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Updated by Sunil Maulik on Feb 21, 2016
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Sunil Maulik Sunil Maulik
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Ten Uses of A Training Registration System

Why your enterprise should use a dedicated event registration system for training rather than Excel spreadsheets!

Sales Certification

Are all your sales people powerfully sharing your value proposition or do they go rogue? Salesforce.com is the best at sales certification. Not only are their sales people all certified on the pitch, but in the early days, all employees were, too. They would offer training to make sure that everyone was crystal clear on the message. Now, it’s just customer-facing employees who are certified on how to position the service and how to deliver the message. They are taught how to defend the messages against objections and how to present different problem-solving solutions to different personas. Bottom line, at the very least make sure to certify your sales people to increase your odds of winning deals. Group certification works best for sales because it allows sales people to hear each other pitch and improve their own pitch as a result. Develop a scoring matrix first, which will communicate to the sales team the specific points you are looking for them to speak to.

Marketing "Lunch and Learns"

Lunch and learns are a method of marketing that has become more popular in recent years. The general concept is to host a luncheon either at your business or a client's location. During the luncheon, a presentation is given.

There are several reasons this is an effective marketing tool. This article will explore three of them.

1) Free anything is always a draw and free food is one of top draws to get a crowd. There truly is no such thing as a free lunch, and having to sit through a presentation may seem like a lot to ask at first glance. Remember though, that the alternative is to have a meeting with no lunch.

Free lunch and a presentation will generally beat a presentation with no food. Don't underestimate the fact that many people may simply show up because of the food, but if the food is good they will stay and listen to your message. If you are going on the road to host a lunch and learn, consider asking the company you are presenting at if they have any preferred catering companies or ask for a recommendation of one.

2) Lunch presents an informal setting. Lunch and learns tend to be more relaxed in nature. Sharing a meal in a conference room isn't exactly a restaurant setting, but people tend to be more relaxed at a meal vs. a formal meeting. With people more relaxed, it will be easier for the presenter to ask questions of the audience, and to find out what may motivate the audience to buy the product presented. There is usually also more conversation from the audience, which creates a friendlier atmosphere for everyone.

3) Lunch and learns are convenient. People are going to take lunch so that part of their day may be free already. Also, lunch and learns make it is easy to gather a large crowd and see many people in one setting at one appointment. Instead of trying to book appointments with 10 people, a lunch and learn could mean one meeting with 10 participants.

Lunch and learns are a good idea because free food is always a draw, they are informal, and lunch and learns are convenient for the participants. Lunch and learns could be a way for your company to get new business.

Supplier, Channel and Distributor Training

Build Preference for Your Brand

Motivational tools help to ensure that channel members give preference to your products over your competitors. Distributors and retailers typically carry a wide range of products from many different suppliers. They must therefore make decisions about the level of sales and marketing resources they allocate to each product or manufacturer. Motivation plays an important role in winning channel members’ mind share, according to the business school MMC Learning. By winning mind share, you can ensure that channel members recommend or actively promote your product.

Add Value to Your Product Offer

Motivating distributors and retailers is an important strategy for influencing channel members’ behavior, according to the marketing consultancy Pure Channels. Offering training programs or marketing support to members adds value to the relationship between supplier and channel by helping them to improve their performance and grow their own business. A strong relationship makes it easier to launch new products or marketing campaigns through the channel, helping to build your own revenue and profit.

Increase Sales Through the Channel

Financial incentives are an important source of motivation to channel members. By offering discounts on purchases above an agreed level or rewarding sales above target with bonuses, you can encourage channel members to stock and sell more of your products. Financial incentives can help you launch new products, increase sales of existing products or widen your distribution base, because channel members recognize that they will benefit from cooperating with you.

Improve Performance with Structured Programs

If you have a network of distributors or retailers, you will probably find that performance and commitment to your brand varies across the network. By setting up a structured channel program that offers different benefits at each level, you can motivate members to improve their performance. The program might take the form of a tiered structure, with tier 3 members receiving basic benefits and tier 1 members receiving a wide range of benefits that help them grow their business. The benefits might include different bonus or discount levels, marketing and training support, joint promotions and exclusive products. To reach higher tiers, you can set requirements such as stocking certain products, achieving sales targets, participating in training programs and agreeing to participate in promotions.

