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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Begin Planning Curricula for Professional Development

August 12, 2005
Dear Multiple Choices:

The most important question to ponder is this: How will employee training affect your bottom line? Will it boost sales/profit, reduce expenses or favorably influence other key organizational goals? Reflecting on these questions yields two benefits: It helps you prioritize course selection and also helps decide whether, and when, to outsource classes to vendors.
When deciding which classes to offer first, choose those that provide the biggest bang for your buck. Which seminars or courses will make a lasting impression on your group? Are there courses that would prompt your workforce to clamor for additional training? It's one thing for you to pitch resources for training--you have a vested interest as a learning and development professional--but it's quite another for business lines to insist on "that great seminar" they've attended or heard about from their employees. Again, try to gauge the impact that specific training classes have on your bottom line. Evensoft-skill seminars have a direct effect on profits and expenses.
Outsourcing decisions may be made on a handful of criteria, including budget, expertise and cost/benefit. Do you have the money to hire a vendor? Do your internal trainers have the expertise to develop and deliver the seminar? Answers to those questions may quickly point you in the right direction. If you're going to spend money on vendors, you'll definitely have to demonstrate how the expense is mitigated by improvements in productivity, cost-savings or other benefits.
Literally dozens of vendors offer development and training curricula. Find a vendor that can understand your culture and customize a curriculum for your workforce. Check out Workforce Management's paidlist of vendors. The American Society for Training & Development and the Society for Human Resource Management both have Web resources and publications that include lists of vendors. Always check references. The list may seem endless, so don't hesitate to call on peers or colleagues in your network to recommend training vendors they have used.
SOURCE: Don Gaile, principal, dmg consulting company, New York, September 29, 2004.
LEARN MORE: What Should I Be Aware of When Analyzing Training Needs?
The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.
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