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5 considerations when building (or improving) your training programs

Oct 26, 2017 3:58:19 PM / by The HR Trove by Willis Towers Watson

Informal training, mentoring, technical training, skills, leadership development, modules, e-learning, burst sessions...INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

When you are reviewing your organization's training programs, your list can seem like a never ending road to nowhere. How do you set a clear path forward for building or improving your training program in your organization?

Here are 5 key things to consider when building a program or refreshing the programs you have in place today.

1. Business Strategy Alignment

Beyond the obvious reasons to try and draw ROI, aligning your business strategy has a benefit to you as well. If you can connect your training program to your organization's business strategy, improve skills and competencies, and avoid costly mistakes, you have proven the worth of the cost of the training program and opened the door to more opportunities.

On the converse of that, if you focus on training programs that don’t drive towards business goals, you may find yourself answering more questions than you would like. Connect with senior business leaders and look for ways to connect training to business goals. Identify areas where you can add value to the organization, and avoid risk.

2. Resourcing, Resourcing, Resourcing

How will you create your content? Will you produce it completely from scratch or do you have instructional design members on your HR team to help?

Often times we are budget and resource constrained, so getting creative is key. Look for partners who can provide turnkey solutions, or solutions that can feel customized to your organization, but don’t carry the custom costs.

3. Create a Learning Culture

We all feel really good when we belong to something, don’t we? If you create excitement and buzz around learning, you might find your training programs will grow their own wings. People get excited about learning and people learn in different ways.

Allow for ample opportunities for colleagues to share their experiences and cultivate new and innovative ideas. One of my favorites are book clubs or book exchanges. They are great for virtual or leadership teams that are spread out geographically and help bring people together over virtual webinars to discuss findings and insights.

4. Debating Effective Delivery

Do I conduct this training in-person, or is it something we can deliver on the web? Do we want to use podcasts? Or how about email? The various ways we can deliver training, both formally and informally is endless.

Think about the objectives of the training. Do I need to quiz participants to confirm knowledge transfer? Is there any type of compliance or audit requirement I am trying to meet?

Specific targeted trainings that answer yes to the questions above might be better suited for e-learning modules where you can track participation and compliance. Go old school and grab a pen and paper. Write out all your thoughts about what are you trying to accomplish and how you might be able to meet it through the various options. Whiteboarding your ideas can help drive you to the right answer. And know that you don’t always get it right, leading to our last point...

5. Avoid Kakorrhaphiophobia (what?!)

Abnormal fear of failure. Yes, it’s a real thing and some people have it. All of us have fear of failure to some extent, and we should not fear any and all feedback mechanisms.

Every time you conduct a training, you should be seeking feedback. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Grab an online survey account and poll participants or use email. You can collect both quantitative and qualitative data. How did we do on a scale of 1-10? What do you think we could have done better?

Take the time to read the responses and take action improving your trainings. This can also help you tie back to your business strategy. Whether it’s you or someone on your team responsible for training, embedding just one of these steps into your thinking can help you define a clear path forward towards better results.

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Blog contributor

Kate Miceli-Willis Towers Watson.jpgKate Miceli, Operations Leader, Willis Towers Watson

With over 10 years of experience at Willis Towers Watson, Kate is responsible for a variety of projects supporting the firm's Health and Benefits business. She has held several roles in consulting, training and operations in the insurance and consulting industries. Kate loves working with people and making boring things fun. Her favorite emoji is Nerd emoji.png. What’s your favorite emoji?

Topics: Trends, Training

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