Is Your Training Disconnected from the Business?

July 23, 2014

Many training professionals pride themselves on conducting exciting training programs that engage learners and result in positive post-program evaluation feedback.

These same professionals are often shocked to learn that the organization’s stakeholders place little value on their training efforts.

What causes this disconnect? If you’ve found yourself in this situation, read on to learn what you can do.

There are many reasons why a training program that learners enjoyed may not be seen as valuable by the business. For example, the managers of the training graduates may not support graduates in applying what they learned when they return to the job, leading to a lack of results, or the graduates might fully execute the new behaviors without much resulting benefit because the training did not address the real problem.

The disconnect between training and the business often begins when trainers fail to engage stakeholders in conversation about the problem to be solved and the ultimate desired results. If no bridge exists between training and the business that allows for two-way communication, then the training professional must build one in order to help ensure that the training that is developed and delivered is connected to business needs and supported by the business. 

Here are some ideas for building the bridge and becoming connected as part of the business team:

1. Request to sit in on team or strategic meetings.

2. Arrange time to speak with business managers, even if it is informally over coffee or at lunch. If a meeting can’t be arranged, then try catching the manager’s ear in the elevator or if you happen to find yourselves walking down the hallway together.

3. Learn to speak the language of the business so you can approach them without causing confusion or frustration. Doing so will allow you to better discuss their challenges and will show that you have an interest in the business.

Depending upon your organization, closing the gap could be a very difficult feat. We invite you to learn more bridge-building strategies and how to implement them in the Kirkpatrick® Business Partnership Certificate Program. A public session of this program is being offered on September 23 in the Washington, DC area. Don’t miss this opportunity — this program has not been held publicly since 2010.

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Do you have some tips of your own for how to approach the business to build a bridge? Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources:

Kirkpatrick® Business Partnership Certificate Program

Bringing Business Partnership to Life

Harnessing the Full Power of the Kirkpatrick Four Levels®

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