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

Whose Accomplishments Do You Boast About?

training is not about you, it is about the success of your clients

(reprinted from The Training Tipsheet)

When you talk about what your training efforts have done, and will do, for the company, do you talk in the language of your actions, or in the language of benefits delivered to others?

For instance, perhaps the business involves a lot of physical product delivery, including a fleet of vehicles. Safety is obviously a concern on many levels, not least of which are the significant costs avoided when accidents become less frequent.

Let us suppose that the company launched a major initiative reduce accident costs associated with the delivery fleet and their drivers over the last year or two. Training played a significant role. When reviewing the role of training services in the company -- perhaps it is budget time, perhaps a new project is under consideration, or perhaps new executive staff are simply getting the lay of the land -- you may be asked to describe what you did for the company last year.

The most common approach is to give a "burgers sold" answer. You talk about how many people were trained, hours of training delivered, locations and the like. You give a report that demonstrates, very clearly, that you were very active in the safety initiative.

But training is never about you. It is about your client, internal or external.

A better answer is to talk about results achieved in fleet management, whether the safety record improved after you got involved. You can certainly take credit -- and you can use your "activity" figures to back this up -- in any reduction of accidents. You should ask fleet management for numbers on vehicle repair cost, worker's comp and personnel time lost.

Naturally, there are some risks, including no results to brag about. But if your training is not making any difference in the safety record, then why continue?

This is more difficult to do with less tangible outcomes, and with continuing "prevention" efforts. For instance, when you have an excellent record for compliance with legal regulations, perhaps due in large part to ongoing training, you have to make a certain leap of faith to tie that training to the desirable non-event, the lack of violations of the rules, that the company enjoys.

But the real point is that you want the people you served within the company to make the argument that training makes a difference. You want to say much more than "we did a lot of training, here are the numbers." You want to say, "Department X had these goals, they have made this level of progress toward those goals, and here is how training has contributed to that progress."

Delivering many hours of training to many employees just emphasizes your position as a cost center. Contributing to desired outcomes achieved by other departments makes you an essential asset to a successful company.

© 2011 Best Training Practices -- Will Kenny

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