7 rules to follow when implementing a training and development program. Part II
Last months column initiated a discussion on training and development as one more functional area of HR and as an opportunity to expand an organizations reach and impact by seeking external sources to start or enhance internal training efforts. With the limitless opportunities provided by the Internet as well as an organizations own resources, the possibilities that you as a professional have within your reach are now limited only by your own creativity. This month, we look at where to begin undertaking major initiatives in this state-of-the-art approach to one of the most important aspects of HR and the organizations agenda. Expanding on your training and development outline involves seven simple steps. The goal is to not get complicated.
1. The first rule is to start with the end in mind. Determine where you are today and where you should be in the desired state. Make a list of your current offerings. Include everything orientation, OSHA-mandated programs, everything! Start small with a meaningful timeline for your organization. Then, as you become more confident in your approach, continue to expand your reachone step (and one program) at a time.
2. Look at what you will need to get from here to there. Define the details of successful training in terms of effective business results. Think of your training and development team globallyevery available resource is a potential strategic partner.
3. Look for the low-hanging fruit. Identify where you will be able to quickly demonstrate success with improved performance directly related to a training program. Consider the most effective format, keeping in mind the low cost and fast turnaround that may be available if you are willing to use the Internet (and intranet) for some or all of your program offerings. Eliminate any training where effectiveness cannot be measured. By all means, this is not to suggest the elimination of something as integral as orientation. Instead, use it as an opportunity to determine what an effective program would accomplish.
4. Under-promise and over-deliver. Scan the marketplace for the most effective training for your own environment, keeping your understanding of the ability of your workforce in mind.
5. Network to confirm your preliminary findings while seeing what others are doing. Look at all of your mail to determine who is doing what. Scan the table of contents of professional periodicals (in addition to HRO Today, consider HR Magazine, Training, and HR Executive) as possible sources of vendors and programs. Review your hard-copy junk mail for show and conference information, along with local college and university course offerings. Get on e-mail lists to see what offerings are available over the Internet. Enlist your own team and any others identified as training and development advocates throughout your organization to be on the lookout wherever and whenever a terrific training program appears, regardless of the source. Even television programs feature Tom Peters, Steven Covey, and a variety of other personalities who may be effective for your own organizational needs.
6. Survey your organization. Find out what various managers and employees perceive as important needs for themselves and others in the organization. Include senior management and prowl for sponsors, advocates, potential early adopters, and employees who might serve as subject matter experts, as well as potential nay-sayers.
7. Finalize your approach. When it comes down to the finalists (three is a good number), experience the training for yourself if you havent already. See who you want to facilitate the training modulesconsider the greater impact from internal versus external presenters.
While all this is going on, use whatever you have decided to incorporate as the first steps in the process of building a master training plan.
Next month, I will address the third and last segment on the topic of outsourcing training and development: a training program that all organizations should have without exceptionorientation.