It’s a sad truth that most training programmes fail to result in individuals changing their behaviour. The new knowledge picked up slowly fades with time and the skills learnt are never put into practice. Most of the time, they do not result in a positive return-on-investment for the organisation involved.
But before you shed a tear, or bemoan the sorry state of professional development, why not take a look at our 5 tips to help you save money and deliver better results with your training programmes? Who knows, you may just get inspired along the way! Let’s get started.
1. Be specific, be real specific: Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. A sheep-dip approach just wont work. Make sure you start with clear job role specifications for the individual. That way you are clear on what good looks like and can be 100% sure the training you’re delivering will help them do their job better. Being this precise just helps to craft content that’s relevant and provides meaningful benefits to the learner in question.
2. Figure out what the training needs are: Before you deliver any training, you’ll first need to assess the individuals in question, to understand where their specific skills gaps are. This way you are delivering training to meet their individual needs. Each learner will ask: ‘WiiFM (what’s in it for me?)’. If you follow this step, you’ll be able to come up with a compelling response.
3. Don’t break the bank if you don’t have to: A key step to ensuring the success of the training is to ensure that it falls in line with individual training needs and your budget. For example, if you’re short on time and budget, why not consider training via online learning, a more accessible, affordable and effective alternative to traditional classroom programmes? Where possible ensure that the training is accredited and recognized by awarding bodies, so it enhances the career of the individual. In most cases the costs are the same as non-accredited training, but the results due to the brand recognition are more significant.
4. This is not a one-stop shop – you’ll need multiple visits: Training should be followed-up with a mentoring or coaching session with someone appropriate. Here the individual can discuss the training and describe what he or she has learned and how they will apply it. This gives the training a real world context and shows the individual the effect that it will have within their every day work environment. The focus should be on the benefits and encouraging further learning outside of the training programme.
5. Prove to yourself that it’s worked: Ask the individuals who have taken the programme to write a case study 6 weeks after the training. This should demonstrate how they have applied the training to their role. This way the application of the training will be seen as the clear goal in the students mind when they are going through the process. As a result it is more likely to result in the desired behavior change and deliver the ROI that the company is looking for.