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Improving Staff Training Plan


I have been tasked with investigating our current staff training plan, and make any recommendations for improvement. I also need to take into account the physical and financial implications of any recommendations.
Has anyone ever undertaken a similar project, and what issues did you come up against?

scott birse

3 Responses

  1. Challenge
    You face a potentially large but rewarding challenge. Doing this kind of thing from a standing start can be heavy going, but once you’ve got the momentum, it’s important to keep it going as it helps to define a competitive edge for your business. And it’s also a hell of a lot easier for you to revise than start again in 12 months time!

    The obvious first step should be to find out where you are. If you’ve been in the company for a while then you’ll be aware of operational or cultural constraints, but you will need to set up meetings or steering groups with various department heads to gain their feedback about development needs. If possible try to include some people at the grass roots level in those groups because they can (if chosen carefully) add some interesting new insights that perhaps their managers are not aware of! You’d be surprised.

    As you begin to identify and prioritise learning that helps underpin organisational performance you will notice that some issues may be tackled easily through off-the-shelf e-learning packages, others may need a short series of workshops, others may require individual 1-to-1 coaching (and so on). Your experience – and perhaps this forum – will help you to decide the appropriate approach. And then you should be in a position to state several training needs which are important AND urgent, and you know the investment required to address them.
    What is important at this stage (for your longer term) is to recognise the implications (financial, morale, staff turnover, etc)of NOT addressing them, and the rewards (financial, morale, staff turnover, etc) when you do.
    Then you have a training plan that supports the company, provides RoI, helps those in most need, and gives you a platform for further success.

    Okay – I’ve simplified it a lot, but from experience it’s an approach I’ve seen work many times. If you want more info then feel free to call or email me.

    Good luck !

  2. Some key questions
    You might usefully ask yourself the question, is the review intended to simply assess progress and update the plan, or should I be looking at the underpinning principles which have shaped the plan (crudely, are we doing it right or was it the right thing to do in the first place?).

    · If the latter, then start by asking ‘Is the training plan shaped by our business objectives, and have they changed at all?’ If they have, then the training plan is likely to be wrong.
    · Secondly, does the training plan attempt to translate the business objectives into the business competences (or something similar) necessary for their achievement and if so, do they need revising if the objectives have been changed or in the light of experience and reflection?
    · Thirdly, did we attempt to map existing competences and use gap analysis (comparing them with the required competences) to shape out training plan?
    · And finally, have we got methods in place to monitor the impact of training on performance (as opposed to monitoring the delivery of training)? Remember, training is a means to an end not an end in itself. Has the training delivered produced the performance required?

  3. Make your Training Review Strategic by giving it a Structure
    I agree with both comments made here, and would add that you might like to structure your Review in terms of 6 Key Questions:
    1 What did need people to do differently as a result of the learning? Were they clear about this? What happened to people’s skills/actions/practice/performance as a result of the learning?
    2 Why did we need them to do this differently? (eg new equipment, process/system improvement, performance/quality improvement issue). Was each individual clear about this? – Their Line Manager would have a view on this.
    3 Why was it important for their Department that they did this differently? What was the impact on achievement of Department goals? (Head of Department will need to answer this)
    4 How did this help you reach your business goals? (Heads of Department, Directors, Chief Exec will have a view).
    5 Would we use the same methods again faced with similar issues? (All groups should be involved in this: participants (eg ‘happy sheets’, individual 1-1 discussions with managers, line managers, heads of department, Senior Team, Chief Exec.
    6 Was our method the most cost-effective? (This cost/benefit question is ultimately for the Chief Exec/Senior Team to be comfortable with. We have all seen what happens when this level of assurance is not reached!

    Good luck!


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