Comparing Weak and Strong Training Assessments

weak and strong training assessments approaches

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.

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 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 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 assessments are impacting your results, download the Top 10 Training Function Warning Signs that You May Be in Trouble

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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.

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Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

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VP of Human Resources

Cutera

I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.

Tracy Esposito
Director, HR Business Partner

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

Hyperion

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

Each program is preceded by an assessment of the participants. The course is then designed to fit the specific parameters and needs of the group. The highly interactive delivery is provided by recognized experts in their fields. On the spot coaching is provided during the program and each participant receives individual follow-up after the course. Courses can be delivered in-person or virtually. Given the nature of Cisco’s business and the way we operate, these remote workshops are a must for anyone who joins our company. Their work is eye opening. Great content and fantastic delivery.

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Business Development Manager

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.

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Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

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Director Human Resources

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.

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Firmware Engineering Manager

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