1. Training has to have a clear link to business strategy; it should not just be a ‘nice to have’.
2. There should be a clear understanding of what aspect of personal performance is being addressed by the training, what aspects of performance are being addressed by the training and how the success or otherwise of the training will be measured. The training also needs to take into account the realities of people’s job. The training has to be relevant and realistic within the context of their roles, otherwise frustration will set in.
3. Who is the training aimed at, what are their current capabilities and level of knowledge and what is their desired level of ability and knowledge?
4. What are the objectives for the training and how will success be measured?
5. The methodology has to be varied, so as to engage people’s interest and the most appropriate methods selected in order to improve performance.
6. Care must be taken in selecting the right venue. In-house may be cheaper but you run the risk of people going back to their office during the break and being late back, grabbed by a manager who wants them to do a task. Off-site will be more expensive, but can lead to greater focus. However, think about the appropriateness of choosing an expensive off-site location if the company is going through cutbacks and redundancies.
7. Evaluation. Most organisations settle for the ‘happy sheet’ kind of evaluation at teh end of teh course. Build in evaluation further down the line to find out what participants have been doing differently as a result of the course they attended.
This is not really a shopping list as they are all inter-connected. However, making sure you have covered all 7 elements should go a long way toward making sure the money invested in training is not wasted.