by Nicola Amiss

3 Learning Programme Mistakes and How to Remedy Them

Human Resources

3 Learning Programme Mistakes and How to Remedy Them
3 Learning Programme Mistakes and How to Remedy Them
Mistake #1
Jumping right in
Without an upfront assessment, companies often end up offering the wrong type of training to obtain their desired performance improvement. It is more practical to invest time in identifying the problem first before offering a solution that might not be needed. While you might try to estimate improvement, it is impossible to measure accurate improvement retrospectively. It is better to establish a baseline performance level (AS-IS). You can then calibrate that against your desired state (TO-BE), and your progress along the way, using key assessment tools such as custom surveys, interviews with staff members, or a skill gap/performance analysis of your employees. This will shed a light on your employees’ knowledge gain and the use of the various project management methodologies, tools, techniques and processes available to them in the organisation. Once you have established your baseline, you can monitor progress as you go along and when the question “How efficient is your training programme?” gets raised, you will have an answer.
Mistake #2
Ignoring individual and organizational perspectives
Pre-training assessments are not only beneficial for individuals, but also for the entire enterprise. Establishing where your organization falls on the maturity scale is as important as assessing individual skill levels. For instance, perhaps your organisation’s capability in project scheduling and estimating is ‘low’, but you have experienced personnel who excel in those areas. Instead of sending everyone through training because the organization as a whole has been assessed as ‘low’ you could set up a mentor programme for those you are trying to teach. The goal is to forge the organisation a path toward learning, that is flexible and durable enough to give the individual with their own roadmap toward the organisation’s vision. Company processes and its infrastructure must support the various skills that people are being trained in and vice versa.
Mistake #3
Getting caught in the details
Not all performance issues can be addressed through training alone. For instance, companies often try to improve performance by focusing on one element (a symptom) of a much larger and very complex process (a cause). If they took the time to rise above the details to look at the overall process, it might be easier, faster, and ultimately, cheaper to find a way to make the process less complex. The result leads to setting up a learning programme that focuses on the ‘new’ process for success and driving an increase in performance. It is essential to maintain the big picture, looking at how learning can contribute to not only the individual but also the company from a strategic enterprise perspective as well. Obtaining a bird’s eye view of your particular situation is more than helpful, it is imperative.
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