Organizational Consultation XIII: The Human Resource Bank—Source of Information and Use

Organizational Consultation XIII: The Human Resource Bank—Source of Information and Use

Teaching, Consulting, Coaching and Mentoring Assignments:

There is a growing emphasis on homegrown training in contemporary organizations. Rather than hiring a full-time training staff, or bringing in high-priced external trainers and consultants, many organizations are now asking employees to periodically step out of their regular jobs in order to provide training, consulting, coaching or mentoring services.

Alpha, for instance, might wish to join with several other organizations in creating a language academy, especially if it is about to join an international consortium. Someone from Alpha who is fluent in Mandarin and loves to teach could offer several courses in this academy. An employee in the Alpha Corporation who is fluent in French might similarly offer a course, or a foreign language course could be offered by a Beta employee who lived for many years in Italy or by a Gamma employee who recently emigrated from Russia. These instructors could readily be identified through HR Banks established in each organization or through an inter-institutional HR Bank. The language academy would cost no money, other than the allocation of time for the teachers and students. It would, however, inevitably improve the morale of both the employee-teachers and students, while preparing employees in the participating organizations for an increasingly globalized world.

A Human Resource Bank can also be used to identify experienced men and women who can serve as individual coaches or mentors to other employees. A coach typically helps another employee with a specific set of problems or issues, while a mentor is usually available for more general reflection and discussions regarding one’s career and life decisions. A coach can readily be identified through a HR Bank that provides information regarding specific areas of expertise, whereas a mentor is best identified through a HR Bank that collects more general information regarding life experiences and aptitudes regarding work ethics and life values.

Identification of Training and Educational Needs

As we already noted, Human Resource Bank is valuable not only because it provides information about what does exist in the organization, but also because it reveals what does not currently exist in the organization. When the president of Alpha is looking for a fluent French speaker to join her at the international conference, she will learn as much about her organization from a failed HR Bank search as she will from a successful search. “If no one in this organization is fluent in French, and we are about to enter into an international consortium, perhaps we should pay for several of our employees to take French lessons. Or maybe we should start that inter-institutional language academy we have been talking about for several years. . . . and perhaps we should be looking for language skills when we hire our next staff member in the strategic planning department.”


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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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