Training in areas of management, leadership and communication have the greatest potential impact on business. Yet, they are the least applied training skills. Fortunately, a positive return on investment can often be achieved with as little as the 15% who typically apply the training.
The research of Advantage Performance Group & BTS, Inc. revealed 70% of participants tried new methods after training and went back to old methods; 15% used it and achieved valuable results; 15% did not try it. Return on investment depends on the on the 15% who use the newly trained skill.
Failure to apply training is an organizational problem. According to internationally recognized expert in evaluation and training effectiveness Robert Brinkerhoff, lack of preparation prior to training accounts for 40% of the reason for failure to apply the training. These variables include lack of alignment to business needs, participant selection and lack of focus.
The environment after training is responsible for another 40% of the reason training is not applied. These reasons include having no opportunity to try the new skills, little or no peer or management support and lack of feedback and/or coaching.
This leaves only 20% of the failure to the training event; including poor training design, instructor’s failure or the trainees’ inability to learn material.
Apprenticeships work. A specific outcome is created that is aligned to a specific business need. Quality learning interventions are administered and ongoing support, feedback and performance improvement provide desired results. This process holds the entire organization accountable.
Creating a culture that will incorporate new skills and behaviors cannot rest on the shoulders of the trainer or the Human Resource department. Overall business goals need to be clarified.
Managers of the trainees need to be educated about how the training connects to the business goal. The manager then must communicate that information to the trainee. This dialogue is designed to focus the trainee on the potential impact the new skills will have on the clarified business outcome.
The trainer’s role will engage the trainee, identify on-the-job obstacles and prepare an action plan to implement the skill. The trainer communicates the identified obstacles to the manager. The manager and trainee refine the action plan. The manager provides ongoing coaching and support.
Managers may be reluctant to help trainees incorporate their newly acquired skills. The paradigm shift is the training is a single intervention to assist the manager to improve the trainee’s performance level, positively impact job results and ultimately the organization’s goal. This shift in perception requires support from the top.
Change Your Perception About Training