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The role of a training manager in any organization can be quite daunting. Training managers are required to perform a number of duties, including budgeting, staffing, needs analysis, and developing a training plan. A critical part in developing a training plan is to forecast the need for new courses.
Here are five tips to consider when forecasting the need for new courses:
1. Review training requests to identify what types of training are being requested by business units in the organization. It is important to ask questions, particularly “why” the request for training is being made. Investigate to see if training has already been provided for the request. If so, why is more training being requested? Determine if the previous training was relevant, if the content was targeted to the appropriate level, and if the knowledge and skill transferred to the job.
2. Interview managers and supervisors to determine their training needs and the training needs of their front-line employees. Determine how the training will help employees perform their jobs to standard. Ask questions to determine what difficulties employees are experiencing in terms of performing tasks and what the concerns of managers and supervisors are about their employee’s current job performance.
3. Identify new organizational initiatives to determine what new knowledge and skills may be required by employees. It is important that the courses offered by the training department reflect the objectives of the organization. If the organization has a new customer service initiative, for example, the training department should be prepared to offer customer service training programs.
4. Identify new programs that are mandated by industry regulatory bodies and government. If programs are mandated, then training departments MUST provide training to ensure standards are met. It is important that training departments are aware of new mandated initiatives and have resources to design and deliver courses to satisfy these new initiatives.
5. Review evaluations of current courses to identify which courses are effective and which are not. An audit of existing courses can reveal a great deal of information including which courses are achieving results, which ones need to be updated, or which ones need to be completely redesigned as new.
As you can see, there are several ways to forecast the need for new courses. When a training manager is able to complete this process, it becomes an important part of the training department’s overall training plan and allows the training department to anticipate future requirements and allocate resources appropriately.
If you’re looking for tools and resources to assist you in managing every aspect of the training function from needs analysis and instructional design to delivery and evaluation, the Successful Training Manager workshop is exactly what you need.