Top 7 Tips For Maximizing Your Education & Training Dollars to Deliver Positive Return on Investment
By Leanne Hoagland Smith
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In 2004, corporate America spent an excess of $65 billion on training and development (according to Association for Training and Development – ASTD) delivered in many cases through the human resource departments. Yet, research suggests that possibly only 10% of traditional training is actually transferred to the workplace.
Consider the following tips when adopting or revisiting your training programs.
- Separate any symptoms from the real problem
Many times the first words heard are “We need training” whether it is for diversity, customer service, sales, etc. Yet, the training issue may be only a symptom of a far more pervasive problem. This is the time to administer an organizational assessment before the implementation of any training solution.
- Include measurable objectives
Objectives should be started using verbs such as demonstrate, define or list.
- Include opportunities for cognitive retention
Research suggests that a one time exposure to a learning event results in 2% cognitive retention after 16 days. However, 6 consecutive reinforcements such as through audio CD’s increases cognitive retention to 60-65%.
- Develop the program to reflect the culture within your organization
The program should be customized through the use of role-playing vignettes, etc. to integrate the desired skills within the company.
- Address beliefs and therefore attitudes
Given that beliefs are the foundational thought processes that drive attitudes which in turn are demonstrated as observable behaviors, then focusing on the underlying beliefs is a critical component to the ultimate success of any training or development program.
- Provide time for application
Recently I read where a 6 hour one day nationally offered public workshop on communication and supervisory skills offered over 50 objectives for $175 per participant. That’s a lot of knowledge. However, if you consider that every 7.2 minutes another objective was being delivered at a cost of $3.50 per objective, that leaves very little time for interaction between participants less alone opportunities for application.
- Align program to Kirkpatrick’s Third and Fourth Levels of Evaluation
Dr. Don Kirkpatrick developed taxonomy on how to evaluate training. The Third Level focuses on application – How is the training being applied within the workplace? Level Four centers on impact of the training specific to measurable results.
By infusing these 7 tips into your training program, your most limited resources should quickly deliver at least double the results.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, President of ADVANCED SYSTEMS, integrates an organizational assessment [http://www.processspecialist.com/dialog.htm] that in 2 to 4 weeks can quickly and affordably identify the gaps in YOUR organization and provide you with an Action Plan that you can easily implement and monitor.
Take the time to ensure that your actions are directonally correct.
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Article Submitted On: February 27, 2006