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Realizing real value from staff training

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

As companies resume operations after the lockdowns and disruptions, the future of work will continue to evolve and adjust to the changing realities of a society. As mandates are lifted, many large corporations have said their employees can work from home permanently. Whether it's because of a mandate, or a company realizing the benefits of employees working from home, there still needs to be the same level of productivity no matter where an employee is working. That's easier said than done. A one-size-fits-all approach to team productivity doesn't work anymore. Demands and needs are constantly changing as a result, organizations must adjust the way their staff and teams interact, report, and produce. This means that a modernize approach is necessary. Consider implementing a training process that optimizes your current situation and supports the unexpected dynamics of the future of work.

Pre COVID-19, many organizations operated on a project-by-project basis, post COVID-19 we are seeing a shift to program, shared services and product-based approach across the value chains. The common practice is to assign projects based on the strengths of your team members. You're able to follow up in the timeframe and manner that's best for each employee, which helps avoid bitterness and unspoken resentment. You are in tune with all the nuances that show you're an attentive leader. All of this increase’s workplace productivity. With the shift too product approach we must consider the nuances of every human unique physiology. They think differently, take instruction in the way that works for them, and implement it according to their behaviors. Employees have different learning styles, and that affects performance. Investing the time and energy into understanding your team's makeup and their different productivity styles helps you optimize overall performance. You're able to tailor your leadership approach to what you know will produce the best possible workplace productivity.

With the complexities of programs and projects, the increasing use of virtual teams for our work, and our many stakeholders and challenges, our focus must shift from only considering the triple constraint and customer satisfaction to a view of the business value of our work and its contribution to strategic goals, objectives and realized benefits from its outcomes.

“As we continue to focus on deliverables, we must also focus on benefits to all participants, which represent a culture change for many people in different organizations.”

This emphasis on benefits involves identifying the benefits a program, product, service or project can provide in order to justify it, planning for how the benefits are to be realized successfully, monitoring and tracking the benefits and preparing a benefit report on a regular basis, and closing the program or project once all of the benefits have been attained and can then be transitioned to customers or an ongoing operational unit so they can be sustained.

This will be a new approach for many people to think of the work they are doing in terms of its ultimate benefits. Benefits realization is a positive change but one that needs to be ingrained in each person's work, this is measured by the value you provide to enhance the participant experience and overall profit margins while eliminating and or reduce hidden costs areas.

Our workshops and interactive exercises, enables you to manage and deliver tangible and intangible benefits of programs, services, products and projects. It presents guidelines for use by the portfolio, program, and key decision maker team in terms of strategies for organizational success through effective benefits identification, realization, and management by implementing or enhancing a benefits realization program in the organization and thereby delivering business value.

#Why do your staff need training?

All organizations train their people, and most spend significant sums doing so. Yet they generally don’t have any idea whether they’re getting any business value from training. Beyond teaching new employees the specifics of their jobs, most companies train staff in areas such as leadership, communications, performance management, or lean operations. But they typically measure training’s impact by conducting surveys of attendees or counting how many employees’ complete courses rather than by assessing whether those employees learned anything that improved business performance and where it is realized in the operation.

Few companies see sustained benefits from training employees. This approach was acceptable when companies had money to spare. Now, most companies are fighting to survive and grow, this drives the need for highly capable employees.

“Programs and training should be designed to improve specific organizational-performance outcomes, and the process of assessing its impact must be simple and straightforward.”

Picking the right metrics is the key to creating real value from training. Most for-profit organizations have a longer list of quantitative business-performance metrics and as most would do now should measure the impact of its programs through hard business metrics.

In every case, companies must continually review and revise the links between skills, performance, and training programs. Typically, to determine which metrics should be improved, companies assess their current performance against their own goals.

Success has numerous definitions, but one way to think about it is to view it as contingent on making predictions and meeting commitments relative to products, services, or results and providing measurable benefits for customers and participants in the process. As we work toward success, it is essential to determine our priorities for the short and long term, the various deliverables our organization should pursue through its programs and services plus their benefits, needed resources, and especially to determine how programs, initiatives, and operational work support strategic goals and business value. Realizing this success is easier said than done. Only one in eight organizations report having a high level of benefits realization maturity and further explains why only a few organizations have benefits realization post implementation, change or transition activities that is quantitative and measurable. The days of excess dollars to support overruns, delays and under managed initiatives are gone!

With shrinking budgets, reduced resource capacity, continuous change and change fatigue, there’s more of a need than ever for learning and development professionals to continue to communicate the value and importance of their contributions.

Well-known benefits of effective employee training and development include:

  • Heightened capacity to adapt and innovate

  • Increases in employee motivation

  • Increased productivity and company revenue

  • Improved job satisfaction and morale

  • Better employee retention and reduction in employee turnover

  • Gains in risk management and risks mitigation

  • Enhanced company reputation and employee recruitment

Of course, these benefits depend on the reason, accountability and effectiveness of your employee training and development program. Whether it’s considered effective depends on the goals, intent and support.

#How do you plan on actioning and empowering the trained staff to realize the benefits of training?

Evaluating your employee training and development program, you might consider one of the following common methods:

  • Work backwards to identify the results desired, the behavior and culture changes needed to make that happen, and the learning objectives and plan that would accomplish these objectives

  • Seek to use data, information and tacit knowledge to measure and implement value and actionable learning

  • Choose to continually monitor and fine-tune the program.

  • Develop mechanisms to assess gaps and training needs to fill voids in your organization based on demand

When creating an employee training and development program, your plan might may look something like this:

  • Recognize goals and identify the desired business impact

  • Identify employee competencies and analyze skill gaps

  • Interview employees to better understand their needs and motivations based on function or cross functional needs

  • Consider different training methodologies and materials needed

  • Plan for evaluating effectiveness and sustaining gains over time

  • Visualizing this plan will help you as you continue to reference it over time.

