Systematically Assess Training Needs
The job skills required to be successful are
constantly evolving due to changes in technology and customer needs. Carefully
conducted "training needs assessments" identify gaps in employee skills. The
organization can then focus on what type of training employees really need
rather than on what training employees would like to have.
Evaluate Training Programs
Unfortunately, a very small percentage of
training programs is systematically evaluated. To do so requires the following
a) Identify the
objectives of the training program;
Invest in Training During Down Periods
b) Establish a benchmark prior to the
c) Compare the before and after results.
Senior management must change their mindset from
viewing training as an expense, to viewing it as an important investment in
their business. Training budgets are often the first to be cut during
challenging economic times. It makes more sense, however, to focus on training
when there is a lull in business. When business is slow, employees are more
able to take time from their work to attend training sessions.
Encourage Employees to be Open and Honest
about their Needs
Employees have a tendency to say that they don't
need training even if they know that they really do. Consequently, they say
nothing, leaving management in the dark. Employees need to take responsibility
to say to their supervisors, "I need training and here's why."
Use Methods other than Classroom Instruction
Traditional classroom instruction is often not the
best way to teach job skills. Computer-assisted instruction, web-based training
programs, and audio or video training are some of the many techniques that
enable individuals to work at their own pace and learn more than they would in
a classroom setting.
Make Certain Supervisors Support the Transfer
Supervisors must be open to change. Very often
supervisors discourage and even chastise employees for using the new skills
that they were taught in training programs. It is no surprise that those skills
are, therefore, not used back on the job.