Spring is an opportune time for training and development professionals to address problem areas and clean and consolidate programs to achieve a fresh start. This can be also applied to training and development initiatives, where leaders can assess how to introduce new training solutions, while improving existing strategies and ditching those that are ineffective or outdated. To help get you started, Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) offers four “spring cleaning” best practices to assist you in streamlining your organization’s training and development programs to drive a high performance workforce:
1. Remove what is broken
As older workers transition out and younger Millennials enter the workforce, this brings with it a cultural change. Training programs that have been in place for years may no longer be relevant to a new generation’s way of learning. This is an optimal time to assess programs and delivery modalities for the new talent pool. For instance, younger workers expect to learn with instant access to information so the demand for video and mobile technology may emerge more prominently in newer training solutions.
We address how newer technologies can help with new generations in the workforce in: The Impact of Social and Mobile on Learning
2. Increase the frequency of what is working
At RPS we often see a significant impact from occupational and vocational training on building a more relevant and ready workforce. This kind of training has also been shown to contribute to a reduction in unemployment. Apprenticeships and upskilling programs are effective solutions for providing employees the competency-based education they need to effectively do the jobs that are required of them. These programs are the gateway for employees to enter the workforce as well-trained professionals whose skills match the available jobs and who are prepared to succeed. When refreshing your organization’s training solutions, keep apprenticeships and upskilling programs top of mind to ensure that skills gaps are filled and requirements are met.
Dave Letts, vice president of Raytheon Professional Services, offers more details on pre-employment training solutions that can help: Upskilling for the 21st Century
3. Customize programs to fit your organization’s needs
It is important to remember that training programs are not ‘one size fits all’ solutions for organizations. By assessing current strategies to determine what is working well, and what is hindering success, businesses can then customize training programs to build the proper framework for meeting their unique challenges, learning environment, culture, and ultimately business goals. Custom training solutions are becoming more of a demand as businesses face hiring challenges due to technical skills shortages in the general labor pool. As you review and assess your problem areas, consider introducing more tailored programs to adequately train for high profile positions and address skills gaps.
Learn more about the importance of custom training solutions in our recent post: What Matters Most to the Training Industry in 2015
4. Revisit data and align training programs to key business goals and results
As with any process, it is critical to collect the right data and analyze it with the goal of continually optimizing plans for better results. Focus on the key metrics that define value for your organization and customers, with overarching goals in mind. Align your training programs to drive these results while using current data to determine where improvements are needed. Training programs will always be perceived as having more value and being more essential when tied to bottom line business goals.
Yvon Dalat, director of key accounts, reveals more about measuring training success here: Drive Superior Learning Outcomes: Steer With Performance Data Analytics
These methods for assessing and refreshing training and development programs will help you better organize your training strategies by analyzing and emphasizing what works, while cleaning up and amending what doesn’t. Which of these methods will be most valuable to help clean your organization’s training programs?