“One of the most important (yet often least respected) parts of business is corporate training. U.S. businesses spend on average over $60 billion per year in this area supporting an industry that includes hundreds of thousands of training professionals, content and tools providers, and technologies.” - Josh Bersin, Senior Analyst, Bersin by Delloite
Straight from the analyst’s keyboard — corporate training is booming. Companies are literally investing more than ever in the learning and development of their talent. About time! Just one problem — companies are spending money on training hand over fist, but they aren’t really doing anything to measure or manage that investment. We think it’s wonderful that corporate training spend has increased by over 12% in just the last couple of years , but with that large of an investment, organizations need to be doing more to ensure a return.
Finding the L&D Gaps
Protect your investment in learning & development by implementing processes and systems that find the gaps (aka the places in which your money is being wasted). This is done a few different ways:
Look to Your Performance Management System
Think of your performance management and training as best friends. You can’t be effective at one, without the other. This is another strong case for fully integrated HR technologies that grant leaders and decision makers a complete understanding of each employee in every aspect of their position, in every stage of their lifecycle with the organization. Effective performance management software should track each area of any given worker’s performance. First, take a look at your performance data, and find out where the numbers are consistently coming in lowest across the board. Doing this could pinpoint a macro workforce training issue. If everyone is struggling in a certain area, you have your issue on a silver platter.
This also works on an individual level. Perhaps a talented and good worker has been given a task that they have no frame of reference for, and no training to boot. This can often happen when the work of an exited employee is dispersed. Their performance reviews and numbers are going to show it (if you’re diligent about your performance management). This presents a few problems:
- Quality is suffering
- Your KPIs will be way off
- Bottlenecks are probably forming
- You could pass this good employee up for a raise or bonus, for something that is not their fault, thereby increasing the likelihood of voluntary turnover
Use Reviews to Discover Strengths and Initiative in your Talent
Are you aware that you’re probably promoting and training a whole bunch of workers whose hearts are just not in it? OfficeTeam research revealed that 76% of employees polled said they have no interest in having their manager's position. In addition, 65% believe they couldn't do a better job than their boss. All right folks, let’s make sure we’re promoting and training the right people. No wonder we’re at a worldwide rate of 13% full employee engagement.
It is pretty obvious how this all also ties in with succession planning. Your succession plan and training should work in tandem. Traditionally that has been hard to do with disjointed systems, processes, data and leadership. Transparency of lifecycle stages like training and succession optimize each step and process therein.
We’ve found that the best way to find out who is engaged, and looking to move up in the corporate ladder, which generally entails costly corporate training, is to ASK—pretty simple right? Make training part of your review and assessment processes. You can find strengths, reveal potential successors and use training as a retention incentive. Oh yeah, and most of all, train the right people.
By finding these gaps in your training program with the use of good performance management and succession planning, you are not only ensuring a better return on your investment in L&D, but you’re also improving your employer brand. It’s insanely frustrating for an employee to be handed a task, or directive that they are ill equipped to deliver on. Beyond that, imagine managing a team full of those under-qualified workers.
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There’s more where this came from!
Andre is the CEO and co-founder of ClearCompany. Prior to ClearCompany, Andre was Global Managing Director at Thomson Reuters, where he ran a 1Bn global business across 90 countries. Prior to Thomson Reuters, Andre was responsible for product development and operations at CCBN, a company he helped grow from a small start-up to number 36 on the INC 500.