FIVE KEY FACTORS TO ENSURE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TRAINING
Certainly, training is a fundamental tool for success from different points of view.
In general, employees value it as a key element to remain in an organization. It is one of the best-valued intangible elements of remuneration. Training is intellectual capital; training is the future.
Leaders try to ensure that their teams have the competencies and knowledge required to obtain an excellent performance. For them, it is crucial to have an efficient training process that guarantees the return on investment related to time and resources.
The organization and its growth and innovation plans require trained and motivated people. Training is, par excellence, an environment where organizational and individual interests come together.
For all these reasons, ensuring the effectiveness of training is an imperative for organizations, and, although it is true that the participants involved in the process are varied, the role of the Human Resources personnel as orchestrators is of central importance.
The elements that need to be considered to guarantee success are the following:
1. A deep understanding of the training process end to end.
2. Results-based process and impact effectiveness indicators, KPIs.
3. An effective interaction of mutual influence with the business stakeholders.
4. The integration of the KPIs in a management dashboard that allows you to cleverly manage data and identify improvement opportunities.
5. Management of the process together with stakeholders with the purpose of making decisions and systematically implementing the improvements.
The organizational practice that integrates these five factors will maximize the impact of the effectiveness and the efficiency of the training process, transforming it into a strategic tool.
FACTOR 1. A deep understanding of the training process end to end
A training process includes a number of phases that are presented below in a simplified way:
In each phase, it is necessary to map the activities, the technologies that support them, the roles that are involved, the inputs, the outputs and the stakeholders that intervene. This task of mapping and understanding the process represents the basis of a solid management.
Our clients usually express their difficulty in knowing how to improve the training process. The guiding principle is that, in order to improve the training process, it is key to start by having a holistic view of all the mechanisms that we can trigger. The first step is knowing the process.
At Ekantika, we apply Lean and Six Sigma methodologies, including the considerations of the technologies that support the activities that make up the process. This task provides the view of the AS IS process, and also of all its improvement opportunities, so as to reach the TO BE process, maximizing the technologies available in the organization.
FACTOR 2. Results-based process and impact effectiveness indicators, KPIs
The effectiveness of the training process requires a definition of the indicators of the process that is already mapped and of the results or the impact of training on the business.
Having both types of KPIs allows us to get to know not only the evolution of the indicators individually, but also their correlations. As a result, we obtain a deep analysis that allows us to understand causes and effects.
Also, it is important to visualize the process at different levels, since we can analyze the effectiveness of a given training program, but we can also analyze the impact of the training process in an area, a function, a business unit, or all the organization. Through the correlation with business indicators such as sales, customer service, customer loyalty, or elements of the culture that we want to reinforce, we can implement corrective measures or anticipate them by analyzing trends.
We recommend using data to manage the process. This helps to strengthen the training process to the point where all business stakeholders internalize their value and impact.
FACTOR 3. An effective interaction of mutual influence with the business stakeholders
There is some tension in the relationship between the area responsible for the training process and the business stakeholders, which is normal because they are under pressure but in different ways. This tension relates to effectiveness, cost, time it takes to remove people from their jobs, opportunities and relevance.
Assertiveness and influence are two key skills to reach mutually beneficial agreements. The bases for their practice are:
A deep understanding of the business, its pain points and its plans.
Clarity of all the restrictions of the business, which may be seasonal, of work shifts, of the number of people per role, legal, related to the unions, technical, of the access to technology, etc.
Identification of the objectives that are common to the business and the training area.
Identification of the areas of tension and conflicting objectives.
Proposal of alternative training scenarios with their advantages and disadvantages to promote a debate on solid foundations and opportunities.
Building up a long-term and mutually beneficial relationship is not achieved only in specific negotiations, but also through systematic interaction and the fulfillment of commitments. For this reason, establishing an organization of the training process that begins with an annual plan and extends through follow-up sessions throughout the year is essential to nurture the relationship with the business.
FACTOR 4. The integration of the KPIs in a management dashboard that allows you to cleverly manage data and identify improvement opportunities
Business Intelligence tools for data management represent a fundamental step for efficiency.
Building a dashboard that integrates relevant information, and that dynamically shows us the KPIs, their evolution and the correlations of the different variables enable us to use our time for analysis, to identify improvement opportunities, and even to anticipate some actions; as opposed to dedicating time to gather information and preparing reports for each period.
Incorporating the systemic analysis of the training process data with Business Intelligence tools has an impact on several dimensions:
It is an opportunity for people in the area to develop their potential in analysis and problem-solving skills, and to stop searching for information.
It has an impact on the efficiency of the area, both in terms of the use of resources and the ability to make decisions quickly.
It improves the training process.
It allows us to continuously show the impact on the business.
FACTOR 5. Management of the process together with stakeholders with the purpose of making decisions and systematically implementing the improvements.
Managing the training process implies establishing a management pace that starts with the annual plan and the budget, and continues with a management process over time to ensure the implementation of the activities and the established impact.
Good governance requires clarity in the definition of all its components:
Instances: they refer to the different meetings that will be part of the management process.
Membership: those who should participate in each instance.
Objective of each instance
Inputs and outputs of each instance
Agenda: it refers to the definition of an agenda structure that is aligned with the purpose of the instance.
Management dashboard to be used