Can You Relate to Carolyn’s Training Challenge?
Based on employee complaints, the human resource director, Carolyn, hires a consultant to offer communications training. Carolyn permitted the vendor to use a communications training that had proven useful for other clients. After several training sessions, a number of employees complained afterwards that it was too basic and uninformative. They requested more focus on communication skills to help them deal with bullying and insensitivity among colleagues.
The typical, out-dated approach to training & instructional design
Trainers and human resource professionals often use an off-the-shelf module to address what appears to be a “straightforward” training need, such as communication. Even when conducted in detail, training needs assessment tends to limit focus on raising cultural awareness (e.g., personal communication style) or providing skills to manage cultural differences(e.g., How to ask powerful questions). High impact training, in contrast, is only possible with a depth of understanding about the specific performance gaps training needs to target.
DTUI.com, a San Francisco based training company, specializes in training systems design, development, and implementation. Located in San Francisco Bay area, DTUI.com has sattilite offices in Washington D.C as well as an international office in Banglore, India.
The following provides a general overview of this service. We use the High Impact Instructional Design & Training Development™ approach, which assumes that competence can be characterized as made up of four components: awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills. Most training is designed with poor conceptions of the relationship among of the components and which to address for high impact results.
Human Resources (HR) & Diversity Training
Our specialty training areas:
- Sexual harassment
- High impact recruitment and retention
- Coaching difficult employees
- Show a Little Respect for Me series (diversity training)
Assessing the existing competence gaps among employees provides insights into the specific training needs. The result is a training system increases awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills depending on the gap analysis results.
Instructional design involves creating and developing training content. We utilize our competency based design approach, which characterizes training as involving four learning components: awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills. Training design focuses on the component identified as the learning target based on assessment. The result is high impact training content.
Top Ten Questions Managers Ask About Training
If you are like most of the people who visit this website or contact us, you have questions about training and our expertise in delivering it. So, we offer answers to the most common ones below for your convenience.
1. Is Training Necessary?
Training professionals overestimate the value of training too often. For example, training is not necessary when a change in policy will produce the desired results. Our goal is to assess the organization’s training need based on your goals and offer you honest alternatives whether it is training or some more effective and efficient alternative.
2. Is it necessary to train all of our employees?
While training each employee may is the best way to assure training reaching the entire organization, it may not optimize the return on investment. Training success does not necessarily depend on how many people filled the seats – although there is a formula for deciding the minimum amount that needs to reached. The quality of the training as evidenced by its impact on the learner’s role in driving the business is the most important factor. It may be that, for example, training 1/3 of the personnel or fewer with a new competence will sufficiently benefit the organization—if the “right” people are identified and trained. Our goal is to offer cost-effective training with the high impact.
3. What can we expect of employees after they have received training?
Trainers are great at training, but fall short all too often when it comes to understanding how the training they deliver will meet the organization’s goals. The client is interested in getting results. The trainer focuses on the content of the training, which too often only loosely relates to the client’s expected results. This is typically due to a gap in understanding the client’s point of view and the business objectives linked to the training. Our goal is to partner with you to get the results you expect and deserve. High training aligns the content with business needs in ways that lead to measurable results.
4. How can training move us closer to our business goals?
Most training is designed based on either best practices for delivering the content or what the trainer has found useful and successful in the past. There are well-established practices for delivering communications training as an example. However, that does not translate into impacting the business goals. It is difficult to find a trainer that links the content to business goals in a principled way. We use a training design and development framework that breaks training content into four competence component areas. These components readily lend themselves to each role and set of responsibilities in driving business processes.
5. What can I expect as a manager?
What many trainers fail to see is that they have an opportunity to become partners with management in driving business goals. This requires getting to know the managers, their business, business drivers and objectives. Our training design and development framework has time and again provided a training solution that gets managers and the organization closer to the business goals. Managers know what their options are as we work towards providing a high impact solution that they fully recognize holds promise for reaching their business goals.
6. What resources are required to produce high impact training?
Managers need and deserve to know what the training costs will be. They have a limited budget and other critical concerns putting pressure on their resources. We present decision makers with clear results-oriented training solutions, choices for delivery, and justifications for return on investment.
7. Is it necessary to conduct training needs assessment?
Managers object to conducting training needs assessment for two basic reasons. One is that they think what is needed is straightforward. This time and time again turns out to be a myth because what they view as the training need is often a symptom of a less obvious, yet core problem. The other reason is that they do not want to avoid the extra cost.
The two reasons are related when the manager focuses on checking off a requirement instead of driving business goals. We help managers understand the cost-benefits of their decision to conduct an assessment and offer data collection options that balance cost and quality. Then the manager makes the final decision. No pressure.
