If You Build It, They Will Come

We all baseball-921459_1920understand the importance of training, as a vital part of an organization. Organizations invest big bucks in training programs that fail to produce results because they followed the advice in the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” It turns out training participants are not as reliable as the spirits of baseball players.

Where do we go wrong? This costly mistake can be the result of not conducting a needs analysis to understand what training is wanted and needed. You created a program that does not provide value to the organization or the participants. Or, there was no plan to pilot and launch the course. If it’s workplace training, this is where you need management support.

  • How are people going to find out about the training?
  • Are their supervisors going to allow them to attend or complete the training?
  • Does the organization support the content?
  • Is management going to provide the funds and resources for ongoing offerings and updates?

New training requires change management. Ways to do this are:

  • Ongoing communication at all levels of the organization during the development process. Start preparing people for the training.
  • Engage some champions. Involve people who are invested in the program; people who will agree to attend or send people to the pilot, advocate for the training, and support the content.
  • Create a plan for running a pilot, gathering feedback, making changes, and promoting the new program.

Even after witnessing this happen in more than one organization, I still made the same mistake with my own online instructor training program. I spent 6 months designing and developing the program, and had lots of support from a number of people in my instructional design and law enforcement circles, but I didn’t create a plan to release and market the program. Now I am working on the marketing and figuring out a plan 2 months after the initial release. Another lesson learned on the path of self-employment.

If you have introduced online learning in your organization you’ll know that the content in this post is even more relevant to you because you don’t have a captive audience in a classroom. On the upside, the scheduling challenges are eliminated.

Have you ever seen an organization develop a training program which fails shortly after its release? Do you create a launch plan that begins during development?

 

Kerry Avery

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