Challenges organisation face in human capacity development

you can lead a human to knowledge but you cannot make him think

Human resources of an organisation represent what we call human capital which is a collection of staff knowledge, skills,   competencies, innovative and creative abilities which an organisation possesses among its staff compliment.

Having a skilled, knowledgeable, competent, innovative and creative staff team is a deliberate effort by an organisation to empower its team with above competencies.

An organisation can possess the same capacity of equipment and deploy same process but may achieve different performance results because of human resources.

I have seen in practice many organisations  failing  to recognize the importance of staff in the achievement of  their  missions.

Commitment from management

I interacted with organisations which do not adequately train their staff because their top management is not committed to the staff capacity development program.

I have been fortunate or unfortunate to be engaged by some of them to roll out their training programs for them.

On the negative side I have had comments from some members of top management to the effect that they cannot train staff because no one trained them.

Some managers do not want to share their knowledge as they feel trainees should also work hard  to get the knowledge as they also worked hard to get it.

Some say the training is   a waste of time and money but they are forced to roll it out because staff were agitating   for it.

Commitment from management is extremely important for the success of any capacity development program.

Management must appreciate the importance of the organisation having a well trained staff team.

Lack of human resources planning

Some organisations do not identify human resources requirements needed to achieve their missions    and those which do, fail to put in place a plan to engage right resources to satisfy the requirements.

There is often a challenge of training staff that have been recruited without taking into the requirements of the strategic plan.

The staff may have university degrees but are not suitable for the organisation.

This situation arises when staff resources have been recruited on the basis of technical know as opposed to technical knowhow.

I have also seen a human resources plan which does not adequately provide for a human development strategy. You cannot adequately train staff unless you have planned to train them.

Attitude of staff

The success of a capacity development program depends on the attitude of the trainees towards the program.

Their attitude can be either positive or negative towards the program. I remember in one organisation I was involved in rolling out an induction program for the newly recruited university graduates for a number of years.

The program was not so popular with some trainees because they felt they had been properly trained at university and therefore induction training was a waste of their time.

They thought they needed to be deployed to get hands on experience but forgetting that they did not have practical knowledge about what they studied.

Some of them continued with negative attitude towards training throughout their careers which in the long run affected their performance and career progression.

People forget they can achieve excellent performance unless they have been given capacity to do so through training.

Commitment to training  from staff is therefore a must for the success of the capacity building program.

Lack of resources

The training can take different forms including on job training and classroom type of training which can be either internally managed or outsourced.

The form the training takes depends on the resources at the disposal of the organisation.

It is not always easy for organisations especially small ones to develop their staff because of lack not of cash and other resources to run the program.

There are also some organisations which afford to train their staff because they run with skeleton staff resources and therefore cannot risk releasing any staff for training as they cannot manage without them.

There is also a situation where the organisation has funds for training but there are no organisations or individuals offering the type of training.

It is important to note that resources will always in short supply but this should not create an impossible obstacle for training to take place.

There is light in the tunnel if you inventively and creatively approach the challenge.

You can implement on job training on the assumption that the supervisors and managers have the capacity to train staff they supervise on the job.

Staff turnover

Some organisations may not want to train staff because of high labor turnover.

Management of these organisations feel the training of staff is a waste of resources because staff will after all in leave the organisation for green pastures. Earlier on in my career

I was associated with an organisation which had extremely high labor turnover.

Every year the organisation would recruit about 100 staff in the region but after three years about 70% would have left for green pastures.

The exit interviews confirmed that the organisation had a wonderful training program and was a good employer but staff  were leaving because of too much demand on them to attract, serve and retain clients.

They felt attracting clients and retaining customers was not their role.

The leaving staff however highly appreciated   the good training and experience which they had acquired from the organisation.

It became clear graduates were prepared to stay for up to three years in a demanding work situation in order to get training and experience from a world class employer.

There was a heated debate from management on whether the organisation should continue recruiting and training for the market or just get qualified and experienced resources from the market.

Unfortunately at the time the market did not have qualified and experienced resources.

The organisation accepted to be a training ground for other organisations and at the same time established a strong alumni association to keep in touch with the alumni for a number reasons including using them as a channel to get business.


John Muhaise Bikalemesa

Director: Big Drum Advisory Services Limited