If you are in the field of training or learning and development then you realize that the growth of employees is essential to the competitiveness of an organization.
Unfortunately we cannot assume that everyone is just going to see the value that training interventions will bring to an organization, business development departments must make a case for this value.
Since training is often viewed as a cost sucking department, it is important for training professionals to take important steps in the training process to make sure we have the best odds of presenting value!
This means before we even go about designing training that we actually conduct a needs assessment.
By finding out what problems we seek to solve we can determine if training is even a logical solution. Sometimes there are systems in place that can be altered to fix this. We also can find out what exactly the learning gaps are that we need to address.
Without finding out all the factors that impact our training results first, our training design is not likely to be effective. It is also crucial to include the perceptions and input of those who will actually participate in the training!
Once the training needs and obstacles are determined it makes the training design and evaluation process much easier.
Then the training can be designed to actually target performance indicators that we know we have a good chance of actually effecting by our training!
Once we design the training we must not stop there, we must then actually find ways to demonstrate that value through the training evaluation
The training evaluation process is actually the most difficult part if you haven’t done a needs assessment! And most companies just assume training works! This assumption can come back to haunt us once it comes time to cut costs and we cannot demonstrate our value to executives who will surely expect quantitative results to justify our existence!
In general, it is always better to under promise and over deliver. And if you forget anything, make sure you clarify what executives and business leaders expect your training results to look like. This can help you either manage their expectations or design a more targeted approach to the learning.
Even if the executives who are asking for the development of the training program do not ask us specifically to evaluate the training, we must take the initiative to do it anyway! The only way we can help executives see the value of our role in organizations is by aligning our outcomes with important goal’s of the organization!