Methods of employee development in the public sector
Published by: Alexander Viter
Published Date: August 04, 2022

Methods of employee development in the public sector

Civil servants, working at the front line, in service delivery and in the back office, play key roles in the value chain for delivering public services to citizens and businesses. Based on this, public administrations are interested in planning, developing and implementing completely new experiences for their employees. An experience that will create new competencies, new skills, new ways of working to effectively manage and deliver citizen-centric services that can meet the needs of citizens and businesses.

Do not forget about digital technologies, the growing use of which also required additional competencies.

So, we understand that the practice of learning, developing skills and enhancing competencies will pave the way for the creation of better and more efficient services. In addition, training helps improve the performance of the entire organization and lead to measurable changes in the knowledge, skills, attitudes and social behavior of employees.

That is why we want to discuss the methods of training and development of employees. What are the methods? What are their advantages? And in what cases do they apply?

5 methods of employee development in the public sector

There are many different training methods and each organization or even each department determines the training method that will be most effective for their employees. We would like to highlight 5 methods of employee development in the public sector:

  • Training
  • Online courses
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
  • Workshops

Training

One of the most common methods is training. It includes developing employee skills through lectures, practical exercises, videos, podcasts, simulations and individual/group assignments. Training can take place in a formal or informal format.

Formal training. This type of learning is done “systematically and intentionally”, needs structure, has a time frame and a definite purpose . Such a program is planned and run by an instructor, and may take place in a face-to-face setting or through an online learning platform such as an LMS. A formal approach will be useful for studying specific or complex processes.

Informal training sessions may be suitable for learning more general subjects through  YouTube video views, educational blog views, and peer forum posts such as LinkedIn or chat rooms, etc.

THE METHOD IS SUITABLE IF: employees need to develop both Hard (technical) and Soft (communication, conflict resolution, time management) skills.

Online courses

An online course is a series of lessons that can be accessed through a web browser or mobile device anytime, anywhere. It is designed as an online environment for convenient asynchronous learning and consists mainly of a curriculum or curriculum organized in blocks. Online courses may include videos, images, text, and hyperlinks. A feature of this format is interactive tools such as tests, quizzes, gamification, various intellectual platforms, video tutorials with tasks, etc. Participants can easily register for online courses using the link and complete the course themselves. 

As an example, consider the online course “User-centricity in public services” from the Digital Era Leaders Academy . This course explains how you can re-design public services towards user-centricity using key frameworks. Most importantly, 65% of the course content is dedicated to showcase the adoption of these principles in real government initiatives in Europe and Asia (Milan, Gent, Singapore, Seoul, Rotterdam, Belgium ++). Various tools were applicable here, which makes it possible to deepen your knowledge in this topic. The course consists of: video tutorials, additional research materials, practical cases, presentations, quizzes, convenient transcription with slides for each lecture.

THE METHOD IS SUITABLE IF: This format of training makes it possible to study anywhere and will be useful for those who have a very tight schedule and do not have the opportunity to attend face-to-face classes, who want to improve their skills or deepen their knowledge.

Coaching

This skill development method usually involves a one-on-one collaboration between a more experienced employee or an external expert with a less experienced employee. As a rule, the exchange of experience occurs through the joint achievement of clear goals or the solution of a specific work task. Thus, an employee can learn through practical interaction with an expert how to use certain tools to solve work problems. However, one must be careful here so that such an approach does not become a “cloning of knowledge”, when employees simply memorize the rules for performing certain tasks, but in fact do not understand their deep principles. Therefore, it is important to use coaching as a practical addition to what employees are learning with an instructor or on their own.

THE METHOD IS SUITABLE IF: Coaching can help you quickly learn very specific leadership, team management, or organizational skills. Since it is more of a hands-on approach to skill development, it is ideal for developing skills such as technical and analytical skills.

Mentoring

Mentoring, like coaching, involves the interaction of a more experienced employee / outsourced expert with a less experienced or new employee. This method involves a more general development of specific skills, both professional and personal. While coaching has clear goals and objectives, and it is within the framework of these tasks that the exchange of experience takes place.

THE METHOD IS SUITABLE IF: Mentoring is commonly used to develop high-level skills such as leadership, strategic management, communication, critical thinking, and long-term vision formulation. Mentoring is not very effective for developing the skills needed at lower levels of the organizational structure, such as a shop assistant or accountant.

Workshops

This skill development method builds on the interaction of employees with each other within the organization / department or outside. It is a structured, organized way for teams to work together on specific tasks that delivers reliable results. The resulting data and knowledge can be useful for generating new ideas, troubleshooting, and sharing best practices. This approach  is ideal for communication skills and teamwork.

THE METHOD IS SUITABLE IF: Workshops are great for developing a range of social skills such as communication, teamwork, presentation, public speaking, networking, and leadership skills. It can also be used to improve research and analytical skills.

Conclusions

There are many different methods for developing the skills of employees. To the above, you can add simulators, simulators, technological tours, etc. However, for training to be effective, it is important to take into account several factors:

  • employees must understand why they need it;
  • there must be clear goals;
  • a reliable operator who will select the most relevant experts and formats for developing skills. After all, developing the skills of your employees is an investment in the development of your entire organization.

DELA is a Digital Era Leaders Academy based in UK. Our consultancy recruitment, corporate training and  e-learning courses help business and government organisations to:

* lead digital transformation and scale up digital innovations

* learn the best market practices from leading consultants around the world

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