The purpose of training is to close a gap in skill, knowledge or aptitude. It is an intervention geared towards the personal or professional development of an individual. Training is also often employed by organisations to equip their employees to drive organisational objectives and impact the bottom line positively.
Organisations incorporate training programmes into their employee value proposition because they understand that a company or institution is only as good as the sum of its human capital. To achieve their goals, they must build a workforce that possesses the capacity and capability to take on the challenges of the 21st century work environment.
Oftentimes, organisations train only because they have a learning and development budget that must be expended. However, sending employees on a training course without first identifying their skills gap as well as the organisations goals and how to align the two only ends up being a waste of valuable time and resources.
Training should be tailored towards developing human capital required to achieve organisational goals. Therefore, it is first of all important to identify why training is needed. After this has been established, the next step is to develop the right content, come up with the right delivery method and identify the right audience to attend the training.
To further expound on this, here is how to make your training effective and not just an exercise in futility:
Spot the gap: There would be no need to train if there was no problem to solve within an organisation or a critical skills gap that needs to be closed. For instance, an employee who has only basic proficiency in the use of the Microsoft Office application will have challenges with the speed and quality of their work and ultimately, productivity. Thereby slowing down turnaround of expected deliverables and even impact negatively on team performance. Training will be required to up their skill and get them to an intermediate level of proficiency.
Set your goal: What is the training intended to achieve? Clear cut and measurable parameters training goal and objectives leaves no room for ambiguities, helping line managers to know the behavioural change to watch out for post-training. It is also worthy of note that setting clear goals and objectives are the bedrock of calculating ROI of training.
Define the yardstick for success: How do you know your training programme achieved the desired purpose? What are trainees able to do differently when training is completed? How can you tell if trainees are actually able to replicate what they learnt on the job? Training cannot be adjudged to have worked until there is a behavioural change.
Training remains a critical tool in addressing many gaps in business. Nevertheless, this concept can only achieve optimum results when it is geared in the right direction after an in-depth analysis of the current and expected level of performance have been carried out with precision and in alignment with an organisation’s strategic goals.