Philippine businesses must invest in training programs to bridge the gap between education and workforce requirement, to increase the country’s competitiveness in the global arena.
“If we have an empowered, competent workforce, they can perform well and deliver the desired performance that will give [companies] the targets that [they] aspire for,” noted Armi Stephanie Treñas, president and principal consultant of local firm Learning and Performance Partners Inc. (LPPI).
“If your employees are empowered and competent, they have a sense of accomplishment. When they have a sense of accomplishment, it helps the sustainability and the profitability of the company. And if you have profitable companies, it contributes to the general competitiveness of the Philippines,” she added.
LPPI, which offers learning and development services, cited a study by Divina Edralin, a professor from the De La Salle University, which stated that Philippine companies spend a yearly average of only P1.2 million (or roughly $25,000) for training. This amount, according to LPPI, is “less impressive” compared to what US companies spend for training, which ranged from $706 per person to as much as $867 per learner.
LPPI stressed the need for training as it pointed out that “globalization, rapid growth, and the use of new technology, continue to make the business world increasingly competitive. For a company to succeed in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business world, it must equip its personnel with the right skills and the right knowledge.”
But Treñas, who works with business organizations to make their training programs more effective, cautioned against firms conducting training “just for the sake of it.”
“Not all training can be beneficial if it is not designed properly—that is, if it is not customized to the specific needs of the learner and ultimately, the organization. Some training sessions are not related to the required knowledge or skill. Because they’re not targeted, there’s no analysis—or the analysis and the design are not interlinked,” Treñas explained.
This is why LPPI has the so-called instructional systems design (ISD), which allows companies to have their trainings customized.
Under this format, the instructional designer has to understand the learner’s requirements in the context of the business organization’s objectives.
The instructional designer then comes up with a learning blueprint, and identifies and develops the materials needed.
The next step is to execute the learning blueprint. While the instructional designer focuses on the planning side of the training, the trainer focuses on the execution.
Lastly, after the training, evaluation must be done to see if it met the training objectives and the requirements of the business organization.