To meet business goals in the new year, many businesses are looking for opportunities to improve their employees’ performance.
One way to ensure that training aligns with organizational goals is to conduct a training needs assessment that identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to achieve optimal levels of performance. This assessment uncovers the gaps between actual and desired performance. The goal is then to design training that closes those gaps by developing the correct competencies in employees.
Sounds easy, right? The truth is there is an art and science to effective analysis, and having the right learning consultant can make all the difference. It might seem easy to have a checklist of criteria against which you measure performance and gaps — but a good consultant does more.
The question that you might be asking yourself is: “What should a learning consultant do to effectively assess the needs of my organization?”
Here are four critical factors of a learning consultant’s job that ensure a successful journey to start your company off on the right foot.
A Learning Consultant Links Employee’s Learning to Company Goals
A learning consultant learns about your organizational structure, culture, and employees’ motivational factors. He or she uses this information to complement the design of content, facilitation, and experiential activities.
This is what makes the training specific to your company and employees. It’s what creates the link between training and your company’s goals and employees’ motivation to learn, and increases the adoption of new behaviors.
A Learning Consultant Prepares Your Organization for Change
Many consultants and companies do a good, even great, job of designing and conducting successful training, even following up and measuring results afterward. What is often overlooked is the importance of preparing the organization for training. Training people involves introducing them to a change in daily routines.
A competent learning consultant will help you create a good communication plan, making sure that the right information is being introduced to the organization at the right time, making recommendations for gaining alignment within your leadership team, and making sure you have the right tools to lead the change.
A Learning Consultant Points Out & Helps Eliminate Potential Roadblocks
Consultants are partners, meaning that they have an interest in you, your business, and ultimately your success. Your success is their success.
To ensure this, roadblocks to learning need to be identified and eliminated or mitigated — such things as resistance from an individual or a group of participants, inadequate support from the organization, and/or not having the right equipment or space to conduct the training.
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A Learning Consultant Begins with the End in Mind
Before starting a journey, the seasoned traveler identifies the destination and creates a clear road map for how to get there. It is no different with training. A learning consultant first will learn about your goals — or your destination — to assess how best to get there.
Your ultimate goal dictates the best solution. This means making sure that the learning objectives, content, structure, activities, and measurements are all aligned with that goal. Sometimes, the best solution won’t be training — and a learning consultant shouldn’t be afraid to tell you if that’s the case!
This isn’t a comprehensive list of learning consultant responsibilities, but it indicates key differentiators to ensure your training journey is successful.
Now that you are aware of some key components of analysis, use them to guide you through the analysis process to ensure you and your learning consultant are aligning the training to meet organizational goals and improve employee performance.
If you’re ready to bring on the right learning consultant to join your team, we invite you to tap into our talented Innovators on Demand® on us!