What’s your view on Architect Training?
We recently surveyed Excitech customers within the AJ100 to find out how architect practices approach training; from the investment decision, through to identifying types of training, through to the methods they opt for. Here’s a snapshot of what they had to say…
Why invest in training?
Within most architect practices we surveyed, training has a tactical role rather than a strategic one. Architect training is undertaken most commonly in response to a change, rather than a means to affect change. It’s clear that many consider the role of training as an investment not just in people but equally in the business, but only when the business is challenged.
Everyone we spoke with identified new projects or new staff coming on board as the main triggers for architect training, and almost all respondents point to process or workflow change, new software, and the associated essential upskilling as factors. While annual staff appraisals and self-evident skills requirements also figure in identifying training requirements, most companies (50% of those interviewed) use a self-assessment tool; either devised in-house or through KnowledgeSmart, the latter being a software solution providing online skills assessment for architects, interior designers, and engineers.
What sort of training?
There are a variety of ways of delivering training. The selected route invariably depends on other pressures that may be upon the business when the training is required; not least whether or not a company can afford to carry staff absences for the off-site training period. While a third of those we spoke to use a combination of training methods – from classroom training and e-Learning through to YouTube and simply asking colleagues for help – the vast majority still prefer classroom training, closely followed by on-site training. “It’s absolutely impossible to deliver training in one way, whether via the web or face-to-face,” stated one customer.
Assessing the value of training investment
Follow-through after training is always important. It helps measure the value of the investment and also helps make sure that lessons truly have been learned; new skills successfully acquired. Surprisingly, almost 40% of the companies surveyed do not undertake post-evaluation or follow-through. Of those that do, some debrief the candidates personally and others rely on the quality of the project that candidates are then allocated to.
Surely a degree of risk prevails if there is no robust quality check on training outcomes? A large degree of trust is placed on the individual’s commitment and sense of responsibility towards the training. The balance between investment in people and investment in business success would suggest that this may be an area many companies could consider looking at more closely.
The overwhelming picture painted by our survey was that architect training is considered an ad hoc requirement. This raises the question as to how robust an approach to driving continuous improvement not just of a company’s skills, but also of its perceived competitive advantage, as well as ongoing staff motivation.
Be sure of your training outcomes
Excitech understand how important it is that training delivers measurable and lasting value. It has to respond to the needs of the business and easily accommodated within the normal flow of activities. We strive for convenience; minimum disruption, maximum outcomes.
Identifying learning needs is a process of enormous value because it pinpoints where the investment will be of most benefit. This is where skills assessment platforms like KnowledgeSmart come in. This will provide focus training on the areas that are needed.
We provide over 100 off-the-shelf training courses, which can be delivered on our site our yours. We also tailor courses to meet the identified skills needs of your people.
To complement classroom training and to provide continuous development, we recommend e-Learning. This enables users to brush up on skills that may have been forgotten and can continuously develop skills based on future needs.
Talk to us about your training requirements today.
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