The Answer to Boosting Talent Is Probably Not Training

a compass points to the word "Answers"

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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Comments are closed.

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

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.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

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

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

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!

Bob Ward
Director of HR

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 consistently look to LSA Global when I need custom programs put together for my client groups. I can always count on LSA to do a thorough needs analysis and to put together spectacular programs that are well received. Their management development and performance management expertise and professionalism make them one of my top-rated learning and development partners.

Stephanie Webb
HR Program Manager

Rambus

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

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.

SPO Partners & Co
Kim Silva, CFO

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