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Best Training Practices
Will Kenny
3927 York Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Who Defines Your Success?

your training is a success when your clients say it is a success

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

When you complete a training project or program for an internal client in your organization, how do you decide whether it was effective? More importantly, who decides whether it was effective?

In many companies, there is little in the way of hard criteria for the success of training activities. It isn't unusual for "evaluations," completed by the participants in the training, to be the main measure of success.

How would it affect your training department, and the way you approach your work, if the degree of success of any given training initiative was determined solely by your internal client? They would decide if they saw benefits from training, and whether the company's investment in that training produced a worthwhile return. They would similarly decide whether the training should be repeated for other, perhaps future, employees.

Does that sound scary? Certainly, there are some cautions:

  • All training professionals know that the benefits of training can be undermined by lack of support from their supervisors when trained employees return to their jobs. Should the trainers be blamed for the lack of effect under those circumstances?
  • While happy clients are important to your position with in the organization, are you ready to give this degree of influence over your budget and your future activities?
  • Is it hard for you to trust your internal clients to fairly evaluate your success, especially if those assessments have largely been in your hands for years? Is it hard to give up that level of control to anyone else?

News flash: external consultants work under these conditions all the time. If the client doesn't see results, even if those clients are not doing all they can to support the training, the consultant does not expect to be back.

But what if you cannot satisfy your internal client? If you cannot achieve success as defined by an internal client, you can either radically change your training approach, appeal to management to enforce the support needed to make your training work, or reallocate your resources where they can be more effective.

Why not let those unsuccessful clients go?

Look at it this way: your training isn't working, for whatever reason, in that situation. Don't waste time finger pointing, move on. Instead of using your staff to deliver training that doesn't satisfy the client, deploy them to serve other internal client needs.

Put your resources to work where they can have the most impact on your company's success.

© 2013 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

More Reprints | "Think Pieces" | Case Studies | About the Tipsheet

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