The job of a company’s training and development manager has a praiseworthy purpose, which is to make people develop and grow. Yet, analyzing it from a more objective viewpoint, that’s only the means of training rather than its ultimate aim.
What do I mean by that? All for-profit companies strive to do business. Therefore, all their activities should be geared at this purpose. So, how is the training and development area any different? It’s not. Staff trainings should contribute to this aim in the same way. That’s to say, they should make the organization more effective, productive, and differentiated in order to make it more profitable. This might sound a bit cold, but it explains why companies invest in their employees’ growth through training without discrediting its nobler purpose, which is to support them in their growth.
It’s true that many companies spend generous funds on promoting better education in their hometowns and countries and especially on fostering better opportunities for people with low incomes. And, without minimizing the value of all the good they’re doing, in most cases, this is part of a social responsibility program, which, incidentally, brings about even greater merit.
But getting back on topic, the human resources director, the training manager, or the training coordinator or supervisor (or whatever title might be given to the person who’s responsible for training) has the ultimate aim of turning business objectives into talent objectives. That is, they want to make sure the company can do more business and be more profitable through training-related activities.
Accordingly, insofar as a better needs assessment is conducted, the company will be able to do more business. Implementing better individual development plans, improving the design of training programs, producing eLearning courses and promoting the culture necessary for their implementation, and improving how training programs are evaluated will all contribute to the company being more successful.
Along these lines, it’s important for there to be clarity about the strategy or business solution promoted by each training. Each program’s objectives, the processes to improve, the required lessons, the necessary communication channels, the indicators of success, the methods for evaluating each training’s success, etc. all stem from this.
The fact that business can be done with training is excellent news for those who are responsible for this area at companies, because it increases the value of their jobs. However, to capitalize on this benefit, it must be demonstrated. If you can prove that, with a $100 investment, the company will make $1,000, then the next step is for the company to authorize a $1,000 budget in order to make $10,000. That’s business logic—greater benefits mean greater investments.
Who wins from a bigger budget? Everyone wins! Employees win because they’ll have greater growth through training. The company wins because it will do more business. And HR and training managers win because their activities and position will have a greater value for the company. That’s why it’s time for your company to start doing business with training and development!
About the author:
René Mena Seifert is the creator, founder, and CEO of IDESAA, TRUE e-Learning, and Foro Pro-Talento Empresarial. He specializes in the design and implementation of business solutions based on training and talent development projects that are customized for companies.