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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Aligning Your Training Program with Your Company's Business Strategy

My Proposed Training Strategy
Training is an important investment, one that will provide exponential returns  if done right. On many occasions, investments made on interventions aimed at equipping employees so they can perform better are lost because  they fail to demonstrate change in behavior and much less change in performance. 

While there is no debate on the importance of training, business managers are hesitate to invest because of painful experiences of  past traininginvestments that failed to deliver the promised result. There are indeed so many reasons to fear for your training money.  Here are the mistakes I too often see HR or Training Managers commit:
  • Failing to understand the business needs that require training intervention
  • Failing to identify the changes that must take place after the training.
  • Failing to identify the right training design and methodology that will suit the learners and the situation
  • Failing to engage the stakeholders and clarify the roles they play in the whole change process (training after all is a change initiative)
  • Failing to make parties accountable for pushing the agenda for change.
  • Failing to create a TRAINING STRATEGY.
I highlighted the last one because most of the time, when I ask managers to show me their training plan, all I see is a list of training titles, schedules and budget. There is really no strategy to speak of. Too many training managers misunderstood what it means to have a training strategy. Here's a simple definition:

 "A plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim" - Google


Apply this definition to our topic and what we should see is a roadmap that will get us from where we are to where we want to be as far as training is concerned.

I believe that a Training Manager worth his/her salt understands that training has to be aligned and it takes more than scheduling training programs to make that alignment happen.

Below is a template document I wish to share with you. Feel free to customize the document and make it better. I will also appreciate very much to know how you are able to use this to improve training and performance in your own workplace. Email me and share with me your experience.


Strat HRD Plan Template

2 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing. great post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since we are on the topic of a strategic approach to training, let me share one that I used. Although this approach was designed for technical training, the concept is still applicable to other areas since the training strategy is based on 3 dimensions: technical, behavioral and management/leadership. With my involvement in strategic business planning for my own particular business area and that of a larger business unit before I entered into the training field, I had exposure to actual business strategy formulation. Since my unit was a newly formed business area using a new technology, new products, new technology and new employees many of whom were fresh graduates from engineering and technical schools, I was faced with the problem of getting these people trained. I myself went on a personal learning program by visiting similar companies abroad including the equipment suppliers since the product involved new technologies and a very quality- and cost-conscious customer. I have described the framework for technical training in a previous post but, as I said, the whole training program involved the 3 areas of technology, behavioral and business, the individual emphasis depending on the role of the person in the organization. For example, line operators would have more emphasis on technical and behavioral and some supervisory for those targeted for team leadership while those in managerial positions included management. This later became the seed for a corporate-wide competency development program where the concept was then used for various business areas but focusing on the technical specialists and managers. Beside the introduction of technology schools, we used a corporate-wide methodology for evaluating level of expertise. The training program, however, were not only focused on individual areas of expertise but also included the corresponding behavioral and leadership competencies. I know many HR and training units would not be able to handle this by themselves, but they can be helped by their own technical and management experts. In fact, this was the approach I took when I rolled out the program throughout the organization where I involved the technical experts and managers and their other managers. This may be a tall order for many trainers but the HR, technical departments and business management themselves would surely welcome an opportunity to improve themselves and their own units.

    ReplyDelete

If you have an opinion about this topic or a related experience you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment but please be respectful. No bad words please or I will be constrained to delete it.