Any organisation considering running a training course will think very carefully about how much it will cost and the value they will get from it. They will ask themselves "is it worth it?"

As training professionals it is our job to make sure that they can answer with "Yes, absolutely!"

How do we do that? 

Why do organisations run training courses? Because they want to see a difference. Any piece of training that does not deliver a tangible difference is waste of time and money.

What differences do businesses want? Typically the answer describes outcomes or training objectives, specifying a difference in knowledge, skills or attitudes. But that is not what business leaders want. They are interested not in the results of the training but the effects of the training. Business leaders will rarely say that they run training simply to give people new skills. There is usually a "so that" or "in order to" that they are more interested in. That is where we find the real reason for training staff.

For example, the business leader who talks about training bid teams in better proposal writing skills so that they can win more bids; or developing the team working skills of a project team so that they spend less time sorting out interpersonal issues and more time actually doing the job; or giving the HR team better working knowledge of employment law in order to reduce the risk of legal action. 

So how do we do this as trainers?

We need to start with the effect in mind. What is the business change that the training should deliver? Who is involved and what do they need to do differently? How would business leaders like to see an example situation turn out differently in future? 

Only by asking business focused questions, will trainers be better equipped to design training that delivers tangible, lasting business benefits. Only then will training been seen as an investment rather than a cost.


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