8. How can we evaluate the effectiveness of training?
Many managers do not ask for an evaluation of training. Instead they wait for participants to offer comments afterwards. If a couple of people speak harshly of the training, the manager becomes concerned. If no one says anything or a couple of people speak highly of it, the manager feels assured that the training served its purpose.
We always evaluate our training. We do so because the feedback helps us to make our next training even better. We very seldom receive less than high training evaluation ratings as a result. Evaluations are also perceived as an extension of our partnership with managers. Once a manager came to us with concerns about a couple of verbal complaints after our training. We were able to show her the high group average rating results and even shared the raw scores. This helped our partnership because she was assured of having hired the right professionals for the job.
9. Can we measure changes in an employee’s behavior?
This is a question managers seldom ask. We love to hear when they do. The question is about making certain that you get the results expected, increasing the likelihood that the training will drive the business, and return on investment. Here is what we tell them. Training can be very effective, but most cannot adequately capture all of the ways in which the need to use new the behavior in the real world will unfold. This means that it is best to collect data that will capture the extent of learning transfer—the extent to which what is learned in the training translates into workplace effective behaviors.
We also provide a set of alternative ways in which data can be collected over time to identify any components of the new behavior that have not sufficiently transferred so that additional work is offered to improve impact.
10. Online or e-learning courses are becoming popular, but how do we know they are right for our company?
While each day more managers see the benefit of online learning, the preference for classroom learning remains high—at least among the Baby Boomers who are still more of the training decision makers. Training cost is the number one driver in turning to online training.
Sexual harassment training is an example. It is a state requirement in several states and must be conducted every two years. It is not surprising that many organizations turn to online training for cost savings when it comes to reducing the re-occurring costs of meeting compliance. The challenge is that the essential competence component the training needs to address in order to legally protect the organization is a skill.
While learning technology has improved considerably, e-learning fundamentals that lead to high impact skills training lag behind. E-learning does a great job of developing knowledge related to avoiding sexual harassment, but that is insufficient to drive skills. A blended learning approach that combines e-learning and classroom learning is both cost effective and high impact. DTUI.com has an approach to e-learning design and development that pushes technology to the limit in terms of skill building interactivity. Our primary focus in any case is on helping client identify the best modality to reach specific goals and drive business processes.
So what is DTUI.com’s approach to training?
We partner with clients in designing, developing, and implementing high impact training solutions. Our simple, yet unique instructional design approach for targeting training needs and taking into consideration the organization’s culture offers managers the information needed to make the best informed and cost effective training decisions. The result is a business driven training linked directly to providing employees with what is needed to meet the organization’s needs.
eLearning & Training-Online Services
One of the most popular training formats today is a combination of online and classroom based courses to developed competency. This is called a blended learning approach. It is not only cost effective, but the knowledge building strengths of online education and the skill building that only classroom can provide make for a dynamic duo. Our competence component approach allows for precision in assessment that specify the gaps that need to be targeted for training.
Are you a trainer? You may find the following useful.
The Top Ten Tips for Successful Training ¹
Here are some tips that may help you to be confident and successful as you prepare for and conduct a diversity training workshop.
- Practice Ahead of Time.
It is a good idea to practice delivering the lecturettes you will use in your training. Also, practice the transitions from one activity to the next. If you are working with a co-trainer, you can practice together and provide each other with valuable feedback.
- Polish Your Delivery.
Focus on the simple expression of ideas and do not memorize; instead, fix in your mind the sequence of points. Use posture, tone of voice, appearance, and attire effectively.
- Manage Your Time.
The design of each activity includes a time requirement. Stick to your schedule unless you feel that a particular discussion is too valuable to cut short. If you do allow an activity to continue beyond its time allotment, be prepared to alter other activities to make up the time. Keep the training moving at an appropriate pace; this includes starting time at the beginning of the training, after breaks, and after lunch.
- Personalize the Workshop.
Tell your own stories and experiences concerning cultural encounters and “mistakes” you have made. This approach builds rapport and helps to put the participants at ease.
- Make Eye Contact.
Good eye contact is an extremely effective communication technique. Make an effort to look at each participant; continually shift your gaze to include everyone. This not only holds the participants’ attention but also conveys the idea that each participant is important-which reinforces one of the main points of the workshop.
- Talk Loudly Enough to Be Heard.
Be aware of the volume of the participants’ contributions as well as that of your own comments. If a participant has asked a question, you may need to restate it so that everyone can hear the question and your response.
- Pay Attention to Group Dynamics.
Be on the lookout for difficulties; if the participants get stuck in some way, intervene to help them examine what happening.
- Keep it practical.
Remember that the participants are looking for answers to questions such as “How do I use this?” and “What’s in it for me?” Make sure the practical applications come out in the processing of the activities.
- Encourage Everyone to Participate.
Do not rely on just a few people to do the talking; draw everyone into the dialog as much as possible.
- Enjoy Yourself.
Let your enthusiasm and natural enjoyment come through. The participants will respond positively.