Grading The Training Function

Anyone that has read my book, (The Training Physical) knows I set extremely high expectations for the productivity and competency of the training function.  I offer very little sympathy for ineffective training departments that eventually find themselves out of work.

In fact the whole purpose of the book is to examine the health of the training function and what needs to improve so that it can and will return on the annual investment the company budgets for each year.

I was talking with two very different training managers last week.  The first was lamenting on how she hates the budgeting process and never seems to get the amount of money she needs to do her job.  I asked one of my notoriously stupid questions about the condition of her training plan, and oh, she doesn’t believe in training plans.  Her alternative is “her expertise” and therefore “management should just approve her wish list.”

The second manager was looking forward to “pushing the envelope” this year on her budget requests over last year.  She said she had been working for months on building her case and supplied her 2011 training plan as backup to her 2011 budget plan.  Since she had spent so much time with senior management building a plan that supports their department goals, she was very confident her budget would be approved.

If I was grading these two managers, the first one flunks out and needs to be coached into a new mindset.  The second manager needs to be applauded and I would give her an A+ for planning and budgeting.

So the question of the day is, what grade are you earning?


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