Why training programs dont give business outcomes

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This thought paper will help your line managers help articulate their training needs better.

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Why training programs dont give business outcomes

  1. 1. THOUGHT PAPERWhy Training Programs don’t impact Business Objectives? Sandeep Kaul 2/12/2013
  2. 2. THE HARSH TRUTH Training programs are designed with a business need in mind. However in reality, after the initial “wow” effect, the momentum goes away and next year we have another training program with thesame end objective in mind.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 1|P age
  3. 3. Training [ˈtreɪnɪŋ]n the process of bringing a person, etc., to an agreed standard of proficiency,This is the training definition as per dictionary.The most important part of training is not training but doing training need analysis properly andthen executing it for maximum impact. We first need to determine if training is required in the first placeor is the business issue at hand part of a greater organizational issue. Training is like an antibiotic course. Ifthe training need analysis (TNA) is not done properly then: Either we use the wrong antibiotic for the wrong illness, Or We might have identified the issue (illness) correctly, but don’t complete the antibiotic course and next time the course dosage has be more to have the same desired effect.What happens in reality (in the companies where training programs don’twork)? Training consultant offers to do a training course. A quick TNA is done.The HR team negotiates on the pricing. They mark a tick box in the annualtraining plan.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 2|P age
  4. 4. What should actually these companies be doing? For companies, the objective should be how to impactbusiness outcomes (revenues, profitability, innovation, culture etc.). At the end of the day, training is aninvestment and not a cost. What does the Trainer do? He looks at his short term objective of getting the training mandate. He gets in the transactional mode. He does a “quick” Training Needs analysis and shares the program outline. Negotiates on the program rates and signs up the mandate.He is happy with his deal. This seems to be a win-win for the HR and trainer but actually is a loss-lossfor everyone including the company and the participants.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 3|P age
  5. 5. Loss – Loss for Everyone Company: They don’t meet their business objectives. Revenues are stagnant, Attrition has worsened, morale is down. Trainer: He does one program only, when a better option for him would have been to “invest” time in a detailed Training Needs Analysis and provide the right solution, which could be a mix of training interventions and rejigging business objectives(applying “big filters”) or highlight people issues which are impeding achievement of the business objective. Participants: They attend a training session filled with anecdotes and exercises, which has a “wow” effect but no habit formation happens. They look at these training programs as company paid holidays to get away from regular work. HR Team: It gets alienated from the business team for delivering sometime which didn’t meet business objectives.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 4|P age
  6. 6. Training Need Analysis as a Menu Card These companies don’t pay for the Training Need Analysisexercise since as per them, if you go to the restaurant, you don’t pay for the Menu card ! But they miss thepoint, that they choose the type of restaurant to go themselves. In the same sense, Training Needs Analysisis the “Restaurant of Choice” and not the Menu Card. If you are getting an informed choice, you need topay for it.How much time to spend on the Training Need Analysis? Businessand HR should spend atleast 10-15% of their time on Training NeedAnalysis and preferably engage an external consultant to do the exercise.The more detailed and customized the Training Need Analysis, the moreeffective it will be. It is like going to a doctor for diagnosis. You alwayslook for the best doctor who can do the “right” diagnosis and not theone who gives consultation (TNA) free and just charges for themedicines (Training programs).Benefits of Paid Training Need Analysis 1. You can assess your training requirement objectively. 2. Trainer will not tailor the training need analysis to push his programs/content 3. Trainer will not use some standard tools/templates to do TNA, which are not suited for the issue at hand. 4. Sometimes, the solution may lie in rejigging your internal people/processes and not doing more training.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 5|P age
  7. 7. Practical Case Study: I know you must be thinking how you can apply these learnings to your workplace.Your need practical examples. I will take a live case study for a company that we did recently.Issue as per the Company: Let’s call them XYZ company. Sales were not happening in the Sales divisionbecause attrition rate in Direct Sales Team was very high. The Direct Sales Team (DST) was supervised byKey Account Managers (KAM).What XYZ Company initially requested usHelp in hiring better quality sales executive team so that revenues go up.What We did?We did a Training Need Analysis for them which helped identify: 1. What is the situation today in the company’s sales team? 2. Where to make the impact? 3. How to make the impact?This approach was divided into three parts 1. Discussion Note Where our understanding of the situation was presented to the company. 2. Interviews with Business Head, HR, End users (Direct Sales Team) 3. Training Need Analysis Session and Where do we need to make an impact (Specific areas)© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 6|P age
  8. 8. Discussion Note for XYZParticulars Objectives Remarks ActionablesBusiness Increase Sales  Sales increase will help achieve business targetsImpact  Improved productivity per DST employee will result inSought Improve lower attrition. Productivity per DST employeeRoot Cause DST Attrition Attrition can be reduced by (1) 90/180 day roadmap with achievement milestones. Milestones reworking the attributes sought in to be based on 20% above XYZ average performance. new hires (2) line managers involvement in hiring process (3) making DST successful so that he earns a higher variable payout. DST Hiring Hire local agencies to supplement the What is required is to map the attributes of successful DST (with right existing two national agencies. employees and hire people with similar attributes. attributes) The key objective is to hire the “right Recommended Solution - One day workshop with the Top 5 candidates”. This can be achieved by DST employees to understand what makes them successful and defining the hiring profile for DST shorten the hiring process (resume sourcing till onboarding). employees more clearly ( Attributes, This would be more in nature of brainstorming workshop to co- etc) . Adding more agencies will only evolve the desired attributes and streamline hiring process so add complexity in the system. that it becomes scalable to achieve planned headcount budget (“Quality with Quantity”) Solution Selling Focus on (1) Training DST to look for Structured training module by external training partner solutions (2) sharing with him supplemented by Group learning to be done by Star DST existing success stories to “Open their employees by asking them to develop a curriculum that mind” to solution selling e.g. using highlights their unique tactics, it provides a more scalable way smartphone as a wifi router (3) to disseminate their knowledge. Corporate Roadshows© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 7|P age
  9. 9. Particulars Objectives Remarks ActionablesKey Pressure to  Modify the existing 2 dayChallenge deliver Sales induction to a 3 day program results fast ! which includes inputs on goal achievement and solution selling. Make two roadmaps  To be supplemented by a Level 1 - First 90 days objective to raise the DST’s performance monthly one day training for to XYZ average performance vis-à-vis the tracked metrics. the first 6 months. Could have separate sessions for high Level 2 - At the end of 180 days, the DST should deliver 20% performing and low above the average XYZ performance vis-à-vis the tracked performing DST employees. metrics.  Change is a process and not an event hence we need to reinforce inputs till it gets ingrained in the DNA of DST team.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 8|P age
  10. 10. Training Checklist (Developed in consultation with XYZ Company)Particulars Actionable Outcome  Prior to any training being delivered, the content, case studies and exercises need to be vetted to ensure its relevance to workplaceRelevance outcomes.  Prepare the participant prior to their attendance at the salesPre-workshop training event to accelerate the traction of the new tools andpreparation learning.  The sales training event must engage the participant, deliveringEvent Engagement both insight and inspiration to transform behaviour.  The individual learning outcomes must be followed up on andPost-sales training coached to ensure integration of desired behaviors into theexecution workplace.Accountability and  Fine-tune the learning effort, tweaking until complete behavioralmeasurement change has been achieved.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 9|P age
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  12. 12. Sales Cycle Breakdown B2B Industry Number of KAMs Number of DSTsSales Cycle Benchmark XYZ Average above XYZ Average above XYZ AverageFirst Presentation 100Needs Analysis 80Formal Presentations 52Decision Pending 44Negotiations 24Implementations 16Where Do We Want The Impact ? A B C D Scenario I Scenario II Scenario III Improve Average Number of Individual sales Individual sales Total sales +10% incr across +20% mid- PerformersCategory people in target INR 100000 revenue revenue for team the board performers only productivity by category 10% and ReplaceSuperstars Over target (130%) 2 130000 260000 286000 260000 260000Mid Performers Near Target (85%) 4 85000 340000 374000 408000 374000Poor Performers Below target (30%) 4 30000 120000 132000 120000 230000 DST Total 10 Revenue 720000 792000 788000 864000 Improvement over Base Scenario 10% 9% 20%© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 11 | P a g e
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  14. 14. Benefits of this approach 1. We can diagnose the business issue more objectively. In some cases, there was not a training issue but other things which got fixed due to the detailed training need analysis. 2. Identifying 2-3 business drivers that we want to focus on. 3. Agree on a business outcome, which is what trainings are meant for! 4. Agree on a road to business outcome, which is achievable instead of painting everything with the same brush.© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 13 | P a g e
  15. 15. WhiteLight Consulting Team© WhiteLight Consulting Pvt Ltd 2013 14 | P a g e
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