Services to members are an important pillar of activities of employers' and business member organisations. Services are tangible products with a specific added value for members and are important in the value proposition of employers organisations, next to the more collective representation of members interests via advocacy, lobbying and social dialogue.
In the global services package by employers organisations, which range from information to consultancy, training is an important component in many countries, and often even the most important one, both in revenue contribution and outreach. Training via open and inhouse programmes reaches many member companies and their staff, and even often serves as a recruitment tool by its reaching out to non-member companies alike. The training offer is wide and ranges from labour law, to HR practices ad OSH and even beyond to themes such as taxes and finance. The revenue from training activities finally is important for the employers organisations and adds to the membership fees revenue. Hence the importance of the training activities in employers organisations, and the obvious need to ensure that training is of excellent quality.
And there some issues may occur. In many cases employers organisations have at their disposal a highly qualified and specialised team of trainers, be they staff members or external consultants. However, the quality of training depends not only on contents excellence but also on the mastering of training techniques, for adults, if the organisations want to delivery perfectly on all fronts. And, according to a number of comments or evaluations, there is room for an improvement in training methods and methodologies, as practiced by the training experts.
This was the underlying background of the training which DECP now implemented: create additional capacity and competencies in delivering training (face to face and online) with activating learning methods for adults for a target group of trainers-experts.
Since the full target group of trainer-experts was too sizeable to reach directly, it was decided to go for a train the trainer approach: DECP gave directly training to the heads of the training departments of 5 employers' organisations in East Africa and Ghana. They in turn are expected to train their experts in the professional design and delivery of training, as to reach the objective of dynamic teaching and training rapidly.
Arnout de Koster and Jos van Erp -skills development expert from DECP- developed and implemented this in-depth training in Nairobi on 11 and 12 October.. As suggested above, the direct learners group was limited to the heads of training of the employers organisations of Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia and Uganda.
This training not only consisted of two days of intensive training, but also offered an extensive toolbox for the participants as well as a framework for tailor-made training. It is intended that the heads of training will use these resources to develop their own training for the experts of their staff and experts they hire. Different theories and practices regarding questions such as 'why do people learn', 'how do people learn', 'what do people learn' and 'how can lasting change and performance improvement be promoted' were presented and discussed. To which was also added a practical review of a diversity of training methods and specific tricks to make training lively and participative. The main source was the textbook 'Guide on Training Methodology for EBMOs', which was published in 2020 by DECP and the International Training Centre of the ILO. https://www.ilo.org/actemp/publications/WCMS_749435/lang--en/index.htm
The participants agreed that many of the topics discussed were obviously not unfamiliar, but that a systematic approach came in very handily and also timely, in view of the restart of training after the imposed diminution of training activities since Covid. The training has sharpened their insights to bring everything into a clear overview. This will enable them to train and coach their experts to improve the quality of their training step by step. And to optimise further the added value of training services by employers organisations.