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iManage, Issue #015 - 3 Steps to Maximise the Benefits of Employee Training
October 06, 2010

3 Steps to Maximise the Benefits of Employee Training and Development

I recently met the owner of a successful IT business. He told me he cut every budget in the current recession – except employee training and development.

He believed that having highly skilled and motivated employees – who can respond quickly to changing customer needs – were essential for survival.

In most businesses, the training and development budget is the FIRST place for cutbacks when times are hard. Why? because the majority of businesses are wasting money on ineffective, unnecessary training. If they don’t see a direct impact on the bottom line, you can’t blame them!

The result? over time, with no training and development input, employees get “stuck in the rut” – afraid or unwilling to take risks, demotivated, and less able to respond effectively to customer demands. NOT good for business.

Is it possible to support training and development in your business AND save money? Absolutely. Here are some of the steps involved:

Step 1: Get into the Helicopter

Take a helicopter view of the business. What are the current problem areas? What are your plans for the future? What skills will be necessary? Hold structured interviews with a cross section of people – from the senior team to the operator level. And don’t ask “What training do you need?” – that comes later. Your first task is to identify the key issues.

Step 2: Head for the Mountains

What are the issues that stand out like mountain peaks? These are the ones to focus on. For example, you may have a low level of repeat business. A call campaign to previous customers may be the answer – along with sales training.

Work out your training priorities in line with your business plan and agree them as a team.

Step 3: Stop for Lunch

Avoid the same old set menu. Many companies send people “off on a course” expecting them to come back transformed. This approach has a high failure rate and can be very costly.

Instead go for the buffet. Use a variety of training methods, all within your budget – that get you the results you need. Try short job transfers. Support distance learning. Train in-company trainers. Use the intranet to host webinars. Develop e learning options. The list is endless. Remember to take measurements before and after, so you can see the benefits.

Handled with care, your employee training and development efforts can make a positive impact on your business - and create loyal employees in the process.

If you want to learn more about employee learning and development, download our How to Train Others eBook to give you new perspectives. Or if you have a specific question you would like answered, Click here.

Best wishes

Ann Halloran

Practical Management Skills

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