How to Deliver Training and Development that Delivers the Desired Business Outcomes

To be competitive and to remain a player in today’s 24/7 knowledge driven business world requires that your employees be thoroughly trained to deliver the best customer service both to your external and internal customers. The old 19th and 20th centuries’ paradigm of controlling the employee has transformed to one of freedom for today’s knowledge worker.

Yet, continued research suggests that the majority of training and development initiatives estimated at 80 to 90% whether they come from the human resource department to the executive management team fail to deliver a positive return on investment. Consequently, when training fails, the first department to experience budget cuts is human resource because of this failure.

Part of this reason that a positive return on investment is not achieved potentially begins with a failure to connect the learning with the desired results. For example using customer service, is the training about the correct procedures in processing the sale or is the training about creating a loyal customer during the sales process? A recent customer service survey indicated that the number one response customers do not want to hear is “That is not my department.” This response is probably a result of knowing the procedures, but those procedures do not necessarily create happy and more importantly loyal customers.

Another part of may reside in how the training is delivered. Most training goes against the best learning research that indicates repeated exposures to a learning event deliver significantly greater long-term memory when compared with one time exposure. From our earliest school days, we all know what 10x10 is, almost without thinking. However, to respond as quickly with the correct answer to 23x24 is far more challenging. Common sense tells us that if we can’t remember what we learn then we can’t apply what we have learned.

The instructional methodology may also contribute to the failure in corporate training. Even though many corporate trainers believe that they facilitate learning, their classroom behaviors resonate from their 12 plus years of conditioning from the traditional classroom instruction where the didactic format prevailed. This approach is the least effective way to learn and retain information. Some consider this learning experience to be “drinking from the fire hydrant” where more knowledge is lost to the gutter than is retained in the brain while others name it "spray and pray."

If you truly desire to secure a positive return on your training dollars, then remember these three key points:

1. Identify the desired results and align your training to those results

2. Create multiple opportunities for memory retention and application

3. Evaluate your instructional methodologies to ensure that an engaged learning environment presents numerous opportunities for understanding and application

Learning is necessary and training is absolutely essential for companies to be competitive in today’s information economy. How you choose to deliver training is up to you. However, the real question is can you afford to deliver training that is not effective and does not deliver you loyal customers?

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Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith,

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S. CEO of ADVANCED SYSTEMS located outside of Chicago, IL, is the Learning and Process Specialist. With over 25 years of business & education experience, she helps her clients to double their performance. By uniting systems, strategies and people to create loyal internal customers, Leanne brings a unique perspective to training and development that delivers ROI solutions in 4 key areas: financials, leadership, relationships and growth & innovation within a variety of industries including education, healthcare, manufacturing and professional services. As co-author of M.A.G.I.C.A.L. Potential: 7 Capacities for Living an Amazing Life Beyond Purpose to Achievement due for 2005 release, Leanne speaks nationally to a variety of audiences. Please contact Leanne at 219.759.5601 or visit to read how you can connect your passion to your purpose to double your performance for unheard of results.

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