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.
What Most Companies Do
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 based upon 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.
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:
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 top three 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 training 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:
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 Training Approach is Effective
This relevant-driven training approach allows training assessments to effectively support behavior and performance change by:
The Bottom Line
Ineffective L&D functions do not focus on the business and performance relevance from the point of view of their key business stakeholders. High performance training functions ensure training is relevant to the participants, their bosses and the company as w hole.
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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Vice President Human Resources
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I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.
Director, Team Development
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.
Human Resource Manager
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal. They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”
Vice President Human Resources
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Vice President, HR and IT
We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
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