Before you move forward with any new training initiative, you’d better line up your objectives. Unless you know what you are attempting to accomplish, your new training initiative is probably fated to go nowhere.

Let’s look at some of the items you might consider when determining your objectives.

For example, do your objectives include minimizing downtime, reducing scrap, cross-training your workforce?

Maybe your objectives are designed to change employee attitudes or to introduce them to new HR procedures?

On the other hand, are your objectives simply tied to a “CYA” strategy? In other words, are you, mistakenly, going to justify your training initiatives by showing management the improvement results between pre-test and final exam scores?

If so, you’re not doing a very good job of helping your organization meet its top line and bottom line goals.

Does it not stand to reason that almost all individuals will make higher final exam scores than they scored during the pre-test? Of course! And, that simple memorization and the regurgitation-of-information process will not necessarily translate into improved task accomplishment or demonstrate an attitude change.

Downtime may not be minimized, scrap may not be reduced and, workers may not have improved their skill sets. Employees may have learned nothing new about the HR procedures you were tasked with introducing. Employee attitudes may not have evolved as your organization had wished.

No! Your training initiatives should be measured against a “tasks-skills” result. First, you need to know the tasks required to accomplish your organization’s desired objectives.

Second, you need to identify the skills required to positively impact those required tasks.

And, finally, you need to look at the results you achieve: in downtime, scrap and multi-craft capability — in the easier compliance with new HR procedures — in improving employee attitudes. The numbers will be available. Only then will you be able to validate the success of your training initiatives.

More on Tuesday – – – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning