Effective workforce training and development is a process. This process takes time, effort and dedication to make it successful. The process also demands a range of activities that all support the overall training and development objectives. According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), 70% of all training efforts fail after the training is purchased and completed. What leads to this rate of failure? Training typically fails because the people or departments in charge of training in an organization do not understand that a successful training program requires several steps. However, if these steps are clearly identified, potential pitfalls and problems are uncovered in advance, thus allowing a greater chance for a successful training program. There are essentially five steps that can help an organization realize the most value from their training: investigate, plan, develop, implement and document.
These five steps follow a progressive sequence that links drivers to outcomes. As companies realize the need for training, they must investigate the drivers for training and gain an understanding of what is needed. After the investigation stage, the company must strategically connect training to business goals via planning. The training and business drivers defined during planning then leads to the development of the blended learning model. Development then leads to the implementation stage of training, which will establish the future success of the program. Multiple activities must come together at the start of this implementation stage to ensure that your training initiative has full traction and utilization. If the timing is off, it is hard to recover. Finally, successful training programs require documentation of results and an analysis of activity. This takes time but is necessary to engage the impact of the training already conducted and to begin the investigation process for the next round of training.
Simply following these steps does not ensure success, but the process allows for a much greater chance that the training will produce a positive impact on the organization. In the following pages, each of the five steps to training success will be discussed in detail, with an emphasis on the proper focus areas during each stage.
Next week: Part 2 Goals of Training and Development