The Final Piece To The Puzzle For Effective Corporate Training


Samir Hassan is the CEO of Knowtified which helps businesses with knowledge transfer & competence assurance using AI & Augmented Reality.

In my previous article, I wrote about the massive skills gap in the corporate world despite the availability of many learning resources and training tools. If you’ve done your best with training efforts but are still not seeing results, you may wonder whether something’s amiss with your trainees. Training effectiveness begins with accountability and these critical questions regarding trainees:

1. Are they able to apply learned skills to their jobs?

2. Do they justify the return on investment in correlation to their performance indicators?

Here are some insights based on my experience working with medium and large corporations around the world.

The first step of the learning process is to begin with individual development plans (IDP) for the employees with competencies to track. Next is to identify and prepare the learning programs based on these. But what about evaluating the learning programs themselves?

This is a mistake many companies make: If you are tracking competencies for your trainees, then it is critically important to also track the competencies for the courses they have taken. Here’s an example: If you are studying to be a heart surgeon, you might excel at your theory exams, but does that make you competent enough to get your license to operate on patients? Unless you have proved them practically to an authority, your competencies stand unverified. Pressing on this example further, if I have learned something, how long can I remember it unless the knowledge is reinforced?

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The Third Stakeholder

Here we return to the first question I posed: Do the trainees apply their newly learned skills to their jobs? How can they if the competencies for learning programs were not mapped, learning wasn’t reinforced and skills/competencies were not verified? You have done the hard part, and now comes the final piece to this challenge: the third stakeholder.

When we talk of a learning culture, we mean ownership and shared responsibility. In most corporations, there are two critical stakeholders involved in the learning process: trainees and a trainer. I would say there’s a third, who’s equally important to propel your efforts toward a learning culture. This third stakeholder should be a senior member of the company who will work alongside trainees and verify their skills and competencies after the trainings. This could be a training coordinator, supervisor, line manager, etc., but it should be a senior employee within the same department as the trainees. The company should only approach a third party if it is short on resources and cannot allocate an internal person for this exercise. (My company specializes in helping businesses with knowledge transfer but does not provide this service directly.) This process will result in powerful reports displaying performance indicators for individuals, groups, departments and the entire organization, thus proving who’s applying skills to their jobs and who isn’t. The inclusion of a third stakeholder will help you bring accountability and transparency to your process.

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ROI

Calculating the ROI is now an obsession with HR departments globally because it can help them measure training effectiveness, justify budgets and make decisions based on data. But what’s the right way to calculate it? Since we are moving beyond tracking course completions to skills and competencies and generated performance indicators, calculating ROI will be far easier:

• Training development costs (straightforward): Amount paid, if any, to develop a training program.

• Implementation costs (straightforward): Amount paid to a trainer for running the resource.

• Time costs (prone to errors): Trainees’ remuneration multiplied by the hours of training attended and cost to hire replacement workers to cover employees while they take the training.

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• Cost/benefit (without practical assessments post-training, this is a no-go): Performance indicators amounting to the gross profit over a set period.

Final Thoughts

My intent here is to help your company shift to completing the training cycle based on competencies, not course completions. This is the only proven and practical way to weed out the flaws inherent to the training process. You might think that this will require monumental changes to your existing training process, but it is actually surprisingly simple. All it takes is consolidating your existing training processes and employee data, then adding the skills verification process and ROI calculation (based on the performance indicators post-skills verification). Gather all these resources in one place to demonstrate exactly how your training is adding value to your organization.


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