without saying that a high-tech company needs more than employees who were
given their technical training over 10 or 20 years ago, particularly those
working in development. After all, technology is moving at a very rapid rate
indeed and creative as well as efficient work is now less a matter of
coincidence than the result of regular contact with innovation. Of course
“learning on the job“ is a natural phenomenon but, hand on heart, is it really
enough to keep pace with technology and promote innovation? Seldom. Likewise
dedicated staff will not stay long with a company that does not offer them
regular opportunities to develop their skills and expertise in different ways.
In principle there are myriad possibilities, such as simply providing access to
the latest technical and scientific literature on site, but whilst important,
such reading often falls by the wayside during everyday working life,
particularly as it doesn’t foster discussion. Generally speaking, activities
that have an allotted time, such as training courses, are more effective. Half-
or full-day courses held at trade fairs and conferences that are attended
anyway are ideal if suitable topics are on offer. Another possibility is to
bring in a designated expert to provide tailor-made training in-house and thus
provide a whole team with bespoke training. In contrast to publicly advertised
events, this also enables sensitive subjects, such as any planned developments,
to be discussed openly. The moderate expenditure associated with it is often
redeemed very quickly.
The effect on team motivation should also not be underestimated. A training
course can signify a welcome change of routine and at the same time make
participants feel valued. A lively discussion within the group also makes
people interested in and open to special assignments and effective cooperation,
certainly far more than any Christmas meal could. Many employees may well also
be willing to attend a training course on a Saturday.
So it wouldn’t be a bad plan for a successful 2009 to discuss with your team
the need for further training and then organize the relevant activities.
Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta,
RP Photonics Consulting GmbH