Don’t let the title scare you off. Training and development models provide insight, structure, and relevance for specific initiatives that align with your business strategy. Depending on your organizational objectives, the training and development models may vary. The ability to identify and understand the different organizational training and development models: centralized, functional, customer, matrix, university, and business embedded, will aid facilitating competencies needed to achieve organizational objectives.
- Centralized Training. Centralized training is having all of the training and development programs, resources, and people are all in the same location. A centralized training system helps to ensure greater alignment with business strategy, specific initiatives, metrics, delivery, and monitoring.
- Functional Model. The functional model ties together all parties and resources that are relevant to a specific training initiative. Here, the training and development initiatives are customized based on expertise, relevant parties involved and is compatible with a stable working environment. Concerns may include updating of information, conflict of allocation of resources to specific training initiatives, coordination of other key activities, and could create conflict between priorities of training and duties.
- Matrix Model. Here the training manager reports to the training manager and specialized manager to ensure consistency between training needs of a specific function in the organization. The matrix model helps to coordinate trainers, expand the expertise of training for different functions in the firm, and motivates participations between parties in different functions. Concerns of the matrix model may include the perception of training being “forced”, may lead to more discussion of training versus actual implementation of competencies from training, and may cause more time constraints for trainers because of having to report progress to training managers and functional managers.
- University Model. The University Model combines a variety of training subjects for internal and external stakeholders. Many of the subjects are around the culture, values, best practices, policies, and processes within the firm. Typically, there is a knowledge management platform virtually and on-ground training facilities. The hybrid approach to platforms provides versatility to accessibility and deliverability of content. Metrics may also be managed more effectively with a built in system to monitor and track the progress of participants. Conflicts to the university model many include costs of creating, the curriculum of content areas, remote engagement, and accuracy of application.
- Business-Embedded Model. The business-embedded model focuses on alignment: business strategy, design, curriculum, delivery, and metrics. The objective is to provide a direct alignment with the current business environment and organizational needs. Tying together the specific competency needs to achieve strategic and day-to-day objectives while balancing quality to internal and external stakeholders. The training, activities, objectives, and outcomes are clearly defined, specific, assigned, and participants are held accountable for performance.
Every organization has different training and development needs. Likewise, the resources available to create training and development programs may vary. The ability to recognize what the specific needs are, what training initiatives can serve to facilitate the knowledge and skills and the model(s) that best fit with the organization will help to facilitate the training and development initiatives. Even with a limited budget for training, it is essential to select the best model that fits the firm and the training needs. Investing money into cheaper models may make sense from a money standpoint. However, additional investigation regarding the anticipates return on training investment is encouraged. Strategic thinking about scaleable training can help to offset initial costs and deliver a steady investment over time – which may be more doable for small and medium sized firms. The key is alignment across the board.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
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