Many companies view training as “nice to have.” They think it is important to create an attractive, engaging training program for new hires and that it might be good to have a focused course that teaches employees how to perform certain tasks or use certain pieces of equipment. Once those companies cover the bases by offering training in just a few areas, they turn the page and start to think about other realities of doing business.
But what if…
What if those companies thought about employing training in a larger, more strategic way to improve performance in a wider range of business activities? What if companies made the connection between training, performance and the bottom line?
And what if your company did? You see, training offers you the potential to dramatically increase profits and performance. Here are three tips to get that to happen for you.
1. Start with the End in MindChances are you know where you would like to see improved performance or profits in your organization. But specifically what would those improvements look like? Would there be fewer comebacks, better company reviews online, a 15 percent increase in ticket average — specifically, what?
Specific goals begin to emerge when you consider questions like those. They help you define the specific business challenges and goals you need to address. And once you have defined those issues and goals, you can begin to determine if there is training that will assist in reaching them.
2. Develop an Appropriate CurriculumYour curriculum should be designed to teach people the skills they need to learn or improve in their specific role. But developing an effective curriculum is a bit more complex than simply defining skills. It should be right for the people in the roles who are performing the tasks and jobs that your training addresses. And it should be designed to have a focused, specific impact on the business items where you are trying to move the needle and bring about change.
An appropriate curriculum is also about more than just a list of skills and behaviors. It should consider how those lessons will be delivered — by a live training presenter, on phones or tablets, enlivened with games and exercises, in short chunks or longer lessons, for example. Creating an effective curriculum depends on considering who your learners are, where they are and how they would prefer to learn.
3. Measure Results, then Tweak and Adjust Your Training AccordinglyAt this point, you loop back to the decisions you made in the first step, when you started with the end in mind. The difference is that you are now going to develop ways to measure the change you have brought about through training.
You might decide to measure how your tickets have increased, whether there are fewer comebacks, whether your rates of repeat customers are improving, whether your online reviews are more positive or other hard or soft metrics that tell you how effective your training has been.
Once you are measuring, you can tweak, modify your training and find ways to improve results. But one thing is for certain; if you don’t measure and adjust, your training will never deliver the results it is capable of.
Start with the end in mind, develop an appropriate curriculum and then measure results and adjust your training. That is a simple, yet powerful, approach to improve company performance. And you can use it to improve more company performance than you have probably stopped to consider.