Top 4 blunders in Training to avoid in 2004

Will the Outsourcing Trend continue to survive with falling training standards?

What’s the bottom line? Call Center Employers will regret slashing their 2003 training budgets to save a few dollars. For a small investment, employers can protect themselves and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs. Below are the top four training blunders that many employers make and later regret.

Blunder #1: We distribute training policies and that’s all we need to do

Distributing a company/induction/training policy is not sufficient to show workforce that a company has met its legal obligation to train its workforce and create a educated work-environment. Also, line managers – the people in the trenches and making your daily employment decisions – are your best hope of creating a energetic & learning workplace. Therefore, it is very important to train your management staff so they can “spot the issue,” recognize a situation involving a issue and seek help from HR.

Blunder #2: We’re fine since we had training six months ago

In order to use training as a defense tool, companies must verify that each and every worker received training. All companies experience turnover and absenteeism problems, which undermine training effectiveness. Therefore, companies should receive written or electronic training verifications and audit those verifications ANNUALLY to ensure legally defensible training.

Compliance training loses significant value if you’re not able to present tracking information and documentation showing that each of your workers received annual training. Also, many employers experience the all too common scenario where they know they provided training, they know the employee likely attended the training – but they cannot prove it for lack of documentation. Don’t make that same mistake.

Blunder #3: We have an HR assistant conduct training workshops

A company needs to rely on the quality and effectiveness of its training. Otherwise, why do it? Using an in-house trainer can be difficult if the person lacks expertise or credibility within the organization. The trainer must be a senior executive or an outside professional to gain the respect and attention of the training participants. Also, companies should have a qualified expert conduct the training – a person who can also provide training testimony in the event the training is ever legally challenged.

Blunder #4: I only want in-person training rather than Web-based and I can’t afford it this year

A blended learning solution (combining in-person and Web-based) is the most comprehensive and effective training solution. However, some Web-based programs can also be an effective stand-alone solution.. For example, in-person training costs about 4000 to 5000 per person just for the training. That does not account for ancillary expenses such as travel costs, staff costs or lost productivity/opportunity costs. In contrast, Web-based training can cost as little as 3000 per person, without any hidden costs.

As we start 2004, we need to devote energy and resources to our employees more than ever before in order to maintain a productively workplace amidst this recession and the poor morale pervading the marketplace.

Keep in mind these four rules of thumb when designing your 2004 training strategy and solution:

Rule #1: Internet technology is the key to a profound revolution in learning

The effects of Internet technology on employee training are indeed profound, however, technology – any technology – should be seen as a tool, not a strategy or final goal. Just because you have good word processing software doesn’t mean you write well. Likewise, the Internet cannot, in and of itself, improve the quality of the learning and the content you put on it. You need to use Internet technology combined with high quality, effective learning to maximize learning and retention levels.

Rule #2: There is an enduring and important role for traditional classroom instruction

People who believe technology will totally replace great teachers in front of classrooms of highly motivated learners are as misguided as those who believe the Internet is a passing fad. The blended learning solution, i.e., a mixture of classroom and Web-based training is the most effective and comprehensive learning strategy.

Rule #3: Learning is a continuous, cultural process – not simply a series of workshops

Employees retain about 50% to 60% of what they learn in a formal training workshop. Often, employees forget what they have learned within two months of the workshop. Therefore, access and opportunities to learn should be available to anyone, anywhere, and at any time within an organization. Organizational learning is as much about what happens outside formal learning programs as it is about the programs themselves.

Rule #4: Strategy development and implementation are never really finished

You change as your business changes. You adjust it as your people become more skilled and knowledgeable. You redefine it as new technology options become available. And, you constantly test it against the mission and vision of your business, making sure you are always in alignment.

Avoid the four training blunders and use these four rules of thumb and you’re on the home stretch towards creating an optimum training strategy and solution for 2004.

Amit Nayak
ITESGrads India

Feb 2004

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