By Bruce Tulgan
When it comes to the business of training, how do you make the business case for training?
- Frame training budgets as an investment. That means spell out measurable returns on investment to be expected in the short term, intermediate term, and long term.
- Describe returns on investment in terms of specific positive business outcomes, ideally a solution to a recognized problem. Will productivity or quality increase? Error rates or waste go down? Safety record improve? Efficiency or retention of high performers go up?
- Explain how the positive business outcome will result from a change in the practices/behavior of those who are trained. What exactly are they going to do that is new and different? New thoughts? New words? New actions? Will they have new tasks and responsibilities, or will they being doing the same work…but better? What is the timeline for the training and the resulting behavior change?
- Make the connection between the behavior change and specific pedagogy. What is being taught? Is it knowledge, skill, or wisdom/insight? If the training is designed to transfer information, learners are studying to build knowledge. If learners are practicing techniques, they are building skills. Wisdom/insight is the goal of training focused on teaching new ways of thinking. What new tools and techniques will learners walk away ready to use? What new knowledge or understanding will they be ready to deploy?
- Never lose focus on the deliverable—the training itself comes down to the people who will create and deliver it. What is their claim to expertise? What is their track record of effectiveness? Remember: You get what you pay for.