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Maximizing your training dollars

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At a time when it’s business competition is fierce, it’s amazing that companies still see training as a luxury line item instead of a necessity that will help make them more efficient, competitive and profitable.

Businesses often grapple with the cost of training programs and forget that highly trained, workers increase revenue. Training is critical to the growth of all companies. In fact, many companies are unsure as to how to maximize the workshops offered to their employees. {{more}}

Employees attend workshops and receive mountains of valuable information that gets stored in cabinets collecting dust.

After each training workshop, it is not unreasonable for the employer to ask for improvements. However, sometimes training does not work because the wrong problem is being targeted or the trainer just does not understand the company’s problem or the employer has unrealistic expectations. Training is not an event, it’s a process just as learning is a process. Time must be built in for attendees to test their new knowledge and make adjustments.

To get the most from your training dollars consider the following.

1. Make sure you are buying the right training. For example, a company may think their problem is customer service when the problem may be that they have the wrong people in the wrong positions and employees do not have the right tools to perform their job.

2.Ensure that the President, CEO and leadership team are among those who have completely bought into the initiative. There must be a sense of WE and not THEY. The leadership team should always lead by example.

3. Hold employees accountable for the information they learn when they attend workshops and conferences. In other words, a tool must be implemented to evaluate how employees are doing with the new information. This will reduce the tendency of employees to treat workshops and conferences as mini vacations.

4. Follow-up activities are also a key ingredient to seeing results.

One-shot workshops do not bring about the change employers hope for. Offering follow-up services such as consulting, specific learning team meetings, supervisor assisted follow-ups, on-the-job coaching and/or quick refresher courses are some of the activities that will bring long-term results. These can be done in-house or through an outside source.

• Karen Hinds works with companies and professionals to develop their competitive edge through effective communications, image management and customer service. Send comments and suggestions to Karen@KarenSpeaks.com

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