External Training Courses

Insist On Measurable Objectives

Check the course objectives. They should start with these words or similar: “At the end of the program the trainee will be able to… ” Beware of “waffle” words like “understand”, “appreciate”, “learn to”, “gain insight into”. If the people offering or running the course won’t provide measurable objectives, avoid it.

Check Job Relevance

Is the course clearly relevant to the skills the employee needs to do a better job? If that isn’t the case, don’t send the employee. A training course should never be used as a “reward”.

Check The Presenter’s Background

Is the presenter experienced in course presentation. It’s good to have a technical or subject matter expert presenting the program. But it’s more important that they have satisfactory presentation skills. If they can’t transfer their knowledge and skills through competent presentation, your employee will not learn much.

Brief The Employee

Sit down with the employee who’s attending the course. Jointly decide what particular skills and knowledge that he or she should gain. Work out questions they should ask to ensure they get what you want. Arrange for the employee to make his expectations clear to the presenter.

Debrief On Return

As soon as possible after the employee returns after the course, arrange a detailed debrief to include

  • Did the course meet the objectives?
  • Was the presenter competent?
  • Did the course meet employee expectation?
  • Was it clearly job related?
  • What were the “best” parts of the course?
  • Which parts could be improved?

Develop An On Job Improvement Plan

The purpose of training is to improve on job performance. With the employee, work out what and how he or she will apply the course teachings to improve on job performance. Arrange support on the job if needed.

Review The Improvement Plan

Three months later, formally review the progress of the on job improvement plan with the employee. Make further plans if necessary.