Internal Design Failures


Most of the in-house designed training programs that I have witnessed in the past two decades have failed to achieve their targeted results.  Yet, companies are being led down a path of waste in time and money because too often training management prefers to focus on job security over a return on the investment.

Let’s begin with the assumption that training has a purpose to prepare employees to perform specific job functions.  This means building skills that are learned and applied so as to achieve targeted results.  Training starts with a solid needs analysis, and is supported by a learning plan that goes from point A to point B.

So what happens if a training manager decides that they and their team are indispensable and they must be the ones that design the entire program and all learning materials?  Rather than using a tested program from a vendor, they choose to spend months creating a “custom course” just for your company.  They explain that the materials are cheaper to create internally, but are remise in the cost of personnel to create said materials.

Because there is no other “subject matter expert” in training to question this internal authority, management will often yield to what they are being told and opt out of the decision process of internal design rather than purchasing external materials.  The kicker is that management can and should require accountability for the results!

If training wants to take on all of the design process, they need to be 100% accountable to the results.  Ask for a cost analysis of time and materials for the internal design versus the completed vendor program.  Ask how the training will be applied after the workshop or online course is completed.  Ask how the training department will be measuring the use of the new skills, and measuring the impact.

When management holds training responsible and accountable for results, training management will default to the best solutions and not necessarily the ones that focus on how long it will keep their team busy and employed.  Refocus training on their purpose and that job security is based on achieving that purpose.

And lastly, fear not that you may lose quality training personnel because you are getting this involved.  The quality trainer will not object, but their evil twin will.

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