Since I wrote The Training Physical 3 years ago, I have become an even bigger supporter of a documented training plan for every training function. However, when you are building a training function from scratch, it is vital to your job to demonstrate the value you are providing right from the start.
Last week I learned the sad news that a friend is losing her job as training director due to downsizing. A new employee charged with building a training function from scratch is being laid off because her function after less than 6 months is deemed unnecessary. The shocker for me is that this talented training professional should have known better than to jump in with both feet, begin working on projects without communicating the plan first.
She is kicking herself now because it seems a little late to convince management that what they deemed a good idea 6 months ago in hiring her, is now a waste of future expense dollars. No longer is training considered an investment, but just another expense that can be eliminated.
When I hear that a company is planning to build a new training function where one did not exist before, I immediately encourage management to draft a first year training plan. Not only does it provide interviewers with practical goals to test applicants ability to implement, but it sets the stage for why we are hiring and what we can expect. Without a training plan there are more varied expectations than there are employees in the company. Everyone has a different idea of the purpose of training, so people can get very disinterested quickly when they don’t see what they want happening.
So as I continue to beat my drum on the need for a training plan to provide focus, I will be adding a couple more beats to the need to retain your job in training.