This is a simple question, but the answer is complex. I could say, “A MOOC equivalent to five days of instructor-led training (ILT) costs roughly $160,000, or a bit more than $30,000 a day.” But without any context, it’s difficult to determine what that number means. And anyway, what most people want to know isn’t what MOOCs cost in absolute terms, but what they cost compared to ILT. And that’s where things start to get complicated.
The problem isn’t on the MOOC side, where the costs are straightforward, but on the ILT side, where far to many of the true costs are hidden. MOOCs are infinitely scalable–the 5-day course would cost about $160,000, whether it was delivered to 50 people or 500 or 5,000 (slightly more). Not only is this not true of ILT, but the cost of an ILT course itself isn’t the full cost of running the training. In fact, it doesn’t come anywhere close. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On November 1, 2012 No Comments
Measuring the effectiveness of training is a very difficult task, for stakeholders, training departments and end users. If you are a training manager or company stakeholder looking for ways to measure the effectiveness of your programs, these ten metrics are a great place to start.
One: Increased retention. Most Human Resources departments measure the rate of retention in all or various jobs. Many times, the front line, high turnover jobs are the ones that receive the most attention. If newly trained employees feel ill-equipped for the job, they are more likely to leave within their first 90 days. When you measure training success this way, higher retention points to a successful training program.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 25, 2012 No Comments
Being tasked with building or managing a training organization is a larger-than-life responsibility. Mistakes will happen – but here are the ten most common training mistakes and how to avoid them.
Building and managing a training department is a difficult task. Mistakes can be made in many areas of training and development, but there are some common mistakes that you and your staff can avoid. Here are the top ten training mistakes – from development and delivery to funding.
One: Setting up the expectation that each training participant will end up with exactly the same knowledge. Adults learn in different ways and focus on different material. When that happens, Participant #1 may have a different knowledge base than Participant #2 when the training is complete. To avoid this problem, provide your students a general outline of what’s covered in training and what they are expected to learn.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 11, 2012 No Comments
Summary: You can stretch your training dollar by carefully analyzing and choosing both internal and external tools and programs.
Training departments should always maintain a certain budget-consciousness – in both good and not-so-good financial circumstances. You can stretch your budget by examining needs and being aware that a mix of external and internal resources are available. Here are some ways to do that.
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On October 4, 2012 No Comments
Summary: Looking for a way to bring your training department to the next level? Create a training culture by obtaining buy-in from stakeholders and staff.When the training department is up and running and your courses are being delivered regularly, does that translate into your firm having a training culture? Without buy-in from stakeholders and training staff, you don’t. Here are some ways to create the culture by involving stakeholders and your staff.
Your department’s stakeholders are often subject-matter-experts in the field – they could be the company’s executives, department managers, and even high performers. Far too often, training programs are developed and delivered without any input from this important group. To avoid that mistake, involve your stakeholders from the beginning, with the development of your training. Ask them what material should be covered in your courses. Obtain step-by-step procedures from the subject-matter-experts and stakeholders. Gain approval from the executives with a simple but clear explanation of what is going to be covered in a training course and program. Your benefit is twofold: first, you’re getting stakeholder buy-in. Second, you’re getting the most accurate, field-worthy information to include in your training.
Now that you have stakeholders involved in development, don’t leave them at the door of the classroom. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On September 6, 2012 No Comments
Summary: It’s time to start measuring your training department. Start with these five items and you’ll get a good picture of what’s going on.
Measuring training can be difficult, especially when you consider all of the “angles”. You can measure for money, ROI, immediate success, or delayed success (or failure). When it comes to measuring your Training Department, there are five important ways to obtain a good picture of what’s going on and make corrections if necessary.
First, you should measure immediate reaction to training. This measurement method is often referred to as a “smile sheet” – a quick measurement that may take into account the fact that the class is still smiling. After all, they haven’t been back to the job to really apply what they’ve learned, have they? The argument against immediate reaction is just that: you get an immediate reaction only. But think about what you really are measuring: do the participants feel good when they leave, or were they uncomfortable with the instructor, the material, or the training experience in general? Do they feel their time was worthwhile upon first glance? Do they feel that the material is appropriate on first glance? These are all helpful ways to determine how well your instructors and training developers are doing. A first impression is usually fairly accurate, so use immediate reaction surveys after each course, for both in class and online interventions. But don’t use this method by itself. (more…)
By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On March 27, 2009 No Comments
With 2009 promising to be another economic trial, organizations are again looking for ways to streamline staffs and cut budgets while adjusting to new levels of productivity and progress. In addition, whether we like it or not, training is sometimes the first function to fall under scrutiny. We’ve talked about how to prove the training organization’s worth, but how can training function positively in a turbulent economy? Is there a way to use the economy to propel training and impact corporate success? In simple terms, yes, training can be a positive function in the turbulence and here are four ways to do it.
First, look at staffing and budgets across the organization. Most likely, there is less of both people and money everywhere you look. How can you propel training in that environment? Create training that creates cross-function. Many times training is geared toward one job or job group, with mobility only occurring within those groups. If you look at the overall picture of interconnectivity between organizational functions, you can determine which groups have the skills and knowledge to move into other areas, or at least take functions in those areas. When you revamp your training curricula, you can integrate these cross-functions and essentially create an “advertisement” for how associates can be utilized 100%. As associates are trained to take on multiple functions in multiple areas, they are creating a streamlined operation that will emerge from financial troubles in a better position – permanently. This new position can only create organizational success, especially when most organizations are trying to figure out how to move forward.