I often have conversations with Human Resources Professionals who have a hard time convincing their organization’s leaders that training budgets should increase rather than shrink. One big reason for this is the lack of a clear and positive training outcome; such as results that help the company be more profitable. Many leaders rarely see real change after training.
This is such a loss, because there is nothing the Training and Human Resources functions need more than credibility as a true business partner. A great way to become a better partner is to create and share real success stories showcasing their contributions to the bottom line.
Here are a few examples:
- How would you like to show your boss that you reduced interventions involving Human Resources 20% of staff time dealing with employee relations work through an effective conflict resolution and communication program?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to remove an unnecessary cost such as HVAC maintenance by training an internal maintenance employee how to do this work?
- Developing three employees to become experts in a new database and troubleshoot delivery glitches could reduce the current rate of lost customers and raise efficiency.
A full evaluation is not necessarily required after every training program, but for the critical ones? You bet. This is the type of news that top leaders are hoping for, yet do not often get. Are there highly visible, critical projects or changes coming up that require a skill upgrade or significant behavior change for the workforce? Then this is a perfect time to use the tools that will gain you a measurable change and prepare to build your own case study showcasing what fabulous results you have helped the organization enjoy. Here’s how:
- Start with a proper needs assessment in partnership with top leaders. For example, perhaps one of the problems is excessive loss due to the amount of materials and product scrapped. Find some measures that will indicate to the business that training is working and worth it. For example: what is the current state on losses due to scrap?
- Get leaders thinking early: What will the new behavior look like and how can you assign learners to perform that behavior? For example, are you sending students to a Technical Writing class? Then assign them to write specific technical documents. When they are finished, perform the training to recognize, sort and disposition defective materials properly.
- Set expectations for learners so they know what they are to do with the new skills. “Student, go to this technical writing class and draft an outline of the new standard operating procedure on avoiding scrap losses. For the next group of students- “Please help us reduce scrap and allow us to bring in more profits and expand the business”.
- Get leaders to encourage, monitor and reinforce the new behavior, removing obstacles and measuring the change. Encourage early adopters, and reward them.
- Shout out the results. “We reduced the amount of scrapped raw materials by 12% and scrapped product by 18% with training!
The interest and support from top leadership will go up the more you build a foundation of evidence that training effort pays off with changed behavior that meets business goals. I recommend you apply the science of Learning and Development to accumulate training success stories and start to grow the credibility of training as a business solution, and see a “snowball” effect in learning efforts as a result.
Not sure where to start? Follow the simple process in the book, Building Giants: A Proven System To Transform Your Workforce Through Effective Training, available on Amazon.
Or contact Katy Caselli about a Building Giants Workshop for your team. KCaselli@BuildingGiants.com or call 919 564 6855.
Also, check out her Catalog of Courses for other courses in Train the Trainer, Employment Law, Technical Writing and more.