One strategy for companies continuing to invest in leadership development during these tough times is to look for ways to reduce the cost of training. Another strategy, which I consider much smarter and more strategic, is for companies to focus on the overall effectiveness of training. Yes, training budgets are down 11% from last year, but there is no reason why a smaller budget can’t produce more effective results. Improving business success from training is a subject my colleague Dr. Stephen Gill has written about extensively in The Performance Improvement Blog.
A large percentage of the time and resources invested in training is “wasted.” That is, the learner is not able to apply what they have learned on-the-job in a way that increases the success of the business. What is preventing the application of learning is not poorly designed learning events (although from my experience, the learning event is often blamed), rather it is what Dr. Gill calls “Organizational Factors” such as the learner’s relationship with their manager, the degree of executive support for the training program, the degree to which a company’s culture is supportive of training, and the opportunity for the learner to apply new skills upon returning to their job.
Stephen Gill has developed the 5As Framework to describe a systematic approach to improving the successful application of learning in a way that achieves business success. Stephen and I have posted a 7 minute overview of the 5As Framework that uses a pecha-kucha style presentation (bascially, the antithesis to “death-by-powerpoint“):
- Alignment – helping learners understand how training, when applied, impacts business results.
- Anticipation – preparing learners before training, so they expect success and understand the “big picture.”
- Alliance - the critical relationship between learners and their managers – fostering a dialog and partnership for success.
- Application - applying what was learned immediately to achieve results.
- Accountability – measuring the business outcomes from training and communicating these outcomes within the organization.
If you are interested in learning more about The 5A’s Framework and how you can apply it at your organization to increase business success through training, you’re welcome to join us Thursday February 26th at 1:00 PM EST for a free webinar.