No one wants to buy “training!”

Why should they? Shouldn’t their new hires be already equipped with the necessary skills — and ready to perform their assigned tasks?

But, as you well know, that only happens in Utopia.

So why, then, do you have to develop or purchase training programs for your workforce?

The answer is not very complicated.

We only purchase training programs when we want to solve a particular problem. Training becomes only a means to resolving issues that management wants us to fix.

A decade ago, most buying was done at the plant level. Today more and more purchasing decisions are made in the corporate office. When a plant level purchase is made, the decision is generally in the hands of the Maintenance Manager or HRD Manager — individuals who have first hand knowledge of employee demographics and the procedures that need fixing. These people also, often, know the media choices that are available — along with the pros and cons associated with each.

On the other hand, when Corporate Management makes the purchasing decisions they are generally unaware of the available choices. They also seldom understand the specifics of the procedural problems to be fixed. Consequently, today, their decision is most often confined to an E-Learning solution — primarily due to the economic efficiencies of that choice.

When making a training-purchase decision, here are a few items Corporate Management should require of any training provider:

• Always remember that “Content is King!” Have the programs reviewed for both content accuracy and completeness.

• It is very important that the vendor’s SMEs (the ones involved in producing the courseware) were actually hands-on practitioners of the skills presented.

• Be certain that the video and “stills” used in the program come from actual plant environments rather than being staged.

• Thoroughly review the instructional design used in the course creation, paying close attention to whether the design is focused on “individual learner control” or has been, incorrectly, developed from a “cookie cutter” philosophy.

• Since 40% of a typical workforce does not assimilate anything written above a 4th Grade reading level, be certain that the solutions you select are multi-sensory in their design.

The Plant Management members (i.e., Maintenance Mangers) usually know what makes training work in their specific environment. They understand the skills required; the tasks to be performed; and, the singular effectiveness of multi-sensory learning in today’s learning culture. Corporate Management needs to pay close attention to their recommendations.

The bottom line answer to our initial question is simple. We build or purchase training solutions in order to increase employee skills so that their assigned tasks will be performed more efficiently and more effectively in the future!

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com