Effective Training Rollout Strategies Align with Desired Results
Too many practitioners underestimate the value of effective training rollout strategies. And, unfortunately, too many frontline leaders tell us that their training initiatives do not lead anywhere meaningful to the people or to the business.
Their training initiatives do not lead to skill development. Their training initiatives do not lead to behavior change. Their training initiatives do not lead to performance improvement. And Their training initiatives do not lead to tangible business results.
Three Training Rollout Strategies To Help the Transfer of Training
There are many obstacles to the successful transfer of training. But if you carefully consider the following three training strategies when rolling out a learning solution, you’ll be much more likely to achieve the results you seek.
- Rollout Options
- Participation Options
- Participant Mix Options
Our Caveat for Success
The above three alternatives assume that you have already explicitly linked the training initiative to key business priorities, completed a training needs assessment, and designed the overall solution and training measurement strategies effectively. Additionally, be aware that within these three strategies, each option has advantages and disadvantages depending upon your specific workplace culture, budget, desired outcomes, and where you are on the learning maturity continuum.
Five Training Rollout Options
Prototyping the program on a targeted group allows you to invest on a limited basis, increase buy-in, speed up the design process, and decrease costs. You must be willing, however, to learn and adjust from the pilot as needed.
- Top Down
Starting a program with leadership and then cascading down through the ranks increases executive support and sends a clear message on the importance of the initiative. Getting all the executives to participate may be difficult and they may not have the skills to coach and model the content afterward.
- As Available
Signing up people when they are available and as they wish is convenient for them, focuses on the most motivated and can promote cross-functional relationships. But this option may not work on areas of highest need from an organizational perspective.
- By Location
Logistically this option makes sense by delivering at one location at a time. But again it may not focus on areas of greatest need and there is less opportunity for cross-fertilization of ideas and perspectives.
- By Project / Group / Team / Business Initiative
This option focuses on specific issues important to the business and is easier to tie to ROI as you can work on real issues, projects, and problems. But it may be difficult to identify and break down appropriate groups.
Four Main Training Participation Options
This option is good for company-wide programs (i.e., compliance or foundational learning) and sends a clear message regarding importance, accountability, and company culture. But if people are “forced” to attend, they may not get the most out of the program.
This option is for participants who meet specific criteria and is effective for targeted team, project and solution programs but is apt to be more costly per person, take more time to implement and cause some potential inequities in selecting the “right” people to attend.
When only a select, privileged few attend, the company can target and reward specific individuals who may be candidates for succession planning or special projects. The down-side is that it may demotivate those who were not selected.
“Attend if you want” programs work well for foundational-level training for individual contributors but random participation may not achieve stated organizational objectives and may require more logistical support.
Two Training Participant Mix Options
- Cross Functional / Cross Level
This option allows for a good sharing of perspectives, issues, and needs and promotes team building as well as opportunities to solve problems and to coach one another. However, more design and facilitation skill is required to ensure that examples, case studies, discussions, robust practice, and role plays remain relevant and engaging to the entire audience.
- Intact Teams
Working with intact teams promotes team building, focus on specific issues and, because it increases business and on-the-job relevancy, is easier to tie to ROI. Sometimes, however, psychological team safety issues and team dynamics can limit the desired focus on learning.
The Bottom Line
Many clients puzzle over various training rollout strategies and options. They worry about trying to determine rollout options before they know where they are headed and the key obstacles they and their target audience face. Begin with clear, desired outcomes from a business and learning perspective. Once these are clear, it should not be very difficult to select the combination of training rollout options that will work best for your initiative.
To learn more about training best practices, download Top 10 Warning Signs that Your Training Function May Be in Trouble