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Any Answers Digest #6 – Converting training materials to e-learning, addressing individual differences in employee development..


TrainingZONE Any Answers Digest - Issue 6
Wednesday 27 February 2002

********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********
...Training for telemarketing...converting training materials to
e-learning...addressing individual differences in employee
development strategy...
********** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK'S TOPICS **********

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Answers for previous questions and answers on e-learning, IT, HR
and general training issues by selecting a category from the top
of the Any Answers home page - see

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members free of charge any time at

What you asked this fortnight:
New questions posted include:

Does anyone know who is producing curriculum materials for
schools on online learning in the Midlands?, asks Janet Lay

Lisbeth Ware is working on a Development Centre and is interested
in suggestions for tools or questionnaires to use

Susan Knotts is designing training for an outbound telemarketing
team. Can anybody give her some fresh ideas?

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Featured question: Individual differences in employee development

Our company doesn't have an employee development strategy as
such but I have been asked to find out how to cater for
individual differences once the strategy is up and running.
Does anyone have any ideas?

Question submitted by Donna Westlake

Members responses

(Edited response appears - see the site for full response)
If you already have appraisals and training plans, are you
considering this : an employee-driven strategy, where each
employee produces and runs their own plan ? You might be able to
implement a process where everyone creates a 'Personal
Development Plan' - and naturally this caters for individual

This is a major programme and may not be appropriate for all
organisations. I have seen this work well in a firm with highly
skilled and self-motivated staff, where we already had a process
for career appraisal and training plans.

Nick Thomas



I agree with both replies below. Initially I would suggest that
you carry out a full training needs analysis, identify what your
business objectives are, then determine what skills you need to
meet those objectives. Once this is done you can then determine
what your current skill sets and levels are. This will then
highlight any deficits and hence training areas. It is my opinion
( for what it is worth ) that business needs, although vital must
be considered along side personal ones. Don't forget to give them
some 'feelgood' training as well

Peter Wilson


Donna, your question leads to lots more questions about how you
plan to identify development needs - will this be at appraisal,
and/or through Personal Development Plans? Do you need to carry
out a Training Needs Analysis?

Is the organisation planning a strategy that offers development
in any area an employee wishes to develop, or will development be
available if there is a business need? You can't plan for meeting
the needs unless you have some idea of what those needs are. Once
you have an idea about needs you can move onto thinking about the
wide range of options/methods to meet these and how you deal with
the individual differences. There are many, many ways - but it
all starts with identification and clarification on the scope of
the employee development strategy.

Anita Wild


Hi Donna,

If you provide different development modules, different methods,
all freely available, then each employee should be able to match
his/her development profile/needs/preferences to the available
support. It does however work out to be a lot of Admin. I think
you would need some sort of questionnaire and database, so that
the users could find what you have made available. My last
employers invested a lot of time and money into providing such a
database & tracking system, but (during the time I was still
involved) it never got the attention it deserved.

Dave Bramwell


Read the full discussion and add your own views at

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Any Answers Answered:
This fortnight, new responses have been added to the following

Q - We have many different kind of training divisions that
include Maintenance, Service, Operations, etc. which have had
their own training programmes for more than 20 years. I need
some advice on modifying these existing programmes to include e-
learning elements - internet, video, audio etc.
James Lo

A - Clive O'Donnell suggests starting with a TNA is a good
starting point, then reviewing the existing course materials and
taking a number of delivery factors into account.

A - Dave Wilkinson says: 'Converting existing materials to e-
learning usually starts out with an evaluation exercise of the
existing materials and courses. You need to make sure that your
current courses aims and learning outcomes are properly mapped,
appropriate and up-to-date, what they are currently achieving and
what you want the to achieve.'

To read the full responses, see

Q - I am in the process of producing a training and development
plan for my company. I have completed training needs analysis,
job analysis, etc. already, but I also need to complete a
cost/benefit analysis and am unsure how to. Any help or ideas
gratefully received!
Nadine Davey

A - Hi Nadine,
If you let me have your e-mail address, I'll send you some
documents explaining how to complete a cost/benefit analysis.
Regards, Gary Holmes

To read the full responses, see

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Copyright (c) 2002 Sift Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
May be reproduced in any medium for non-commercial purposes as
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TrainingZONE, 100 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6HZ
Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225


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