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.

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.

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 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:

  • Target audience
  • Their bosses
  • The leadership team

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
  • Determining the root cause
  • Obtaining buy-in

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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I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

“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

LSA helped change our entire culture around meetings, making them more effective and efficient, thus enabling us to concentrate on driving more business.

Terry Wassman
VP of Human Resources

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 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

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

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

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

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

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

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

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

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

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