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New Keys to Training Success



Cordell Riley, President, Tortal Training

“5 Trends for the Future of Learning and Development,” an article that David Wentworth and Mollie Lombardi wrote for Training magazine, delivers an overview of training trends that’s well worth reading. Wentworth and Lombardi, who are researchers at The Brandon Hall Group, first point to these three trends as notable:

  1. The increasing use of mobile devices in training
  2. The use of social media to promote and deliver training
  3. The adoption of adaptive learning technologies

All great points. But then Wentworth and Lombardi highlight two more trends – their #4 and #5 – that I think are especially important. I believe that if you take the time to understand what they mean, the result can be a dramatic improvement in the training that you design and deliver.

#4. Aligning Training with Business Objectives

“The learning of the past operated in silos where learning professionals had little interaction or input from other areas of the business,” the authors write. “The learning of the future must be closely aligned to overall corporate strategies for companies to achieve results.”

That is a pretty great insight. Wentworth and Lombardi are saying that it is important to align all training within an organization around overall corporate initiatives. Sales training, management training, customer service training, product technology training and the rest become much more effective when they are coordinated and connected around values.

As evidence, Wentworth and Lombardi point to the “2014 Learning and Development Benchmarking Study” from Brandon Hall, which found that revenue increased in 70% of the companies that took steps to break down silos and align their training.

#5. Measuring Effectiveness with Softer Metrics

“To determine if the learning strategy in place is driving business outcomes, companies must find a way to consistently measure its effectiveness,” the article states. Measurement is central to every training program, of course. Yet the authors note that some subtle changes are happening in how metrics are being used. Instead of measuring “hard” metrics like revenue per employee or employee retention, companies are looking at softer factors like employee satisfaction and engagement. That’s pretty far-sighted. When training yields measurable improvements in factors like those, it’s certain that revenue and profits will increase too.