Learning professionals have always known that they should be measuring the return on Investment from training and development or the contribution of their interventions in terms of business performance, but there has been very little external pressure on them to do so. As long as there was a demand for training coupled with the happiest of comments on feedback forms, then who would want to cause an upset by suggesting that some of this stuff wasn’t necessary or useful?
Is your Training and Development Footprint Shrinking?
A recent Bersin&Deloitte study (http://www.bersin.com/News/Content.aspx?id=16186) confirms that The Training and Development footprint continues to shrink. Although many training teams added staff during the year, these additions were outpaced by faster growth in learning populations. As a result, the overall “footprint,” or ratio of training staff relative to the learner population continued to decline in many companies.
This trend is one sign of the changing role of the corporate training function, which no longer is “the place” for learning.
Many Learning and Development managers have seen the writing on the wall spelling “Outsourced” so they have already embarked on a process of transforming their services by aligning business development training with the needs of the business and with the flexibility to be delivered as an on-going process, not an event.
- Human Resource development must be managed with the same efficiency as every other business asset. It adds value or it becomes extinct.
Do you really need to spend thousands of pounds, dollars or dinars per employee to send them to Microsoft Project training courses, when they can learn Project through a range of media tailored to their requirements including videos, customized activities, case studies and personal assessments and with a little support apply what they learned on work specific assigned to them? This content is reusable and can be accessed by many at a time convenient for them.
- Have you adapted to the changing needs of Learning and Development? Now would be a good time to address the changing needs of learners
Business simply cannot continue to spend money and several days of working down time to send people away from the office for business skills training and your budget can only be justified on the basis that it adds value to the organisation. It is only reasonable that you should be able to demonstrate this.
Can you demonstrate how your training and development activity adds measurable value to the organisation?
A quality training programme designed to address a business problem represents a valuable investment that a CEO will make but many are questioning whether training programs on which return on investment will not be measured should be delivered at all. After all which other area of the business is allowed to continue without measures of its effectiveness.
Many management training companies will sell generic business training courses aimed at groups of people and delivered by a trainer who has picked that same course up off the shelf for many years. One of the greatest mistakes we can make as designers of learning experiences is to treat those people in that group as if they were the same. Providing the same solution for those with a great deal of prior knowledge, as for those who are beginners creates a situation where we over-teach the experts and under-teach the beginners. Of course management training companies want to sell you a training course, it’s a familiar solution, it’s comfortable, and it generates a huge income for them, but it turns a blind eye to the differences among learners.
This generic approach also ignores different types of learning requirements:
Some skills are cognitive; involving problem-solving, planning, decision- making, thinking, evaluating, a great deal of this type of work is carried out on a computer. Networks allow us to share our work electronically with trainers and receive immediate feedback without the need to attend a 4 day event that at best focuses on 40% of my specific development need.
The development of interpersonal skills requires a completely different strategy and the most efficient place for this may well be a classroom where you have opportunity to network, role play and practice with others, Then there are the psycho-motor skills that involve operating machinery or learning to drive, classrooms may be of little use here because hands on practice is needed and the knowledge required to remember the process can be stored and retrieved from a computer not lurking in some workbook provided on a course attended many months ago and since all knowledge is perishable if it is not available at the time the individual needs to apply it that course was a waste of time and money.
- Knowledge required for compliance purposes that is stored in a workbook carries the risk of being out of date and the enormous consequence of not being complicit
High impact learning organisations spend less on off the shelf solutions for their business training courses and more on custom training which is less costly and more time efficient, and delivers just what is needed at the right time via the most efficient method it makes sense and it enables you to achieve more with the budget….Contact Spectrain if you want to make a measurable business impact with your learning and development activity? Can you afford not to?