1. Determine the Organizational Objectives
The purpose of formulating a training strategy is to answer two relatively simple, but vitally important questions: (1) What is our business? and (2) What should our business be? Once you have the answers to these questions and a clear vision of the mission, strategy, and objectives, you can identify the training needs.
2. Assess Training Needs
Conduct meetings with all levels of the organization to determine what types of training programs are needed, what types of programs are desired by employees, what types of training programs are most effective and most beneficial to the employees, and who is in need of training.
3. Finalize the Training Objectives and Budget
Once the needs have been determined, it is time to finalize the training curriculum based on the budget allowed for training. Due to restricted budgets, it may not be possible to meet all of the training needs of the staff. You must carefully select and determine which programs are going to be the most beneficial and cost effective.
4. Select Trainers
Who actually conducts the training depends on the type of training needed and who will be receiving it. On-the-job training is conducted mostly by supervisors; off-the-job training, by either in-house personnel or outside instructors.
5. Select the Training Method(s)
There are two broad types of training, on-the-job and off-the-job. Individual circumstances and the "who," "what,"and "why" of your training program determine which method to use.
5a. On-The-Job Training
Delivered to employees while they perform their regular jobs. In this way, they do not lose time while they are learning. After a plan is developed for what should be taught, employees should be informed of the details. A timetable should be established with periodic evaluations to inform employees about their progress. On-the-job techniques include orientations, job instruction training, apprenticeships, internships,assistantships, job rotation, and coaching.
5b. Off-The-Job Training
Includes lectures, special study, films, television conferences or discussions, case studies, role playing, simulation, programmed instruction, and laboratory training. Most of these techniques can be used by small businesses, although some may be too costly.
6. Develop and Administer the Training Programs
Now that the programs have been identified, it is important to make sure the programs are successful. You will need to make sure the course material is developed to the needs of the staff and the organization. Location, timing, and any equipment for the course will also need to be decided. Careful attention to these operational details will contribute to the success of the training program.
7. Evaluate the Training
Training should be evaluated several times during the process. Determine these milestones when you develop the training. Employees should be evaluated by comparing their newly acquired skills with the skills defined by the goals of the training program. Any discrepancies should be noted and adjustments made to the training program to enable it to meet specified goals. Many training programs fall short of their expectations simply because the administrator failed to evaluate its progress until it was too late. Timely evaluation will prevent the training from straying from its goals.