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29 (124) 2017
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HR & Professional Qualifications

Three ways to effectively manage training processes in your organisation

by Katarzyna Izabela Syrówka, Gi Group Training
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Long hours spent on collecting offers and selecting training providers, a constant necessity to look for new suppliers due to the growing training needs of the organisation, a never-ending struggle against time, plus looking after the day-to-day needs of many employees across a large company – this description reflects a typical job of most HR managers responsible for the development of employees and training.

There are, however, several ways to optimise your HR budget and save time, both of which are the most important elements of every HR specialist's job.

Chose training providers with narrow specialisation

Many HR managers face a similar situation on a daily basis: they find out that a large number of employees needs to be trained in a new customer service system which is being implemented at the company and at the same time, the sales director makes a request for a training course in negotiation skills – all on the same day. And on top of this, they realise that admin employees clearly don’t have advanced Excel skills and marketing team needs training in lead generation. To coordinate the order of these several different courses, we'd need to spend many hours and days searching for appropriate suppliers. Then we'd have to dedicate time to gather offers from selected partners and verify their reliability and the quality of their services. Given how saturated and fragmented the Polish training market is, we may conclude that a web search is a good but extremely time-consuming idea. That’s why it’s helpful to rely on recommendations made by people from our line of work who cooperate with training companies on a daily basis. It's also important to pay attention to the specialisation of training providers. If the company declares to be good at everything, it's usually not true. Training companies that claim to specialise in, say, training games, team building or client service will not only be better prepared for the initial meeting with potential client but will have the ability, resources and experience to provide training on the highest possible level.

Be up-to-date with trends in your line of work

... and save time – not only for yourself, but also for the employees. Everyone who works in HR knows that training courses, although necessary for one’s development, take up a lot of time. It’s still quite common to see a training room full of employees who stare at their laptops instead of learning and making the best use of the coach’s knowledge and skills. As a result, the opportunity to broaden one’s knowledge is wasted and the quality of work done in a hurry is far from satisfactory. That’s why several-day training courses which are too much of a strain on employees’ agendas are no longer widely used, and the leading trend on the training market is a method called blended-training. In this model, training is performed by combining, or blending a series of short meetings, on-line assignments, webinars and practical exercises. This solution makes the training course adjusted to the needs and capabilities of every participant. A relatively new training form – short modules – sometimes taking up only a few of hours, which focus on developing specific skills of an organisation’s employees, making it much easier to plan a training process. There’s no need for employees to dedicate two whole days for another sales workshop, as they're going to learn only those skills which they need to develop in accordance with a previously conducted analysis of needs. As a result, they'll only spend three hours in the training room mastering, say, the ability to manage difficult situations during negotiations, storytelling skills or learning how to overcome sales objections. They will learn only what they need in their job, and the content of the course will not be a mere repetition of previously conducted training programmes. Short training forms will be gaining more and more popularity and in the near future they will become another leading trend, just like it was the case with blended-learning – precisely because of the time-saving benefit.

Plan and follow up on results quickly

Planning and quick adaptability is of great significance in the dynamically changing business environment, the current reality faced by modern corporations. A list of trusted training suppliers who we can turn to in case of an unexpected training needs always comes in handy. It’s good to reach out to a partner who can quickly implement a training process based on the same action plan. This saves us time, as implementation of actions starts as soon as we place the order. Another area we should consider is assessment of results. HR specialists are often expected to prove that the training courses they ordered brought the desired result. Because of work overload, we tend to forget about it at the order stage, which later results in unnecessary stress. Choosing a supplier who assesses effectiveness of their actions with more complex measures than just a simple questionnaire may make the work of the person responsible for training a lot easier in future. This kind of measures may include exercises for participants handed out for several weeks after the training took place.

It's easy to give advice, but I'm aware that it's difficult to change our habits and procedures at our companies. It's worth trying. Our decisions regarding training providers will be much more effective and less time consuming. We may use this time to meet with employees to analyse their needs and plan their career development – a thing we've never had time for before.

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