Don't let your training portfolio become a dusty, unused resourceI read a stat recently that only half of a business’s training portfolio is reused. So that means 50% is used for one purpose and then never touched again.

Training, when done right, is an investment. Think of it like infrastructure. It’s not a commodity or a consumable. It should be something well-built that can be added to and used to bolster your business from year to year.

We recycle and reuse everything else. Why not training? Why do we let training sit on a shelf, dusty and unused?

Reasons Why Training Is Not Reused:

  • It looks old.
  • The delivery method is outdated.
  • The content is no longer relevant
  • It doesn’t match current business priorities.
  • The impact of the training is unknown and therefore not considered useful.

How Can You Fix an Old Training Portfolio?

First, decide if it’s worth fixing. Is the content still sound? If so, then you likely need to address only appearance and delivery options.

Next, is the content current? If not, can you make it current? Would it require a complete overhaul or only an update?

If the delivery method is old, can it be updated?

Can the training be updated to match new business priorities?

Can you update the training design easily to be relevant?

Answer these basic questions. Then, develop a plan to fix the deficiencies. If they can be fixed, then you’ve just given new life to your old content. Using a Learning Impact System like Business Impact 2.0 can make updating easy. Computer aided design enables you to change just what is needed so you can greatly reduce scrap learning.

How Can You Make Sure Training Never Gets Old In the First Place?

I suspect that some of this unused training was faulty to begin with. Perhaps it started as a good idea, but somewhere along the way it never met the right need.

Good training design prevents that from happening. The biggest part of that is making sure the training group and business group are speaking the same language. Another part is being sure the design addresses and impacts the right metric.

Many times the reason training may sit unused is that no one knows if it worked or not. There are too many instances of businesses thinking training impact can’t be measured. I’ve covered this topic many times before. It can and should be measured. That data lets you know, using hard facts, exactly how training impacts your business. When you can see the behavior changes created by training, and the corresponding changes to company metrics, that knowledge provides the motivation to keep it going.

Training may also become unused because the company’s training function has been neglected. The training function can fall away at a company because of budget and staff cuts. Management focus may have changed, removing the importance training once had. However, this often happens because the training function has been unable to prove its value. Proper training design and the ability to measure training impact can revive your training program.

Does your company have training that gets used once and is never touched again? Why? Are there other reasons that I haven’t listed for why this happens? Thoughts? Please leave your comments below to prompt discussion.

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