and the country. these contribute to the country’s progress globally recognisable progress on the economic, technological and innovation fronts.
Medium of learning
A lucrative career is a dream of every employee. To make a dream career learning at the workplace is essential. Workplace learning action plans are the best medium for new recruits as well as the older ones to learn and new things and unlearn obsolete ones. successful organisations provide many opportunities for their employees to hone new skills and abilities through training. Some of the training modules are described below :
- Cross-training: cross-training could be extremely valuable to organisations as well as employees. It is important to cross-train employees for various skillset so that the business does not suffer due to the absence of a key person at a critical time. Cross-training offers employees the opportunity to learn job assignment across a wide range of workflows. Such training makes employees flexible and multitasking to handle different workplace assignments with ease
- Formal training: formal training is a primary employee development programme for the new staff in an organisation. Formal training may be given in- house or through an external trainer to prepare the new staff to work in line with the organisation’s objectives and future strategies. Internal training is an in -house capacity-building mechanism where senior executives train the new and junior staff about major problems, solutions, technology, resources and practices to be followed in the workplace. it takes place in a cohesive manner as trainers and trainees belong to the same organisation. In external training , experts are invited and paid a fee to train the staff in certain skills which the organisation considers necessary to face new work-related challenges.
- Matrix teams: the organisation forms matrix teams by taking selected people from various sections, divisions and teams to work together for resolving a common problem or for executing a project jointly. Matrix teams help utilise varied skills of different people for doing a common task
- Mentoring: mentoring is the process of one person helping another to learn and grow at the workplace. Mentoring is of two types – formal and informal. Informal mentoring, the mentor and the protege have some official agreements on roles, expectations, objectives, and meeting schedules. It is a formal commitment from both the sides in the form of an officially sponsored programme. Informal mentoring, the mentor and the protege find some commonalities in each other in terms of skill and behaviour and agree to work together. Although, mentoring of such nature is often less structured and free to engage both of them without any fixed objectives or agreements, but the mentor offers all the requisite support, counsel and challenging situations.
- On-the-job Training: In any organisation, employees are trained in their domains and departments so that they can have the advantage of early learning and working on the projects or assignments that they are going to do in future on-the-job training is quite effective as it imparts learning to employees while they work. It makes them familiar with prospective problems and solutions at the workplace. Sometimes off-the job-training is also planned with the help of consultants and experts from outside the organisation to fill the training gaps which the organisation is unable to bridge because of lack of training expertise in house
- Online Learning programmes: Online course is really the most rewarding gift for those professionals who want to update their domain knowledge and behavioural skills. Some of these programmes are absolutely free and are offered by the best support of the universities with the support of their expert professors. These programmes truly enrich professionals with new skills and behavioural traits desired for achieving a high level of professionalism.
Ideas for learning
The following ideas for learning will create more opportunities at the workplace and enhance your skills, abilities and knowledge.
- Do it: learning by doing leads to effective work management. What we see, hear, discuss and act, get imprinted in our minds. learning becomes easy and permanent when we do it practically.
- Welcome New Opportunities: learning comes in different formats and instalments. Many a time, our experiences teach new lessons or we discover a new understanding of certain issues or tasks unexpectedly. whether good or bad, these moments offer new learning opportunities.
- Unlearn: Sometimes it proves good for your personal and professional progress if you get rid of some of your attitudes and thinking which are not in tune with the present times. This unlearning is essential to discover and learn new things and find out how different and beneficial they are in comparison to your earlier thinking. It is possible that what we learn over the years may not die in a few days but being open to adding new knowledge will improve the prospects of getting rid of obsolete thinking.
- Be childlike: Explore new territories of knowledge with fun. Be curious and innovative in all the activities that you perform. Learning new things becomes effortless when we take the lessons heartily.
- Take risks: seeking new experiences demands courage and confidence. Leave your comfort zone and enlarge your appetite for new competencies.
- Learn from mistakes: our best lessons are only those that come after much struggle and sweat. Learning from mistakes provides a new road map for success.
- Ask for feedback : you can effectively manage your career graph by seeking people’s feedback about your skills and behaviour . People’s perspective gives you a clear understanding of what you have to improve on .
- Create a continuous learning atmosphere: Spare some time every day to work on new expertise or skills that would empower you to handle new and sudden assignments effectively .
Nair, Aswathy | SevenMentor
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