Achieving targeted training to meet training needs

Meeting training needs by setting training and learning at the right level

Organisation success depends on keeping people up-to-date and skilled in the latest concepts and techniques. Mastering knowledge is essential. Using the most effective and efficient processes is critical.

Organisations can achieve these requirements through a number of methods, one of the main ones being training and learning programs. There are many ways for people to learn. The emergence of e-learning is one example. Blended learning is also becoming more important.

The content and format of these programs is as diverse as the people and organisations they serve. Each program should be based on the specific training needs, see: Training Needs Analysis.

However, the training response must meet the need and be targeted at the right level.

A classic example is computer training. Although it has been in existence for over thirty years, it still often concentrates on the "how to" rather than the "why". The learning program will list the various features of the software program. The training often assumes you know what to do with the various features. This can be an unfair assumption.

Some examples:

  • Word processing software - how to use the "tab" key. In the early days, if you were a typist, you knew what a "tab" key was and how it was used to format document layouts. If you didn't, too bad, as the training only concentrated on the "what" not the "why".

  • HTML/XHTML/CSS - web page authoring programming languages - there are literally thousands of websites on the internet that go through the technical detail of these and other languages. There are very few sites that provide an overview or try to guide you through the maze of information available. That is one of the reasons why I created: Web Design and Construction. It provides a much needed overview and summary of the key issues.

  • New information systems - again the technical people set the learning content based on system features. If it is not presented in context, much of the learning will be lost over a relatively short period of time.

It is very important that the "bigger picture" is considered.

For an explanation of the productivity challenge in Australia, see: Article - Australian Productivity Action.

Achieving the Correct Learning Level

The first step is to recognise the importance of establishing the broader situation. Learning and training is never carried out in isolation.

The second step is to ensure that the Training Needs Analysis process is comprehensive and well conducted.

The third step is to ensure that the design and delivery of the learning program match the needs that have been assessed.

What's next?

Derek Stockley conducts public training courses in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and London.

Related information is available at:

For more information about Derek Stockley's training and learning services, select: Training and Consulting Services.