Using Kirkpatrick to Move Beyond Training Order-Taking
There is no question that a universal challenge for learning and development professionals worldwide is to tie training efforts to organizational results. A commonly voiced problem is obtaining information related to business objectives, and getting time with the business to create an integrated plan. This challenge tends to have three parts:
- Gaining access to business professionals to discuss their needs and how training can support them
- Conducting a productive conversation about business needs so that a needs analysis can be performed
- Maintaining contact after training to monitor and support on-the-job implementation of what was learned
The first common challenge that training professionals face is actually getting a meeting on the calendar with business partners to discuss their needs and how training can support them. One business professional we know even admitted to hiding under his desk when his training counterpart stopped by his office after being unable to reach him via telephone!
One way to get the lines of communication open is to be satisfied with brief, informal interchanges at the beginning of the process. For example, when Wendy was a training manager, she once had to nearly run down the hall to have a conversation with a business leader who was late for a meeting. However, she got some information and could continue forward.
Once a brief opportunity surfaces for a conversation with a business counterpart, the next step is to be prepared with questions that will steer the conversation towards current business needs and pain points, rather than assuming a need for a particular type of training. An example of this type of question is, “What are your top three business goals right now?”
Finally, after a conversation about business needs, no matter how brief, training professionals may need to be creative to maintain communication so that they are able to monitor and support on-the-job performance. If possible, set up a schedule of brief touch bases during the initial meeting. If this does not occur, try providing short, succinct updates or questions to re-open the conversation.
During a free webinar on June 19, we will share more tips for each part of building and maintaining business partnership.
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