There’s a lot at stake for trainers these days. We are getting fewer funds and less time to make more happen. Anyone facilitating training should know what makes a training program succeed or fail since so much is on the line.
There are many factors, but my research and experience points to three big ones:
- Set goals and measure results
- Facilitate continuous learning
- Help managers reinforce learning
Set Goals and Measure Results
A training program succeeds or fails based on how well it achieves its goals. You must understand what the program’s sponsor expects from the training and then provide evidence that shows the goals have been achieved. Your training program will be a success if you can prove your program achieved the results your sponsor was looking for. Unsuccessful training programs lack clear goals or measure results that aren’t clearly aligned with expected outcomes.
Facilitate Continuous Learning
Training has no value until new knowledge, skills, or abilities are applied on the job. A successful training program helps participants apply what they’ve learned after the primary learning event. An unsuccessful training program makes no effort to help learning transfer back to the workplace.
Help Managers Reinforce Learning
An employee’s direct supervisor is the most important person in the training process. Successful training programs help the supervisor guide their employee’s development. Unsuccessful training programs place responsibility for future performance on the trainer, not the leader.
I encourage you to take stock of your own training programs, even if these factors seem like common sense. There’s a difference between knowing and doing. Actually implementing these success factors can take courage and determination but the payoff is a training program that succeeds.