Picture this: A vendor calls Human Resources and pitches their Time Management class: “It’s the next best thing to enhance productivity, returning rave reviews, AND a 500% return on investment for all kinds of companies, including your competitors!” In their opinion, we had better purchase this class before losing all our market share and face tanking the business due to slow and sloppy work habits.
The Human Resources contact remembers a complaint in staff meetings about slow productivity and general poor response time from the Engineering group and forwards the training vendor’s contact and pitch to the Director of Engineering. The director remembers an order from the general manager to focus on employee development planning. He figures the group could use some organization skills and tells HR to set up the class. Two sessions are offered, and most engineers and maintenance employees attend, learning new tips and tricks to organize their work. They return to the office, having had a nice day, with catered food, long breaks, and a chance to chit chat with their co-workers. The next day, the director asks a few students about the class and they respond positively, that it was good, and they learned some new tips.
This table shows the percentage of expected or typical training results, which, according to research, can be expected from an audience of one hundred, who attend a typical soft-skills workshop.
Wow, only 15% of training efforts result in a permanent behavior change and a positive change for the business?
The chart below shows the researched reasons for this typical failure. Notice the high levels of failure in the needs assessment and application categories. This shows us the evidence that training cannot succeed in the classroom alone, but that efforts need to be made to support learning at each of four main steps.
To hit the four critical steps and see results, use the model below as a guide for effective training. When you do hire vendors, make sure they are willing to partner with you to meet the true training need, and that their course will support plans to transfer skills into the job.
Partner with direct leaders so they can reinforce skills and evaluate the success of the program. A great question to ask in this case would be: Are students using the new skills? Why or why not? Does feedback tell us the Engineering department is more organized and responsive? If leaders follow the model below, they would easily see and support the new behaviors needed to make the department more responsive and organized.
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