We have all heard the research that successful companies continue to invest in marketing and training even when there are economic difficulties because there is an opportunity to win and retain customers from competitors who are reducing their spend on marketing and training their people. The problem is that during recessions there is huge pressure to reduce ‘non-essential’ spending which may include most marketing and training activities. It can be very difficult for most businesses to identify what the return is from their investment in training unless they have identified and measured what outcome they are seeking to achieve.
In the past the key measures were ‘happy sheets’ that rated the training course and more recently feedback and short tests with webinars and e-learning but have these interventions actually improved the competencies of people and moved the business forward? We have recently started working with an online tool that assesses both individual and team capabilities against clearly defined competencies. The tool then directs individual’s to the training resources (self-development, coaching, online, workshops etc.) that are appropriate for their specific needs and it can then measure their progress after this support to identify the training that is most effective.
When the capabilities are closely linked to business-building performance both the people and the sales grow together. As you can imagine it’s proving very popular in these challenging times!