Strategic Training and Development Planning

(Image from Flickr)

By: Edwin Ebreo

Note: You can download a free strategic training and development plan template at the end of this post.

Most training plans I’ve seen are products of training needs surveys; hence most of them are basically lists of training programs to be run one after another. What is wrong with that picture? Whether or not you identified the right programs to run and identified the best trainer to run it, there is still no guarantee that training will translate to learning and demonstration of skills. Why, because something is missing. That something is called a strategy.

Training often fail to make a dent in the organization’s performance because of two things. The failure of the training manager to think strategically and their failure to build a strong partnership with line management to create the right environment for the new learning to be applied and prosper.

A good training plan in my opinion is one that clearly defines the strategy or strategies for transfer of learning to performance and the partnership between the training managers and line from identification of the needs to making training attendees accountable for the demonstration of the new behavior.

I believe training plans should be able to address two purposes; one is to equip employees to adopt to change and the other is to equip the employees to maintain a high standard of performance or competencies. If we all look at these, we can all agree that it will take more than a few classroom sessions to achieve and then maintain ideal behaviors that support performance. Without strategies and partnership between training managers and the line, it is difficult to convert training to learning and most certainly most difficult to convert into behaviors that work.

So, what should we see in your training plan aside from the usual bundling of training schedules? I drafted a sample training plan to help illustrate what I mean. Please feel free to download and use it if you like it. Here’s a deal, let’s make this template open source shall we? I encourage you to make some improvements to it, then send it back to me and I will update the document I am sharing here. Fair?

Please check out our literature on team culture building and communication skills enhancement to find out how we at ExeQserve apply the same principles in our programs.

Training is too much of a big investment to just go to waste. If you want return on your training investments, start working on your strategy. If you need help, let me know.

If you want to conduct training wish to know more about designing and facilitating workshops, join my Trainer’s Training Workshop this coming February 2010. Download the registration form here.

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