Failing to plan is planning to fail

Winston Churchill said, “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”  A lot of times people seek the help of workplace learning and performance (WLP) professionals only after they realize through costly mistakes that they’ve failed to properly plan their employees training to build and sharpen skills.  Advance planning and design of a strong training system for your business can prevent these mistakes, but where do you begin?

A well designed curriculum is the cornerstone of a strong training program, whether utilizing a Learning Management System (LMS) or a manual process.  A lot of smaller companies don’t consider the varied needs of  each employee and may attempt to use “one size fits all”, generic training which will likely end up “fitting none” just right.

Job / task analysis is the start to determining the precise needs of employees performing varied functions.  A modular approach, often using a core curriculum, is a good way to get a better fit, for all of your staff.  Larger organizations, using electronic Learning Management Systems tend to overcomplicate this task by making hundreds of separate curricula vs. finding common needs among staff and building from base modules.

Curriculum design and assignment can often seem overwhelming and complex.  However, with proper analysis, this daunting task can be easily managed and explained to regulators and third party customers.  There are some simple techniques to evaluate training requirements and group them in an efficient manner.

Identify the training the applies to “everyone” in the organization.  Then critically ask yourself if every employee will really need that information at the same level, from the same point of view.  Just because a topic applies to everyone, doesn’t mean it should be delivered in the same way to everyone.  Next, determine the ‘cornerstones’ of training that are shared across job titles and will apply to audience groups.  Separate ‘general’ training requirements from ‘specific’ training requirements and use that knowledge to create job specific curriculums, which contain common modules as their foundations.

You’ll be on your way to building a strong training program, uniquely suited to the needs and skills of every member of your staff.  If you need assistance with this type of plan, I’d be happy to help!