|Why Facilitation? by Gary Rush, IAF CPF|
"With a difficult economy, companies have to look at how best to use their resources to improve productivity at work. Facilitators are in a position to help make the most of organizational resources – Facilitators add value."
Organizations are cutting back in resources, asking those who remain to do more with less, and cutting budgets for travel, training, etc. On the surface, this certainly makes the numbers look good – but is it the right approach? Organizations need to make the most effective use of their resources and human capital is the most important resource any organization has. Making employees productive is key!
What is a Facilitator?
Today, the word "facilitator" has been diluted because so many people call themselves "facilitators" - teachers, contractors, moderators, and even amusement park guides. The dictionary definition is, "one who makes easier" and is so broad that it fits a wide spectrum of functions.
I'm talking about Group Facilitators, those who have been trained "how to" design effective processes, manage discussions, work with difficult participants, and guide groups to consensus. This is a highly skilled job. The savings and benefits only happen when you have a well-trained Group Facilitator. The cost of their training is returned the first workshop they facilitate or the first meeting they lead.
Businesses and organizations work smarter through the use of Facilitators using facilitated workshops because employees are engaged creating new ideas, increasing commitment, and communication is greatly enhanced. This results in:
Yes, there are documented metrics proving the benefits using productivity measurements.
What I found was:
A facilitated workshop produces 8 weeks of requirements work in a 3-day workshop. Translated into dollars and cents, this means:
Using facilitated workshops brings additional benefits to any organization beyond financial benefits as the previous points illustrate. Using facilitated workshops provides intangible benefits such as engagement of their human capital. Engaging a greater portion of any organization:
One of the least cost effective actions that organizations take is putting an employee in a job without training. It demeans the importance of proper training, it is unfair to the employee, it wastes the organization's money, and hurts the organization in the long run. Like any job skill, facilitation skills can be taught and learned. It is far more than "one who makes easier". An effective Group Facilitator needs to know:
Well-trained Facilitators using facilitated workshops are proven to deliver significant value to any organization. It's proven that when organizations engage everyone and they learn to collaborate, the organizations thrive and grow.
Knowing the benefits, I can’t help but wonder why every organization doesn’t make facilitator and facilitation skills a core competency for every employee of their organization.