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Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices (2006)

Chapter: Chapter Five - Conclusions

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Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Five - Conclusions." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2006. Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13964.
Page 33

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33 The best companies (and public organizations) know, without a doubt, where the real productivity comes from. It comes from challenged, empowered, excited, rewarded teams of people. It comes from engaging every single mind in the organization, making everyone part of the action, and allowing everyone to have a voice in the success of the enterprise. Jack Welch Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric The themes discussed in chapters two, three, and four suggest that training is a critical success factor for state departments of transportation (DOTs). Chapter two identified the trends transforming government—changing rules, the emphasis on performance, the emphasis on improved service delivery, the requirement for increased collaboration—and juxtaposes those with the trends affecting both the workforce and the workplace—increased competition for a shrinking labor pool, the continued innovation driven by technology, and coping with the rate of change that ensues. Therefore, this conclud- ing chapter discusses the demand for a knowledgeable workforce and the related demands it places on training and development organizations for a robust administrative infra- structure. The infrastructure includes organization placement, the competencies required for today’s training professional, and the essential need for the evaluation of programs that is then linked not only to improving program content and deliv- ery, but also defines the value added contribution that training and development provides the organization. This segment of chapter two would not be complete without reference to the impact of e-learning on training delivery. And finally, the chapter includes a discussion of the critical importance of concrete ways to define the value added contribution of train- ing and development programs to the organization’s ability to perform successfully. Chapter three shows both the strengths and weaknesses of how state DOT’s individually and collec- tively respond to the imperatives identified in chapter two, including case studies and examples of successful practices within state DOTs. Chapter four highlights best practices in the public and private sector for ensuring strong and vibrant training and development infrastructure, focusing on training program planning and design, successful use of information technology to manage and deliver training programs, manag- ing change, and the critical importance of succession planning programs and the development and use of metrics to define value added. The themes also suggest that like other administrative infrastructure functions, training programs in all their aspects are in the midst of great change; from the exit of the “Baby Boomer” generation to the advent of technology to the examination of the proper organization structure and proper reporting relationships. The training function, regardless of where it is placed in the organization, contin- ues to forge needed links between the larger organization’s strategic goals and outcomes and training products and services. An area that needs continued focus is evaluation, estab- lishing both qualitative and quantitative metrics and then linking those to the strategic goals and outcomes of the agency. Technology is an enabling tool in this journey, but much remains to be done to bring the full power of automa- tion to bear on transportation training programs. Many train- ing functions are struggling with an increasing workload in the face of stable or falling resources. Others, however, are able to make the argument that their contributions add value and contribute to the successful performance of strategic goals and outcomes. Examining the practices of state DOTs, such as Arizona, Texas, and Washington State, which are successful in acquiring needed support and funding, is instructive for others who are striving to increase both sup- port and funding. In an age of instant communications through multiple media, training programs will need to continue to enhance their communications and marketing capabilities. What is most encouraging is that research is emerging in the private sector that shows a direct link between a well-trained and informed workforce and increased profitability. Public orga- nizations need to heed this experience and find ways through evaluation and metrics to document and express their ability to make this same kind of contribution on the public side of the equation. State DOTs have, to varying degrees, all of the infra- structure components needed to develop and implement suc- cessful, value added contributions to their organization’s ability to meet the identified strategic goals and outcomes. The need is to link all of the components so that there is an integrated, seamless whole relating the training program directly to the organization’s ability to improve individual and organizational performance. Those few DOTs that have, wholly or for the most part, achieved the strategic integration have significantly better results than those who are still involved in the process. CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSIONS

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Synthesis 362: Training Programs, Processes, Policies, and Practices examines program components required to have a sound set of policies, processes, and procedures for planning, developing, implementing, funding, and evaluating state department of transportation training, development, and education programs.


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