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Strategic Training

If you follow a strategic training approach in your business, the positive impact on productivity and morale can be remarkable. What is training like in your business?

Are you wasting money through ineffective training?

For example, do you send employees on external training when considerable savings and a better result could be achieved by hosting a tailored, internal event?

Are some employees going for long periods without receiving any learning opportunity, resulting in possible stagnation? Is the training you organise clearly linked to the goals of the business?

A proactive, rather than reactive approach to training in the workplace, aligned to the business plan, is always more effective. Here are three steps you can take:

Step 1: Identify Learning Needs

Hold structured interviews with key players in your business, to probe for training needs. Use a funnel approach; look at the company, the team and the individual.

Cross check your findings and examine available metrics such as employee absenteeism levels, yields and customer comments.

Here are some of the situations that create the need for training:

  • Hiring of new staff to fill jobs made vacant by people leaving or moving within the business
  • Hiring of new staff due to growth in demand
  • Training of existing staff in order to improve the current standard of performance
  • Training of existing staff being transferred or promoted
  • Training on new work systems or processes
  • Training on new equipment
  • Regulatory training such as health and safety
  • Training resulting from a change initiative

Step 2: Allocate Resources

It is common to be over-ambitious. It is better to focus on priorities, commit and complete a small amount of training, rather than putting a strain on resources and ending the year missing targets. Factors to be considered:

  • What is the size of the training budget?
  • How much staff time can we allocate to training?
  • Which staff can be released for training?
  • When is the best time/date to complete the training?
  • How long should the training take?
  • What is the most appropriate method?
  • Should training to be delivered on an individual or group basis?
  • Should training be held internally or at an external venue?
  • Do we have the facilities and equipment to train internally?
  • Do we need to train in-house trainers?

Step 3 Design a Training Plan

  • A training plan is normally a tabular summary of the following information:
  • Training Need
  • Learning Objective
  • Learner Name(s)
  • Dates/Duration
  • Training Method
  • Venue (Internal or External)
  • Training Provider/Trainer
  • Cost
  • Completed (Y/N)

Once a strategic training plan has been approved, it can form the basis for training activity for the year, to be reviewed at regular intervals. Each item on the plan should be stressed tested. Sometimes employees are sent on training to solve a problem - when the solution lies elsewhere.

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