Many training initiatives are reactive in nature. An influential executive notices a skill gaps or deficiency and prescribes training as the remedy without careful consideration for the long-term benefits. In fact, training alone will rarely, if ever, provide for lasting and productive change in the way people do their jobs. People are able to change only if they have an understanding of the reasons for that change and can recognize a personal benefit if they do change their behavior (Langdon, Whiteside and McKenna, 1999).
Organizations must recognize that training alone is rarely the solution. Training typically impacts individual performance whereas in a business setting, results are typically produced by a team of people acting in concert to achieve an objective. These people may have different incentives and barriers to their individual performance, such as different compensation plans, tools and systems to use in doing their jobs and the types of rewards and recognition that are available. These barriers and incentives must be addressed in order to determine if training is part of the right solution to drive the desired behaviors and results.
To successfully design and implement a training program that delivers positive results for your organization, we recommend the following steps:
1. Assess Your Business Needs
The first step is to determine precisely what gaps exist between desired outcomes and the current state. Determine this gap by:
a) Assessing the existing skill set and level of your employees.
b) Analyzing the organizational practices that drive or impede new ways of doing things.
c) Reviewing existing training curriculum to measure the extent to which it delivers necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes.
Use this information to establish a baseline of today’s performance and to identify the proper solutions.
2. Align Your Solution with Corporate Strategy
The solutions you choose must be aligned with the long-term strategic direction of your organization. In the case of a training solution, we recommend that your company:
a) Align training expenditures in direct proportion to corporate goals.
b) Centralize accountability for producing high-impact training.
c) Solicit input from all levels of the organization on alignment and proper solutions.
For a complete version of the white paper “The Direct Path to Training ROI“, please call Shapiro Negotiations Institute at 410 662 4764.