John T. Delaney, dean of the College of Business Administration and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, is the college’s sixth dean and is responsible for 2,470 graduate and undergraduate students and 68 full-time faculty members. One of his top priorities as dean is to encourage collaboration among faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to create and deliver education in business. Delaney is widely recognized for his scholarship in negotiation, dispute resolution and labor-management relations.
Q. How important is it to keep continuing education in the budget for companies in today’s economy?
Continuing education is critical to future company success. Markets are global and competitive today. It is necessary to offer strong value in a company’s products, processes and services. Only through investment in continuing education will employees be able to demonstrate this value to customers and clients. The benefits of education are revealed in the future while the costs are incurred today. When market problems require belt tightening, companies frequently reduce continuing education programs, but this is a shortsighted strategy.
Q. How can a company determine effective training techniques to maximize continuing education dollars?
The key is to measure training success using performance outcome benchmarks not measures of employee satisfaction with the training program. An effective training program will provide specific tools and insights that are transferable to work activities and hence generate business results.
It is also useful to conduct pilot programs that are carefully evaluated before extending the training to larger units. This provides assurance of learning transferability and offers a chance to make training adjustments based on results of the pilot.
Q. What are some cost-efficient resources companies can use to educate their employees?
Many firms have implemented Web-based education platforms that allow employees to secure training and education in an on-demand format. It is necessary to have carefully designed company-specific information available to employees. The educational platform must be designed to provoke interest and test learning on the part of employees to ensure transfer of training.