Will Kenny

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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
612-978-3050

What Are You Too Busy To Do?

Do you have time to understand your clients?

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

A corporate training department can be a pretty busy place. It's fairly unlikely that you are overstaffed, so delivering training with the available resources becomes very demanding. Add in the time it takes to design and develop training to meet new needs, and you may account for just about all of your staff time.

On the face of it, company management may be happy with that. They may think that when a training function devotes nearly 100% of its time to delivery of existing training and design/development for new training, that's efficiency, that's productivity.

Hopefully, as a training professional, you know better. You know that when the staff is constantly in scramble mode to meet immediate, project-based needs, some long-term benefits to the company can be lost.

One of the most important activities of the training department is understanding their internal clients, and developing strong relationships with them. You need to get beyond a specific training need to understand your clients' goals, motivations, standards, even style. You need to get plugged into their thinking and planning, to be part of their discussions about how to do their work well.

With that level of understanding, you can anticipate needs and adapt or develop training that will help. You can raise questions and point out opportunities that they might overlook because they don't have your understanding of what training can do for the organization.

Another area few training departments reserve enough time for is reviewing and redesigning existing training. Everyone understands the time and resources that go into creating a new course or program. But once established, that training event is likely to run again and again without a serious review, or with a few bandages to cover the areas where it doesn't work well, or where it has become out of date.

Look at your larger organization. They have specialized functions that develop new products and services, and others that build relationships with prospects and customers. One of the reasons these functions are separated, to some extent, is precisely to make sure that they get done. Dedicated staff ensure that they regularly review how they find and treat customers, and improve those processes. Specialists, if you will, come up with improvements, or even replacements, for products and services. And the company knows it is worth investing in those efforts year after year, even when they already have customers and marketing and sales processes and products and services.

Naturally, your training department won't have separate staff for each of these functions. But all of these functions have an impact on your success. Putting aside time, on a consistent basis, to think about client relationships, to critically review your offerings, takes discipline.

But it also helps you to make an ever greater contribution to the success of your company.

© 2013 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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