Radcom has long been recognized as a strong training development firm. We have applied our proven information gathering process and experience in instructional design to produce courses and supporting materials for many clients, helping their employees and others learn and retain important information. As a result, we’ve successfully served hundreds of clients with our training development support over the years.
In this time, we’ve also come to an important realization about training: While it’s a great solution for many clients, it’s not always the right way to fix their problems.
This is why if you come to us saying you need help developing training, we may sometimes respectfully respond, “Are you sure?”
We aren’t second-guessing you because we want to make your life more difficult. It’s because we take pride in providing services to our clients that create lasting value for their organizations. We want to make sure training will address the root cause of the challenges you’re facing before you invest too much time and resources into pursuing a solution that won’t provide you with the best ROI.
When is training the answer, and when is it not?
When our clients ask us for help with training development, they often truly want help with human performance improvement. They assume training is the right way to achieve it, for better or worse. Sometimes they are right—they have employees who need to better understand key information or build related skills, and well-designed training can be the best means of bridging the gap. When that’s the case, we are happy to help, as our instructional design team has extensive experience building custom training solutions to meet clients’ needs.
Sometimes, however, prospective clients have good intentions when they request training support, but they may be setting themselves up for disappointment. In those cases, even the most thorough, well-designed training won’t provide the performance improvement they need, because their target audience members may not lack knowledge or skills. Instead, they might lack motivation, tools, resources, consequences, incentives, clear expectations, or something else entirely that’s essential to them providing better business outcomes.
Training can’t fix all that. What we may recommend instead is a performance analysis to figure out what’s really causing the business performance issues for that organization so we can tailor a suitable solution.
What is an analysis, and why is it worth your time?
A performance analysis may sound like an extra step that’s just costing you money, but realistically, these analyses often save you money by helping you avoid unnecessary expenditures and fix problems more efficiently. Here are a couple examples of how this works:
- Scenario 1: A client thinks they need training but they see value in working through a performance analysis with us. In doing so, they realize that the extensive training program they planned to fund would have helped them far less than making basic adjustments to processes and working conditions influencing employee behaviors. Most performance analyses end up like this: We typically identify something other than training as the best way to solve the client’s problem.
- Scenario 2 (A variation of Scenario 1): A client thinks they need training but they see value in working through a performance analysis with us. In doing so, it is determined that training is just one part of the solution. There are other interventions that, if implemented in conjunction with training, will make the training more successful and have a greater overall impact on the business goals.
- Scenario 3: A client thinks they need training, and after chatting about it, we agree—training is the best way to overcome their challenges. That doesn’t rule out analysis, however. The client decides to have us conduct a training analysis to learn about target audience members, what we hope they will do more effectively after the training, and how we can set up learners for continued success. Based on findings, we create training and supporting materials that best promote long-term learner performance. They may even save money taking this route as the training analysis identifies a way to deliver training more cost-effectively than the client had initially planned.
These are just a few fictitious examples; there are so many more. Improving performance is about improving business outcomes. Sometimes that involves building knowledge among a target audience and sometimes it involves changing behaviors or behavioral influences in other ways.
There is certainly nothing wrong with developing training if the need for it exists. When it does, we are happy to help, but we also find that sometimes the best way to improve performance is by starting with analysis.
Find Your Path to Performance: Training or Otherwise
If you’re open to exploring whether training development is the right next step for you (and if so, what type of training will work best), we encourage you to consider working an analysis into your plans. You can start by working through our FREE “Path to Performance” checklist to see what sort of analysis might make the most sense based on your current needs. Then reach out to us to discuss your situation, get your questions answered, or schedule a free brainstorm session. Just send us a note any time or give us a call at (330) 650-4777.