What is the strategic training and development process? As a small or medium sized business owner, you’ve heard it all when it comes to developing business strategy, but are you aware of how to incorporate training and development needs into that process? The purpose of this article to is to introduce the strategic training and development process briefly with the aim that this information will serve you in incorporating such practices within your firm.
Here, the focus is on your mission, values, and goals. From training and development (T&D) perspective, this information is critical in designing initiatives that support T&D needs that align with your mission and values while at the same time supports the actions needed to achieve organizational goals.
Identification of Strategic T&D Initiatives
Strategic simply implies your specific actions that you will use to effectively and efficiently do something better. T&D initiatives will vary organization to organization. However, common initiatives include diversification in knowledge management, improving customer service, and improving retention and expertise. The criteria within each of the identified initiatives will vary based on the scope and specialty of the firm. For example, engineering firms will have different T&A activities in those areas, compared to law firms.
Identification of T&D Actions
Actions carry out initiatives. Strategic actions to carry out the specific initiative desired outcomes. The activities may include actions that tie into the planning, implementation, distribution, and monitoring of training. The activities are customized to fit the specific initiative. For example, if one initiative is the development of a knowledge management system, the actions needed to support that initiative include main and sub-elements within the planning, implementation, and monitoring phases.
Key performance indicators allow management with the opportunity to review the effectiveness or the lack thereof for each initiative and actions. Metrics monitors more than just financial performance. Metrics can monitor and quantify performance in learning, application, and quality. The metrics should align with each specific initiative, actions, and timeframes. For example, with the knowledge management initiative, tracking metrics related to the specific actions of the initiative will aid management in reviewing the performance and identify the influence the activities have on reaching the desired outcome. Metrics will allow management to identify intervention of actions should occur to adjust performance or if the actions are on track. There are numerous ways data can be used to help improve decisions related to the specific initiatives. The key is to create the right kind of data, know how to track it, that it is tracked, know how to review the data and do something with it.
In essence, the strategic training and development process is similar to the strategic planning process in general. Identification of needs, evaluation alternatives and initiatives, creation of actions and key performance indicators, assigning to the right audience, implementing, monitoring, and re-evaluation. The scope, however, is just within the context of training and development needs. It is helpful to granulate the specific talent, department, or organizational needs. The process helps logistically see the critical success categories, and actions are customized based on the specific needs.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
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