Editors Column: Thinking about Training

I read with great interest Training Magazines Top 125 in 2015. Here's what I noticed:


1. Award-winning companies spend an average of roughly 6% of payroll on training. For a $40,000 a year employee that's roughly $2400. Which is more than twice the normal training spend of $1200 according to Association for Training and Development.

2. Online training has now moved to a 50-50 position with classroom type training. This trend will continue for years to come as the cost of delivery lowers and quality improves.

3. Successful training companies do three things: they conduct employee satisfaction surveys, help employees create competency maps, and tie management compensation to development of their direct reports. Rocket science – find out what people need, help them navigate a road to get it and make sure the managers support their journey.

4. Two words that express what leaders most want from training: Value and an ROI

5. The goal of any training is to change behavior that increases productivity and job satisfaction.

6. Training succeeds where it is relevant, timely, and immediately applicable

7. It is the learner that must be placed at the center of any training program or system

8. Active learning involves role-playing, gaming, team-based, interactive, collaborative

9. The greatest training budgets will be created by industry disruptors, innovators, and continuous improvement freaks

10. All companies can do a better job of managing their compliance training. Both management and rank-and-file employees must undergo sexual-harassment training, diversity training and conflict resolution. Most workplaces have some safety training concerns that need training as well.

11. Training programs do best where they have high completion rates, training adapted to various learning styles, where the training creates a desire for additional training, where it comes with coaching, and where it is active.

12. You can measure success in terms of both quantity and quality of production, customer satisfaction, reduced errors and accidents, and other relevant benchmarks

13. You can encourage training by branding your effort, creating the awards and rewards, contests, branding, etc.

14. Not all employees should be trained equally. All employees should get basic compliance training but then employees should be trained in proportion to the value they bring to the company. Someone with twice the salary should have twice the training budget, if not even more. The most important employees to train and retain are your winners.


George Gilder wrote we are in a Knowledge Economy. Fact is: to earn and retain we have to train, train, train!


One more reason to take full advantage of ThinkHR Learn.

Don Phin, Esq. is VP of Strategic Business Solutions at ThinkHR, which helps companies resolve urgent workforce issues, mitigate risk and ensure HR compliance. Phin has more than three decades of experience as an HR expert, published author and speaker, and spent 17 years in employment practices litigation. For more information, visit www.ThinkHR.com.

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