Paid Customer Training Events

If you’re going to add events to your marketing mix, you’re in good company. Face-to-face events are the predominant marketing tool for companies that include them in their marketing mix, accounting for more than 40 percent of companies’ total marketing budgets Since events are an important consideration in marketing to existing customers as well as finding new ones. In a recent customer marketing study, 61% of those surveyed said events are their top activity for marketing to existing customers. There are many different types of events that play a role in B2B marketing. Trade shows and conferences are probably the two most important but there are several others, including training, user conferences, new product launches, and others that are as much about growing business within your current customer base as they are finding new clients.

Annual & Regional Conferences

Conferences typically take a conservative approach to training and education, forcing attendees to take responsibility for getting value from the experience. Often the most interesting, informative and educational moments are not spent in the sessions themselves but informal interactions with other attendees. The lectures, talks and panels might provide some new ideas, but are one-directional, and you can get the slides or books by the speakers later. However, the unique, personal, and insightful conversations you have with other people can only happen at the event. If the conference is well designed, there will be workshops or BOFs (bird of a feather) sessions, where smaller groups meet for an afternoon or a full day, and talk about a specific subject of interest. Often these are scheduled early in a conference, granting you a people you know and can talk to through the rest of the conference.

Also consider:

Contributing to something: All events have ways to participate. Anyone can submit a paper, panel session idea, or workshop proposal. There is no better way to meet others and access the most interesting and friendly people than participating. Even the process of submitting something is rewarding: you’ll spend some time trying to express your work in a way that others can get value out of, which always improves your ability to think and communicate about what you do.

Workshops: Most events have slots for small/mid sized groups to spend serious time discussing a topic. The requirement for entry is usually a position statement, expressing your point of view on a subject, and your references supporting why you’d be a useful member of the workshop. These are consistently the most enlightening sessions, and give you the largest opportunity to meet and interact with intelligent people interested in a topic that you are interested in.

SIGs / BOFs : These tend to be loosely organized. Basically these are informal workshops, called special interest groups or Birds of a feather sessions. Sometimes they’re short meetings where people agree to create a new alias for discussion. Other times there is an agenda, with speakers, and it’s like a mini-session. Anyone can start one of these by following the information listed in the advanced program. They’ll help by giving you a room and a time.

Tutorials : These are half and full day sessions with an invited speaker. You may have to pay extra to attend these. The sessions are often lecture-based, which means a lot of sitting and listening. If you need training on some aspect of your job, and can’t find it local to you, tutorials are great. However, the sessions are often large, and for popular topics or teachers, can be hard to get into. Ask about tutorials you’re interested in, especially about the quality of the speaker.

Panels : A panel session has 4 or 5 invited speakers sharing a time slot together. In better panel sessions, there is a diversity of points of view, and everyone is comfortable sharing them. But too often, panelists shy away from the intended topic, or avoid disagreeing with their co-panelists. They often feel pressure to represent their company or organization, which inhibitsactive and provocative discourse. This is why most panel sessions suck. It’s up to the organizer to avoid making this happen, but since they’re grateful for the panelists to attend at all, it’s usually hard to exert control over the tone of the session. Worse, some panels don’t allow for discussion, giving too much time to prepared presentations from each panelist. For these and other reasons, panels are a wild card, and often result in a fairly bland experience for everyone involved. When it works though, and the right people are invited and facilitated by the organizer in the right way, it can be the most enlightening session you’ll see at a conference.

Continuing Education for Licensing Professionals (Accountants, Lawyers, Healthcare etc.)

Professional continuing education is a specific learning activity generally characterized by the issuance of a certificate or continuing education units (CEU) for the purpose of documenting attendance at a designated seminar or course of instruction. Licensing bodies in a number of fields (such as teaching) impose continuing education requirements on members who hold licenses to practice within a particular profession. These requirements are intended to encourage professionals to expand their foundations of knowledge and stay up-to-date on new developments. Depending on the field, these requirements may be satisfied through college or university coursework, extension courses or conferences and seminars attendance. Although individual professions may have different standards, the most widely accepted standard, developed by the International Association for Continuing Education & