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January 9, 2013
There are a few things to consider when determining your organization’s training needs. At Piedmont Tech, we call this the “Needs Assessment”.
When developing your training plan, you must consider the future. What are your goals and objectives for the next year... 3 years... 5 years? Your training plan should directly relate to these goals and objectives.
Change can create a need for training. Consider new programs and processes that have been implemented recently. Could your staff benefit from additional instruction in these areas? Training ensures standardization, quality, and consistency.
You know your employees better than any training provider. Be sure to take into consideration the current skill level of each employee involved in a particular training event. You must ensure that all training material is appropriate for such a skill level and that the instructor has ample information about the audience in order to customize the training.
Often, the best place to seek training needs is by approaching the employees themselves. The employee is most familiar with training needs since he or she works a particular job daily. Management shouldn’t attempt to develop a training plan alone, ask for input.
Is there data that indicates a need for training? Consider tracking changes in product quality, production time, employee performance, and customer survey results. Data is an excellent indicator of training needs and provides you with measurable outcomes to improve.
What delivery methods work best for your staff? Do they seem to get more out of a training session that is off-site since there are no interruptions? Is there site-specific machinery on-site that you’d like to have them train on? Do your employees respond better to lecture, or to hands-on workshops? These are all important details of the delivery method to consider.
Do you have a training budget? Know your training budget and prioritize training so that the most important skills are obtained first. If you do not have a training budget, consider allocating funds for training each year. In today’s competitive market, you do not want your company left behind.
When planning training, determine what topics are important to you and whether or not you would like your training customized. Most local technical colleges, like Piedmont Technical College, are able to customize training to your specifications. Site-specific examples can make training more effective and immediately applicable.
Be sure to have specified goals when beginning a training program. Once you understand what your desired outcome is, you can track progress more easily ensuring that your goals are met.