Developing a corporate training plan for your organization can be a daunting task.  Management will want to see measurable results at a low cost.  And, you’ll want to develop a training plan that the employees at your company will enjoy (or at least not hate!).  However, if you ask yourself some basic questions before developing your corporate training plan, then you can create a framework for the plan which will be easy to then put into action.

What are your training goals?

notebookBefore implementing any plan it’s best to have some goals in mind.  And, there’s something about writing out your goals which can really clarify what you’re trying to accomplish.

In addition, having something in writing that you can present to upper management will do two important things. First, you’ll be able to quickly see whether management fully supports the training initiative.  Second, if management has concerns about the training, they can address the concerns before the training begins, potentially setting you on a new course.

How are you going to provide the training?

The type of training will dictate the method by which you provide the training.  For many types of skill-based training, you can use your company’s learning management system.

E-learning can cut down costs since the training can be provided from training software.  In addition, the LMS can provide a flexibility for your trainees since they can be trained anywhere they have an internet connection.  Furthermore, course management platforms typically have a reporting feature which will provide data that you can then bring back to upper management.

For some of the “softer” skills such as Leadership training or Teamwork training, a more traditional approach might make more sense.  Weekend retreats with guest corporate trainers who specialize in these types of skills can be an invaluable way to jump-start processes which can then be brought back into the day-to-day workings of the organization.

Who is your training audience?

group of peopleKnowing who your training audience is can affect how you develop your corporate training plan.  If you’re training employees on-site, then you’ll have a good understanding of the “training culture” of your organization.  With this knowledge, you can tailor the training plan to best fit the needs of the people who you potentially interact with on a daily basis.

If, on the other hand, you’re training employees at satellite offices or your training involves potential customers, then you may not be able to customize the training at a personal level.  In addition, the cost of training could become prohibitive if you were to bring the training in-person.  In these situations, learning management systems can be a very effective tool to maintain control over the quality of the training while keeping the costs down.

Why are you doing the training?

Knowing the objectives of the training is an important piece of the corporate training plan.  For example, if the purpose of the training is compliance, then you probably want to minimize the impact on the organization while the training occurs.  Get the training done and make sure that all data is properly documented.

If the purpose of the training is to implement cultural changes in the organization, then a long-term plan should be developed.  Habits are hard to change and without a long-term plan in place, this type of training won’t be successful.

How long will your organization need to change one of it’s habits?  According to one study, it takes about 66 days to change a habit.  And, this is for people who are motivated to change.  The “corporate animal” on the other hand is a bit more resistant and without organizational-level support, the habits of the organization won’t change very easily.

When will the training occur?

The timing of the training is another thing to consider.  If it’s possible to use online training then there will be flexibility in terms of when the employee can train.  Typically, course management systems provide the option for trainees to complete courses on their own time and at their own pace as long as they finish the training by a certain date.

officeThe other option would be to have the training take place during the workday.  If the training occurs during this time frame, then the trainer should communicate with departmental managers to find out the best time for the training to occur.

And, as a corporate trainer, you need to be aware of what else is going on at your organization.  Training that is scheduled around important deadlines should be avoided at all costs.  And, the trainer should be flexible if trainees need to reschedule due to more immediately pressing concerns.

Conclusion

Before developing a corporate training plan, ask yourself the “What? Who? How? Why? and When?” questions.  Clearly articulating answers to these questions will ensure that your training plan will be well formulated and have a good chance of being a success.

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