Comparing Weak and Strong Training Assessment Approaches

weak and strong training assessment approaches

There Are Big Differences Between Weak and Strong Training Assessment Approaches
We have found both weak and strong training assessment approaches during our 25+ years of designing and delivering training solutions.

Most organizations use training assessments to identify the specific skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are most important to the people and the business. However, not all training assessment approaches are created equal.

How Weak L&D Functions Handle Training Assessments
In general, most learning and development functions provide a good sense of training priorities and what is most requested by the workforce. But ineffective L&D functions do not scientifically identify the critical few skills, knowledge, and attitudes that are most important to the leaders of the business or to the strategy as a whole.

An Example of a Weak Training Needs Assessment
For example, an assessment that asks managers to force-rank or prioritize training options (i.e. presentation skills versus business acumen skills) will tell you only what people think they want on a preconceived list of training options. This approach neglects the desired performance improvement or required business impact that will actually move the business forward.  While this approach is certainly well-intentioned, it usually misses the mark.

Forced Ranking
For example, after their employee engagement survey identified a greater need for employee and career development, a recent client asked employees which training options they liked best out of a list of:

  • Presentation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Decision making skills
  • Sales skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Strategic Thinking skills
  • Business acumen skills
  • Management skills

The Training Assessment Results
The top three with the highest ratings were communication, business acumen and management skills.  The company designed and rolled out the programs, but they had trouble filling the workshops.  Why?  Because employees ranked what they liked best, not what they were willing to invest their time doing compared to other priorities in a way that would be supported by their boss and the company as a whole.  In others words, the assessment lacked context.

How Strong L&D Functions Handle Training Assessments
Effective learning and development functions do not waste time comparing various training options. They focus on identifying the critical few behavior-based skills, knowledge, and attitudes by person and by group that matter most to the target audience, their bosses and the leadership of the company.   In other words, strong L&D functions ensure high levels of training relevance across the organization.

Relevant enough that each and every training initiative is supported by management because it helps the target audience achieve important company priorities.

Why This Approach is Effective
This approach allows training assessments to effectively support behavior and performance change by:

  • Initiating the change process
  • Aligning leadership and employees
  • Pinpointing skill gaps against a proven standard
  • Customizing workshops
  • Predisposing participants
  • Guiding coaching and Individual Development Plans
  • Setting baseline metrics
  • Targeting investments
  • Determining the root cause
  • Obtaining buy-in

To learn more about taking your training function to the next level and if weak and strong training assessment approaches are impacting your results, download the Top 10 Training Function Warning Signs that You May Be in Trouble

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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
Director of Human Resources

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.

Duane Schroeder
Human Resource Manager

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

I’ve partnered with LSA Global at two companies now, and I consider them a valuable and trusted training and consulting resource. They recommended just the right solution to address our management development needs and have wonderful facilitators that match YuMe’s culture and style of our management team. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions with a valuable learning and development partner.

Maya Paul
HR Director

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

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.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

LSA’s approach and ability to bring the best resources to eBay has been a great asset. They really focus on helping us succeed in any way they can and are very flexible in meeting our management and talent needs.

Mike Normant
Learning & Development

ebay

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

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

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

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