Vincy Workplace
November 20, 2009
Making training meaningful

At a time when 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.{{more}} 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. Employees attend workshops and receive mountains of valuable information that gets stored in cabinets collecting dusk.

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, 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 maythink 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 andnot 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- up, 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 from an outside source.

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

Regardless of what your training budget may be, this is certainly not the time to cut back on employee learning. If anything, it should be increased to prepare employees for a strong economic rebound.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on 7 Ways to Develop your Competitive Edge in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected] Visit online at