Monday, February 4, 2013

Are you a Training Hero or Goat?

When you cut the "fluff" out of training programs, you're a hero if you work in an internal training department. You save money, time and frustration (it should go without saying that you have to deliver at least the same level of on-the-job performance from the students). But you're a goat if you work for an outsourcer training development company and you cut the fluff. After all, your company gets paid for the hours of training it delivers - the more the better.

The ideal solution to this goat dilemma is to have your client pay on the back-end based on the cost savings you achieve with your fluffless program. That puts a little skin in the game, huh? 

The trouble, of course, is that clients rarely gather data on the current costs of training or the performance that results from current training. As a result, no matter how much cost savings you achieve, you have nothing to compare it to. 

If they do gather this data, you're in luck - sorta. You have to create a plan to isolate the influence of training, get the client to sign off on the plan, develop and implement the training, measure it, present the results, and get the client to *finally* pay you for your work. Waiting that long for money to roll in the door gives your CEO an ulcer.

The pragmatic solution to the dilemma of cutting training fluff is to offer more than just training. Put less emphasis on one-time training events that rarely change student behavior. Instead, build holistic performance solutions that include training, coaching plans, support systems, on-going evaluations of the program, etc. After you've been doing this for awhile, you'll be able to bring money in the door on both the front-end and the back-end. And, more importantly, you'll really influence on-the-job performance for the better. Your clients will be astounded.

If they're not, they're the goats.

Brian is the Practice Leader of Workforce Performance at virtualwirks. He applies the efficiencies of virtualization to training and human performance programs for global clients.

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