Getting the Best Results from Your Training Program
By Kristen Meletio Kmetz, Regional Trainer, Signature Worldwide
As we all know, there are many types of training programs. Today, we are seeing more and more companies go from annual to bi-annual training, full-day to half-day training, and classroom training to Web-based training. You get the point—companies are spending less and less on training their employees, due to the economy. However, even with the downturn in the economy, it is critical that companies keep well-trained employees, but more importantly, that they get the best results from the training program of choice. So the question is, how do you make this happen?
Examine Needs, Budget, and Employee Demographics
First, look at your company’s needs, budget, and employee demographics. If you are planning to hire an outside company to provide the training, it is especially critical to choose the right one. Once you determine the type of training needed, calculate the amount of money you must budget. Now is also a good time to factor in the demographics of the team that will be attending the training. Why factor in the demographics of the employees? There are different learning styles for different age demographics. For example, the Millennial Generation is known to be high-tech learners, so a Web-based training with low face-to-face interaction may suit them well, whereas a Generation X learner may need more face-to-face interaction.
To get the best results from your training program, you first must create some hype. Prior to the training, you will want to talk up the training in a way that will have employees thinking, “What is the hype is all about?” Creating posters, flyers, and e-mails with a fun teaser about the training can spark curiosity among employees. It is important to understand that whatever type of training platform you use and whoever is delivering the training, you must make it fun for the participants. I have been delivering classroom Webinars and Web-classroom training over the last 10 years, and the consistent feedback I receive is that the participants did not expect the training to be fun, nor did they expect to learn so much at the same time. By simply delivering training that is both fun and interactive, you already have exceeded your employees’ expectations, which is the next step in setting your training up for success.
Measure, Measure, Measure
Another important step is to measure the results of the training. Identify someone or a team of people who will be the “driver” of the program. The driver or drivers oversee the day-to-day skills in motion and serve as coaches and mentors. You also will want to create an environment that reinforces the skills or new training material. Constant reinforcement is key to measuring the training results, as this will inspire your employees to understand their newly acquired skills. In addition, it is important to make it fun and to always praise your employees for their achievements. Final step: The drivers will report their information to the training team or decision-maker, so you can measure the findings that lead to a successful training program.
Understanding how to measure your training results appears to be a simple process. However, I also have heard that common sense is not so common—I am sure you would agree there is some truth to this statement. So before making that wise investment in training, take the necessary steps to ensure that you are setting your team up for success. Otherwise, save your money and take a nice long vacation.
Kristen Meletio Kmetz is a regional trainer for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, OH-based company offering sales and customer service training, marketing, and mystery shopping services for a variety of service-based industries. For more information, call 800.398.0518 or visit www.signatureworldwide.com. You also can connect with Signature on Twitter @SignatureWorld and on Facebook.