Training and education programs sponsored by companies and government agencies is a tremendous way to improve how organization’s operate, enhance job enrichment for employees and implement innovation. Too often though, training is offered or demanded by employees without a clear plan to how the organization itself will be impacted. Numerous times I’ve gone into organizations and agencies and offered outstanding training just to have employees go back to their jobs and continue business as usual. No support from management and no motivation to change the way they conducting their job.
Organizations must approach training as a tool to implement their strategic objectives. For example, if an agency is concerned that project deadlines are missed or expectations are not met than they must first identify why this is happening. Maybe poor planning is the culprit.
Strategic Objective: Implement a common, repeatable project planning process across the organization that improves customer satisfaction by 25%.
1. Identify a project planning process that fits the needs of the agency.
2. Create a Project Charter that documents agreement and commitment from all management levels.
3. Create a Project Management Plan to rollout the new process. This plan should include a training phase and clearly defined metrics that track the success (or failure) of the rollout.
4. Execute the project and conduct the training.
5. Follow-up with all management levels and trainees to track the progress.
6. Advertise and reward success.
7. Make adjustments as needed.
To be truly effective, organizational training must be followed by organizational change. Here are some general tips:
— Identify the corporate mission and strategic objective.
— Identify how training will support the strategic objective.
— Train with purpose, never train just to spend available year end dollars.
— Everyone must benefit from training, not just the employee.
— Training for the sole benefit of the employee should be a corporate benefit to that employee and disconnected from the corporate or agency mission.
— Never train an employee and disallow them from using that new knowledge. This leads to employee frustration and a lack of confidence in senior management.