No one wants to spend money on training!  That’s not a purchasing decision that is very popular with corporate management.

Why should it be?  Shouldn’t the company’s workforce already be equipped with the necessary skills — ready to perform their assigned tasks?

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 couple of decades ago, most buying was done at the plant level.  Today more and more purchasing decisions are made at corporate headquarters.

When a plant level purchase is made, the decision is generally in the hands of the maintenance manager  — an individual who has first hand knowledge of employee demographics and the procedures that need fixing. 

These maintenance managers also know the training 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 efficacy of each available choice.  They also seldom understand the specifics of the procedural problems to be fixed.

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, graphics and animations used in the program are rooted in actual plant environments.
  • 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 and contain a word-for-word optional audio button in order to address the needs of both fluent and non-fluent readers.

The plant 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 value their opinions as integral to the decision process.

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!

Only then can we measure the positive financial returns that can be achieved by spending money on training.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

   — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

     October 2, 2017  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)