The following ten tips will help anyone who is either looking at training for employees or for their selves. The comments are based on companies however you can relate them back to yourself if you are a sole trader.
1 – Identify Priorities & Goals
Training should relate to the company’s mission, objective and goals. Once you know that you can then work out your priorities, objectives and goals and what training will help you fulfil both yours and the company’s.
2 – Culture
A company’s culture will always influence the success of any training programme. There can be factors that can enable and limit the success within the company and these need to be identified in advance.
3 – Remove The Blocks
Training should always have a positive effect on performance and knowing what might help or hinder is key. If you can identify the negative “blocks” and remove them prior to any training then the chances of success will increase and more learning should be transferred into the workplace.
4 – Evaluate All Solutions
At this point the question should be “ is training the only solution? “ . Sending people onto a course or giving them elearning training might not solve the problem. So look deeper and work with management to identify potential other solutions. For example someone who is not meeting deadlines might not need time management training but is actually overworked due to lack of management priorities or communication, or a sales person might have too much admin which prevents time spent selling.
5 – Training Solutions
If after looking at other solutions that training is the next step then you need to identify what training will be the most effective at enabling the individuals and company goals and objectives to be met. What skills, knowledge and/or behaviour gap does the individual(s) have which will be filled by the learning?
6 – Identify Learning Objectives
These are key to ensuring the correct training is carried out. So you will need to know what people will be able to differently when the training is over, what competencies or skills they will be able to show and use and How will you be able to measure the improvement following the training?
7 – Competency Gaps
Whilst it is easy to look at an individual’s gaps initially you need to make sure you have gone through the previous steps before you get to this stage. You will need to know what needs your employee has in relation to the company goals and objectives prior to choosing the best training. You can do this using a range of tools such as 360 degree surveys, performance appraisals, questionnaires, work observations and more. This step needs time spent and is a skill that Learning and Development need to have to avoid the wrong training for employees.
8 – Correct Content
Following on from identifying the competency gaps is ensuring that the training is right for that person. This applies to all scenarios and training such as one to one training, classroom training, elearning, group sessions and more. Get the managers provide their thoughts and ideas on what should be included in the training and then find the right solutions. If you cannot find an off the shelf solution and have the budget available then get a bespoke solution. The long term rewards will outweigh the original investment if done correctly e.g. £1000 invested in 5 sales staff resulting in an extra £2000 of sales a year has a net benefit.
9 – Learning Transfer
At the end of a training course all delegates will be fired up and ready to implement everything they have learnt and change their ways of working. However in a lot of cases this never happens when they are back at their desks.
You need to ensure that any employee is given all the support possible to transfer the skills back to work. This might be the creation of a Performance Plan, Pre and Post Course Briefings, Rewards for new behaviour.
10 – Evaluation
If you don’t evaluate the training against the original goals then you have no way of measuring the success. Evaluation can be as simple as post course forms (happy sheets) or reviewing behaviour on a regular basis every three months over a yearly period. However you do this make sure you do it.