White Paper: How To Improve Your Training Provider
Today we launch the first excerpt from our free white paper: How To Improve Your Training Provider. The first section reveals the first stage in your improvement plan – defining your training needs.
Part One: Define Your Training Needs
It may seem obvious, but so many training managers fail to properly assess the training needs that exist in their organisations, instead giving way, too quickly, to the managers and directors who demand “this group of people need that type of training”. But rather than bowing to others wishes, and seeking training that may not be successful at addressing skills gaps, it is vital that training managers start by having honest and detailed discussions about what is actually needed.
A good place to begin is by first determining who it is that needs training. This must be very specific in order to minimise costs; vague answers such as “a few of the sales people” are not helpful if you want to spend wisely. Instead you need to know the specific number of people who need training.
What type of training?
In tandem with this dialogue about who needs training must also be explorations of what type of training is needed. For example, is it to enable to a team to use a new piece of software more effectively, or to manage their time more successfully? It also must be stressed that your role as a training manager is to identify what training is needed, not simply what is wanted. The best way to determine this is to link the training need back to a concrete business need or a clear skills gap.
Using the previous example: if 65% of staff cannot use a new piece of software without repeatedly asking for assistance, thereby impacting efficiency, then training in this area could be highly beneficial. On the other hand, if a sales manager requests for training for his team in the area of time management simply because he went to an interesting conference about this issue, then this would be an area that would require more investigation to determine if a need exists in reality.
Once all training needs have been identified it’s then up to you as the training manager to determine which of these needs are to be met and how. This will enable you to focus on the most important training issues and will enable you set specific goals for your training, which the outcomes can later be evaluated against.
Next: Searching For Training Providers
by Carl Duncker