Building a Training Department from the Ground Up

Corporate training is back in a big way. I say “back” because during the recession, we saw a 21% decrease in corporate training spending, according to a recent Bersin Deloitte report. Companies are now investing more than ever in their training programs for several reasons, but the leading reason could be that 70% of organizations cite “capability gaps” as one of their top five business challenges.

For those organizations that don’t already have an established training program, the time is yesterday to get one off the ground. Let’s take a look at the framework for a ground-up training program.

Gather a Team

You must first determine whether or not you have a suitable pool of talent to choose from internally when assembling your team. If you don’t, you can always hire externally, part-time, or outsource your training team. When offering the position to an internal candidate, it is vital to remember that being good at a job and being good at training others to be good at a job are two very different things.

Trainer candidates must have a firm understanding of the company culture and the values it is based on. They must also have experience, or a talent for teaching others.

Define Needs (Hard and Soft)

A training program for soft skills, such as customer service, office etiquette or workplace communication is going to be very different from a training program focused on hard skills, or specific teachable skills that can be defined and measured. Map out each area for which you see a training need and then define the objectives for each of those programs.

Establish a Budget/Get Exec Buy-In

Training is still considered one of the most discretionary spends in business. Here at Visibility Software, we’ll never get that, but it’s the truth. Getting exec buy-in for an appropriate budget is usually a matter of proving a positive ROI. Let us provide you with a few resources to establish your premise with cold, hard numbers (the language of most executives).

“Spending on Corporate Training Soars: Employee Capabilities Now a Priority”

“5 Crazy Skill Gaps Stats that Every Recruiter Should Know”

“Skill Gap Stats: 9 Reasons to Thank Recruiters”

“10 Reasons Why Companies Should Invest More in Management Training”

“How to Calculate ROI for Training”


There is actually a pretty decent amount that any Learning Management Software (LMS) decision makers should know; that’s why we put together a couple of resources to help out. The LMS comparison tool is designed to take the overwhelming task of choosing the right software for your team and putting it in an easy to digest format, to help make sure you get all the tools, features and support that your organization needs. We also offer a short whitepaper defining the Building Blocks of an Effective Training Program. Imagine that; the right tools to find the right tools.

Solicit Feedback

Soliciting feedback is the most powerful opportunity that you have to improve and fine-tune your program. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, right out of the gate. Also, please remember that just because employees had a good experience, does not mean that they received and retained the necessary guidance or information.

You should have defined objectives for each training program in the “defining needs” stage. Base your questionnaires or tests off of these objectives in order to see if they were met. Don’t ask “yes” or “no” questions; find out what they actually learned.

So this might be an over simplified version, but really half the battle is taken care of when you choose the right software. Tracking, compliance and the entire process is mapped out, in an easy to manage system. If you would like to find out how to choose the software that will be the cornerstone of your training program, give us a call today!


photo credit: @yakobusan Jakob Montrasio 孟亚柯 via photopin cc