1. Check that implementing training is done properly.I am sure that at some point you will have had people attend a course and wonder if it did any good. Too often, the book or manual that the delegate receives is put in a drawer and never looked at again. The single biggest factor will be to make sure that the person has practised what they have learnt or even done what was suggested.
To assist with this, I always suggest that follow up sessions are held. Many HR people or managers will book a staff member on a course and ask them afterwards what they thought of the course. At no point do they follow up more than that. Why not set down times following the training to discuss it and see how they are practising their new skills?
If the person has done a sales course, the sales manager could work with them on it once a week. As it is seen to be getting done, you could slowly increase the times between each meeting until you no longer feel that it is necessary. It is important that you don’t let that course just be a day out of the office for the person.
Some training companies will also offer follow up coaching/mentoring sessions to specifically ensure that implementing training happens. Why not find out if that is included or if it can be added separately?
2. See if the skills which are learnt are transferable to others who might benefit.Networking is probably one of the key topics in the world today. It is comprised of word of mouth marketing, communication plus much more, and it should be related to your training.
If you send somebody on a course, can they not teach others at the office? If the person works as part of a team, they could in turn then share their new knowledge with the rest of the team. As a bonus, this would almost help them reinforce the first aforementioned point. I know of one company whose standard practice is to send a person on a course shortly followed by a one day ‘Train the Trainer’ course specifically so that they can then train their colleagues.
3. Learn from your success.If things do go well from attending a course, you should try to see if it can be replicated and what types of training benefits could be obtained from doing so. Once again, let’s use the example of a salesperson who is getting sales training. Somebody may attend a course and their sales increase by 30%. If there is just one person in your sales team, no problem. But if there's more than one salesperson, how much would it benefit the organisation if the whole team managed to do likewise? Maybe you don’t think that everybody had the same issues which that one person had. Therefore, their sales figures would only increase by 15%. Would you not want to do that? That's still a great rate to increase your sales by! If it works, train other people who are in a team as well.
4. Learn from your mistakesThe exact opposite of the point above. Just as you learn from your success and want to replicate it, you need to learn from your mistakes and prevent them from occurring again. A simple example of this was an organisation that arranged for a group training session to be held internally at their office, for what was meant to be a dozen people.
Unfortunately, the training date arranged was too close to what was the organisation's biggest marketing event, where they sent considerable staff to an exhibition, to both man their stand and meet other organisations. As the training approached, too many of the intended delegates then withdrew, and only half a dozen attended.
The mistake was arranging the training at a time that was simply not good for the organisation. So, the problem was not the training but the timing, and a lesson can be learnt from the. Find the right time, and get the most out of that training session.
5. Training can be central in saving costs.Finding staff can cost both time and money. Regardless of whether you recruit internally or use an agency, it will almost always be more expensive than training or retraining one of your current staff. You could retrain some of your staff to be able to cover other people’s roles. Therefore, you do not have to hire a temp whilst somebody is away on leave. Saving costs is highly likely because of training.
6. Make sure that the training is on the correct subject.You should find a training company that will give you good advice. Just like any industry, there are some people who you can trust and others you cannot. Finding somebody who will listen to your situation and provide good advice is imperative. For example, if you need Excel training, do they acknowledge what skills you might already have? Do they let you start at a suitable level, or do you get advised to begin at an introduction level every time?
7. When training is motivational.Besides providing people with skills, good training can often be inspirational and actively help with motivating staff. When you send people on training, you should find something good enough that will give them a ‘buzz’. There will be nothing better for company morale than somebody coming back from a course and telling others what they got out of it and what they are going to use it for. That positivity can energise a work environment in a unique way. So, pick your training partner wisely.
In conclusion, the way to ensure that you get the most Training Benefits is to find somebody that will give you good advice. What they provide should be effective at motivating staff. When you have done that, ensure that it is implemented. If possible, it should be expanded or shared to reach other staff as well. You will then know that your money is well spent.