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Key Tips that organizations can leverage to Maximize the ROI of their training $$$

  1. Robustly discover the need and scope for the training:  Needless to say, any training needs to be aligned to business needs – the more the number of organization-wide KPIs the training is able to address, the better is the impact of the training. One should be able to strongly connect business requirements to training outcomes through KPIs. Both the leadership and the attendees should believe that the KPIs would be positively influenced through the training.
  2. Create awareness and buy-in at the organizational, team and individual levels: Before any training engagement, it is necessary that all levels of the organization are made aware of the need, detail and outcomes for the training. Too often, training invites go out very close to the date of intervention, with little or no executive support for the engagement. Sometimes, the executive mail is written by the training department associate and does not have the context, the connection or the authenticity required for creating the business need for the intervention. These are dysfunctional activities that need to be avoided. A smooth connection, flow and justification needs to be developed for the training function with the leadership providing the context, the management leading by example and the Field reciprocating with their commitment and active participation.
  3. Teams that work together should learn together: Even in these advanced times, it is amazing that a number of training engagements are silo-ed by role and location. With the business moving away from individual heroes to virtual team orchestrators, the need of the hour is for teams that work together to learn together. If the habit of collaboration and synergy can be built during training, it will have a significant impact on real world outcomes.
  4. Identify, communicate and measure the KPIs that reflect the impact of the training: Any activity without measurement or follow-up is wasted effort.  It is not surprising that over 80% of training engagements do not have strong KPIs linked as outcomes. Even if they are identified, they are seldom measured, tracked or reported upon, leave alone reviewed for progress. This need to create a “virtuous cycle” of KPI identification, communication, measurement, reporting and continuous improvement is an important element of tying spend to impact.
  5. Every manager should “live” the change that the training imparted: “Endure the waste of time in the training and get back to real business” – it is surprising how many participants think this way. There are three elements at play here – The need for the training to be relevant, meaningful and “real”; the participants clarity on why they are there and what is expected out of them when they complete the training; and most importantly the managers to incorporate key elements learned in the training during their reviews and living the change that they expect to see in others. Most training $s are wasted since there is no review by the manager, and leaders do not lead by example on what they require of their teams.
  6. Build a culture of accountability to results, both within the Field and within the training function:  The culture of “training for training’s sake” should stop – organizations should build a mutual accountability framework of “give-gets” between the business and the training function to ensure that a joint plan to maximize the training investments. The development of the “gives-gets” is not a time-consuming affair, but its effectiveness lies in its implementation and mutual accountability.
  7. Hire trainers and training organizations that are able to speak your language of business: A poor training experience is a sure-fire way to lose credibility, and the biggest contributor of a poor experience is an inadequate facilitator. As the scope and complexity of the engagement increases, the capability and emotional intelligence of the facilitator needs to multiply. Facilitators need to be interviewed by the business before being exposed to the Field, and their effectiveness dipstick needs to be measured at regular intervals during the intervention.
Venkataraman Subramanyan is a Global Leadership Development Expert & Sales Coach. He is the Founder and CEO of Tripura Multinational. Venkat’s mission is to touch and transform a hundred million lives by 2025, and a billion lives by 2030. With over 30 years of experience, Venkat is passionate about 2 things – Leadership Transformation and Sales Acceleration. His trademarked deal qualification framework is licensed worldwide by organizations and filters over $3Billion in deals annually. He is an accredited member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

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