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Five ways to maximize your training dollars

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At a time when business competition is fierce, it’s amazing that companies still see employee development 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 programmes and forget that highly trained workers increase revenue. Training is critical to the growth of all companies.{{more}} Unfortunately, many companies are unsure how to maximize the training offered to their employees. 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 targetted, the trainer just does not understand the company’s problem, or the employer has unrealistic expectations. Training is not an event—it is 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 investing in the right training. For example, a company may think their problem is customer service, when the problem is actually that they have the wrong people in the wrong positions and employees do not have the right tools to perform their jobs.

2.  Ensure that you have the support of the leadership team. It’s frustrating for employees to be 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. Choose a tool that can help you evaluate how employees are doing with the new information or work closely with their managers.  This will reduce the tendency of employees to treat workshops and conferences as mini-vacations.

4.  Follow-up activities are key to seeing results. One-shot workshops do not bring about the change employers hope for. Offering follow-up services, such as individual assignments, projects, specific team-based assignments, supervisor-assisted follow-up, on-the-job coaching and/or quick refresher courses are some of the activities that  can help to bring long-term results.

5.  Consider e-learning. Training costs can be cut for some subject matters by using an online self-paced programme or by utilizing video conferencing to reduce travel costs for attendees and trainer. 

Before you embark on any employee development initiative, always start with the end in mind and ask: Why are we doing this course and what results do we want to see?

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to info@workplacesuccess.com
Visit online at www.workplacesuccess.com

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