  • Visual mind maps, flowcharts, timelines, checklists, graphs, and more can help keep you on track.

#People are supporting and competing with Machines and automation.

#What are your skill capacity and capability gaps?

Prove the Value of Training to Your Organization

In the emerging business environment, it is becoming highly critical to prove the worth of the work you do and the value you provide. It seems obvious that the work we do is important to an organization’s bottom line; but for others, it might be less clear, in which case you’ll need to make your case. So, when you do, here are a few key reasons to get you started.

Time & Money Savings

When you’re training people on how to do a task, you’re showing them the most optimal and time-efficient way to carry out a process. Contrast this to a situation where employees are doing things “their own way.” You can almost guarantee some are doing it more efficiently than others. This means that without the proper training, some employees are likely wasting time and resources (hence, money) on steps, materials or processes that is not optimal for the business.

Consistency in Business Processes

In addition to saving time and money by standardizing how your employees perform tasks, you’re providing consistency by training your staff. Imagine if your customer service team hasn’t been trained on how to carry out a certain task, and everyone is doing it a slightly different way. Now imagine that it’s a task that interfaces with your customers. This means that a customer who speaks with Rep A will get a different response from the customer who speaks with Rep B (this is common issues in government services such as Health and Human Services across the country) and leads to inconsistent messaging, which can lead to ill-informed or confused clients.

Confident Employees

Cost savings and consistency weren’t reason enough to adopt a training program, training will also give your employees the confidence they need to perform their job. There’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do in a certain situation, and often employees are shy or afraid to ask for fear that if they do, they will look like they don’t know how to do their job. Training provides a lot of value, drives profits and service quality, yet we are still seeing when organizations make financial cuts, training budgets are typically the first to get the axe. A huge part of the reason training budgets gets axed is a lot of the e-learning that is created is not needed in the first place. This happens because managers who sense a performance problem often jump to the conclusion that we need to train our employees to solve the performance problem and, in most cases, the training is created without ever conducting a proper training needs analysis to determine whether training will really solve the core performance issue. The problem with this approach is that many business problems are not going to be solved by training. Training can only solve an issue if the cause of the issue is that employees don’t have the knowledge, capability and skills to carry out certain tasks.

Problems may be a result from a variety of causes, including, but not limited to, lack of:

  • Motivation, and promotions based on tenure Vs ability

  • Incentives

  • Proper processes

  • Capacity (mental or physical)

  • Proper equipment or technology

#Training, The business value

To make your training valuable for your company, you may follow these steps:

Step 1: Conduct a Proper Training Needs Analysis. The very first step to ensuring your training adds value to your organization’s bottom line is to conduct a proper training needs analysis. Take the time to distinguish here between a “wants analysis” and a “needs analysis,” because people tend to do the former and most analysis is done by surveys and asking employees what training they want, this is not a needs analysis. Needs analysis involves systematically analyzing current (versus expected) performance with regards to a certain task, functions and processes identifying whether there is a performance gap, and if there is, identifying the true cause of the gap. Remember, it’s not always a lack of knowledge and skills, it could be a whole host of other issues causing your performance issue.

We would also add that a benefit of training o and keeping employee’s skills relevant is, people state that continuing professional development is one reason they either choose to work for a certain employer and more importantly choose to stay with their employer as they feel keeping relevant is being valued.

#Learning trends #Actioning learnings

Train Your Workforce to Become Future-Proof

As we get in front of the global pandemic and the one thing, we’ve learned from 2020, it’s that planning and innovation can turn big disruptions into even bigger opportunities. Every leader wants to equip their organization with the skills, capability, capacity, tools and knowledge they need to adapt to an uncertain global demands and work culture. But how?

The answer is to chart a relevance training impact roadmap. This roadmap will be the foundation that will guide your key decisions for your organization in 2021. But you should ensure that your transition, change and relevance initiatives evolve to align with your desired business goals and client demands.

#Factors To Consider While Planning Your Training Strategy

#Opt For Content Modernization

#Encourage staff to use Microlearning modules

Don’t expect staff to be trained off the corner of their desk, allocating a small percentage of their real working time to training is not effective and usually ends in failure. Set dedicated training time, it is a fact the average worker is only able to dedicate just 3 hours a week to training. The solution is to develop quick bursts of bite-sized learning for your time-starved workers. This shorter format also accounts for any net connection limitations your remote employees may be facing. Video-based learning material has a sleek, modern vibe that engages the learner and keeps them interested for longer. It also empowers your younger employees with the convenience and freedom of self-paced, rapid learning solutions.

#ADOPTMOBILE - Optimized Learning

Every time your employees take a break from work, chances are they’re on their phones. This has remained true even for remote workers. So, you need to infuse your employees’ revised workflow with mobile-optimized training that is layered with deepening levels of interactivity. The versatility offered by multidevice learning could prove to be the difference between learning and boredom.

The Pandemic and social disruption crisis confirms and highlights that companies are about people designing, manufacturing products and delivering services for people!

In the current economic and social conditions, companies are stepping up to the challenges and situational awareness extractions of the pandemic!

How are you managing?

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Dave Gajadhar is an Advisor, Speaker, Educator, and an Advocate for Human prosperity and resource optimization at Resultant Group, business modernization, waste mitigation. Supply chain integration and transition advisors.

Phone: (780) 483-4800


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Twitter: @dgajadar

At ResultantGroup and RG Academy, we assist companies in identifying what matters to each of your stakeholders, active participants and clients across your value chain. This enables your organization to optimize resources, monetize excess material and enable your sustainability reporting to convey the business’ unique story reflecting how your business is genuinely managed in a shared, circular economy and demand driven.

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