The Answer to Boosting Talent Is Probably Not Training

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Let’s say you have been charged with boosting the workforce performance at your organization. There is a hiring freeze so you have to lift the capabilities of your current talent pool. Most assume (to the collective tune of over $100 billion spent on corporate training per year) that the best course of action is to conduct more training programs.

But we are here to tell you that training on its own is NOT the answer.

Yes, we are a consulting and training company. And we love improving skills, changing behaviors and increasing performance. So why do we believe that training alone is not the answer to increase performance?

Because we have completed over 800 training measurement projects and learned that only 1-in-5 people change their behavior from training alone.

In general, for training to work, it must have high relevance, clear success metrics, identified skills and behaviors, targeted goals, effective training measurement, consistent performance monitoring and frequent coaching so that it is actually applied on the job. Otherwise, training is just an exercise in “checking the box” and spending hard-earned money with no real business impact or performance return. Ideally, training, just like any other business investment, should be conducted only when it can impact meaningful business results that matter.

Our organizational alignment research found that Talent accounts for up to 29% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. Investing in developing a workforce that can create a unique advantage for your company is certainly smart. But you need to do it right.

Assess and grow your talent by following these proven steps:

  1. Start with Strategic Business Clarity.
    Evaluate your strategic business priorities and be clear about the specific business metrics you want to move. Otherwise you are operating in the dark with no business priorities to tie your talent management or training strategies to.
  2. Create a Talent Management Strategy that is Aligned with the Business Strategy.
    Once your business strategy is clear and you have shaped and aligned your high performance culture for that strategy, it is time to focus on an aligned talent management strategy – how you attract, develop, engage and retain talent that fits your unique situation. Take a close look at and prioritize the most important current and future strategic jobs, skills, and people.
  3. Focus on Talent Contribution.
    An effective talent management strategy focuses on how your unique approach to talent will accelerate your strategic plan. Gain agreement from all stakeholders on how your current and future employees will best contribute to your company’s competitive advantage. Then create a believable and implementable plan to make it happen.
  4. Be Strategic About Talent Development.
    Plan an overall talent development approach that includes a training needs assessment of current talent, a development program to support critical skill gaps, and the building of management skills that can sustain high performance through reinforcement and coaching. You need both a short- and long-term plan that integrates people practices with strategic success.
  5. Differentiate Your Top Talent.
    Top companies know that different people contribute differently to organizational success and treat top people differently. Make sure that you disproportionately invest in your high-value and high-performing employees. They are the ones who can sustain your competitive advantage. Ensure they feel valued for their contributions. Make them feel special. Keep them challenged, engaged and retained.

Don’t be the organization that continues to waste dollars each year on training and development programs that fail to produce tangible behavior change or business results.

Read the Top 5 Training Function Mistakes to Avoid at All Costs

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I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

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Director, HR Business Partner

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LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.

Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources

Hyperion

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

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Vice President of Human Resources

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I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.

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Chief People Officer

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LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

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VP of Human Resources

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We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

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HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

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LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
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LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

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Kim Silva, CFO

LSA’s consultant designed and delivered a half-day team building solution for our recent conference. It included careful customization to integrate the design with our new mission and values. Everyone had fun and identified key issues with our teamwork. Altogether a great program!

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Director of HR

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We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

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LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

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On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

Cam Greig
Associate Director

Roche

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

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We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

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