The Benefits of Training

Understanding the Benefits of Training: Why We Do It, Why We Don’t and Why We Should

Understanding the Benefits of Training – Why We Do It, Why We Don’t and Why We Should was initially presented in 2002 by Kate Zabriskie, president of Business Training Works, Inc., as a handout to a host of human resources professionals during a discussion forum which focused on the benefits of onsite training.  

Self Assessment Quiz

Take a few moments to answer the questions on the following quiz.  The purpose of the exercise is to help you to identify your current training strengths and opportunities.

1.TFTraining in our organization is tied to business objectives.
2.TFWe have a method of identifying employees who have career development needs and a plan in place for meeting those needs.
3.TOur management understands the long-term benefits of employee training.
4.TFTraining is viewed as an integral part of our business.
5.TFWe follow up on training to ensure that objectives were met and to eliminate/reduce any remaining skill/behavior gaps.

Training Basics

Reasons for Employee Training and Development

  • Teaching Technical Functions
  • Teaching Supervisory Functions
  • Outlining Behavioral Expectations and Consequences
  • Building Teams
  • Indoctrinating New Staff
  • Promoting Change
  • Rewarding Past Performance
  • Reducing Skill Gaps

Why We Don’t Train

  • Not Enough Time
  • No Buy-In from Upper Management
  • Not Enough Money
  • Can’t Measure the Results
  • Don’t Know How to Assess Needs 

Benefits of Effective Training

  • Increased Employee Motivation, Satisfaction, and Morale
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Reduction in Employee Turnover
  • Increased Innovation in Strategies and Products
  • Risk Management  (e.g., Training About Sexual Harassment, Diversity Training, etc.)

Typical Training Blunders

  • Distributing Company Policies in Lieu of Formal Training
  • Relying on training that was delivered three or four years ago.
  • Having an Untrained on Unprepared Facilitator Deliver the Training
  • Using a Video or Web-Only Solutions
  • Lack of Followthrough
  • Lack of Planned Training
  • Misdiagnosis of the Issue
  • Lack of Management Participation

A Three-Step Approach for Making Training Effective

Before Training

Selecting the right program to solve a specific business problem or need is critical to achieving an “effective training result.”  Programs with limited buy-in, limited participation, or that lack a connection with a business objective are often doomed before they begin.

  1. What business problem are you trying to solve?
  2. Will all levels of the organization be included in the process?
  3. What behaviors are you expecting to observe after training?
  4. What are you trying to preserve?
  5. What obstacles will the instructor potentially face?
  6. What obstacles will potentially hinder the implementation of skills learned?
  7. How will you know when the training has been effective?
  8. What are the consequences for employees who do not participate in the training?
  9. What are the consequences for employees who do not adopt desired behaviors/show proficiency in skills taught?

During Training

  1. Even with effective pre-training planning, if the training itself lacks certain key components, it is highly unlikely that the desired objectives will be achieved.
  2. Does the instructor fully understand the business problem and desired results?
    Is the instructor a member of senior management or an experienced outside source?
  3. Does the training start and end on time?
  4. Does the training incorporate job-related practice exercises?
  5. Do the participants understand that they are responsible for part of the learning process?
  6. Does the instructor deliver the information in an interesting way that involves the participants?
  7. Are the participants required to select and determine which concepts they will apply to their work after the training is over?

Post Training

  1. Do the course evaluations reflect that learning objectives were met?
  2. Do post-tests indicate that concepts were learned?
  3. Are the desired skills/behaviors being exhibited and recognized on the job?
  4. What gaps in performance still exist.  Why? 

Possible Reasons for Performance Gaps

  • The reason for training was not properly identified and/or communicated.
  • Training tried to be all things to all people.
  • The needs of the participants were not met during the training.
  • The training was impractical and examples unrealistic or unrelated.
  • The supervisor was not involved before, during, or after the training.

Understanding Potential Savings Generated by Training

  • Reduced Errors
  • Reduced Equipment Downtime
  • Reduced Customer Turnover
  • Reduced Employee Turnover
  • Reduced Grievances
  • Increased Revenue Collection

To calculate potential savings, it is important to set post-training goals.  The following model illustrates one way to quantify training savings.

Current Level of Performance   

100     Customers    
30%    Turnover per Week
$100   Average Customer Ticket
100 x 30% x $100 = $3,000 Lost Income Per Week
Total Revenue Lost Per Year = $156,000

Change Training Could Produce

Initial Goal: Reduce Customer Turnover by One Third

100     Customers    
20%    Turnover per Week
$100   Average Customer Ticket
100 x 20% x $100 = $2,000 Lost Income Per Week
Total Revenue Lost Per Year = $104,000

Potential Savings

Pre-Training Total Revenue Lost Per Year = $156,000
Post-Training Total Revenue Lost Per Year = $104,000
Cost Savings = $48,000

Benefits of Outsourcing Onsite Training

  • The Training Company Develops Program Content
  • A Skilled Facilitator Delivers Program Content
  • Through a Thorough Needs Assessment and Customized Program Content, Training Is Focused on Your Staff and Business Problem
  • Cost Per Participant is Less Than Public Training Courses
  • For a Fee, the Facilitator is Usually Available for Additional Follow Up
  • Sales Are Not Part of the Program

Primary Needs Assessment

1.     Turnover at our organization is lower than the average for our area and industry.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

2.     Supervisors and managers know how to give constructive feedback and do it regularly with their staff.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

3.     Our hiring decisions are usually good and new employees successful at their jobs.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

4.     Our supervisors and managers follow a standard hiring procedure.  They know what questions they legally can and cannot ask.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

5.     Our meetings are run efficiently and waste little time.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

6.     Our organization works well together.  There is little conflict between departments.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

7.     Employees know what is expected of them and receive regular feedback regarding their performance.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

8.     Our organization’s projects are usually completed on time and within the budget.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

9.     Our top performers stay with our organization and rarely leave to pursue other opportunities.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

10.  Employees who leave us rarely state poor management as their primary reason for going.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

11.  Employees are empowered to solve problems on their own without checking every detail with their managers.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

12.  Our organization is customer focused, and exceptional customer service is practiced on all levels.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

13.  Sexual harassment prevention is part of our regular training.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

14.  Our organization has a comprehensive training plan in place.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

15.  Our organization could benefit from an in-depth needs assessment.

  1. Strongly Agree
  2. Disagree
  3. Agree              
  4. Strongly Disagree

Ideally, an organization answers “strongly agree” to each question. To discuss your organization, please contact us for no-cost conversation.

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