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Aligning training with client expectations

Aligning training with client expectationsImage Credit: Supplied

Line managers are expected to assess training needs and design an initiative that will close the skills-knowledge gap. HR's role is to design and develop a program in a manner that is self-sufficient and entertaining, and finish it with a demonstration of investment returns.

Training providers need to perform upfront assessments to understand what organizations are trying to resolve. Trainers hammer out needs and expectations well in advance. The leadership team must spell out the success criteria by verifying if these are a training problem, an employee learning ability or behavior issues. The training expenditure must be proportionate to the training needs, and content and delivery must match the audience's learning styles. The organization's expectations are more vital than technology solutions, so the training department has to tread carefully when investing in new learning technologies.

HR and the training department must not consider certificate awarding as an objective. Clear and measurable goals should be created during the training design process for effective execution. Without them, an otherwise well-executed training program may miss the mark in the eye of its sponsor, leaving the training department scratching its head.

A training disaster happened once to a client company while implementing a software. The vendor was asked to conduct interactive training on the software in preparation for class instruction on data management. But neither the top management nor the consultant was familiar with the technology. The training was attended by the users to achieve competency goals. When the system went live, there was company-wide chaos because both the client and the vendor focused on the software side, not the organizational change side. Technical specifications dominated over end-user requirements. What users really needed was training on how the system could help improve efficiency.

It is, thus, important for organizations to determine their goals before designing a training program.

Handy Hints:

• Positive interactions result in successful training rollouts

• Measurable goals should be created during design process

• The training department should work out an annual budget

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Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers

The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant