There Are Big Differences Between Weak and Strong Training Assessments
We have found both weak and strong training assessments 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 assessments 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 only tell you what people think they want on a preconceived list of comparative training options. This approach neglects the desired performance improvement, the required business impact, and the importance of training compared to other business and people priorities. While this common approach of asking for stakeholder feedback 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 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. And context matters.
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:
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 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, and obtaining buy-in. All are requirements for successful behavior and performance change to occur.
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 assessments are impacting your results, download the Top 10 Training Function Warning Signs that You May Be in Trouble
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.
Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance
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
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.
Chief People Officer
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.
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.
Director of Human Resources
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.
Vice President, HR and IT
“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.”
VP Human Resources
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!
Director of HR
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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.
Vice President of Human Resources
We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.
Vice President, Human Resources
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.
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
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.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
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
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