In an organization, the training department is often viewed as the “fun” department rather than a partner or resource for development. How is this image or reputation created? Often, it’s because people aren’t familiar with everything the department has to offer, or all the steps, processes, analysis, development, solutions, etc. that go into training. In addition, training is sometimes viewed as a “one size fits all” solution, meaning it can solve all problems. In fact, training is not always the solution to a performance gap (if the gap even exists). If training is provided when the problem lies elsewhere, the department won’t be seen as a credible resource.
Below are six tips to help change the training department’s image from “fun” to that of a partner or resource for development.
1. Create a training department mission statement that defines: what product or service is provided, for whom the product or service is provided, and why the product or service is provided (i.e. when there is a performance gap in knowledge and skill).
2. Align the training department objectives with the organization’s objectives.
3. Ensure all training provides a solution to a performance gap in knowledge and skill and not something else (e.g. lack of standards).
4. Market training solutions to the appropriate target audience.
5. Design courses with content that is relevant to the target audience. Make sure the focus is on “need-to-know” content versus “nice-to-know” content!
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of the training. Listen and act on the feedback received.
Strategically aligning the training department’s mission statement and objectives with the organization’s, as well as providing training only when a clearly defined deficiency in skill and knowledge exists, is paramount. In addition, designing content relevant to the target audience will create a reputation of your training department as not only “fun” but also a credible resource.
How do you ensure your training department is seen as a partner or resource for development?