Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 26

TOO OFTEN T&D BELIEVES IT ONLY NEEDS TO CONVINCE SENIOR MANAGEMENT OF THE BENEFITS OF TRAINING left out are the other stakeholders such as the various levels of business-unit managers and employees. We are taught early on to focus on the decision-makers, usually the senior-most level of management, in gaining their endorsement, but the people who will ensure a training initiative’s success are the same as those that are directly affected. These operational stakeholders are the ones accountable to specific business results. They are usually the “front-line” soldiers in the daily requirements of achieving senior-level business objectives. Aligning training efforts with business needs gains buy-in from employees and management alike and helps overcome indifference and scepticism for any proposed learning initiative. Another big reason to align with business objectives is to convince senior management that training outcomes can be measured tangibly. As mentioned earlier, accountability for all functions is mandatory. Training managers and their staff (from design to delivery) must radically shift their thinking to gain support for learning initiatives. Training budgets, like every other business-unit budget, must demonstrate tangible returns, especially when the initiative is closely associated with improving a specific need for an internal operational partner. These operational partners (other business-unit functions) are held financially accountable since most are considered profit centers and are “paying,” through their budgets, for the training provided. The primary error T&D managers make is attempting to position training as an essential need. Secret No. 1: For senior management nothing is an absolute need. From their perspective training is, after all, simply another business function. The key to training’s viability and validity within the organizational framework is simply aligning the training function itself to your operational partners’ business needs. Too often T&D believes it only needs to convince senior management of the ben- Aligning Learning Initiatives with Business Need The following are some guidelines to aligning your learning initiatives with the business: Don’t focus on features. Training’s focus must be on delivering benefits not on features. Decisions must deliver results toward business objectives. Applying the feature/benefit principal helps move your cause forward with those who are most resistant. Don’t focus on one level of decision-making. When seeking buy-in for training projects, training managers often focus on obtaining support only from senior decision-makers. If approved then support comes from only one level of the organization. As a result the initiative is likely to fail since those directly affected are not involved or consulted. Hence, management blames the training manager for the lack of results. Know your business and audience. Successful training managers recognize early who they need to approach to gain internal acceptance for their initiatives. They quickly gain an appreciation for the concerns at hand and recognize the immediate business need. Although the focus for T&D must be on improving business performance, it is equally important to know who you are addressing and to ensure you address them in the right ways: • Training participants will accept training if it provides added value and does not take time away from their immediate responsibilities. • Business unit managers have little patience or time for training solutions that do not produce immediate results and take their employees away from daily responsibilities. • Senior-level decision-makers focus on achieving strategic objectives, increasing profitability and maximizing shareholder value. Succeeding in these areas require they focus on continuously improving business performance. Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2010 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine / www.trainingindustry.com/TIQ
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Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010
From Where I Sit
Contents
Ad Index
At the Editor’s Desk
Winning Organizations Through People
Learning Technologies
Performance & Productivity
The Human Capital Lifecycle: Strategically Managing Talent and Training
Engaging with Games and Simulations
The Bottom-Line: Aligning Learning with Business Needs
2010’s Top Training Technology Trends
Tyson Foods: Growing New Leaders
Three Lessons in Driving Impact
Closing Arguments
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Intro
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Cover2
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - From Where I Sit
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Contents
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Ad Index
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 6
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - At the Editor’s Desk
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 8
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Winning Organizations Through People
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 10
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Learning Technologies
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 12
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Performance & Productivity
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 14
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - The Human Capital Lifecycle: Strategically Managing Talent and Training
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 16
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 17
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 18
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 19
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 20
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Engaging with Games and Simulations
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 22
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 23
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 24
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - The Bottom-Line: Aligning Learning with Business Needs
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 26
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 27
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 28
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 2010’s Top Training Technology Trends
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 30
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 31
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 32
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 33
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Tyson Foods: Growing New Leaders
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 35
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Three Lessons in Driving Impact
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 37
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - 38
Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2010 - Cover4
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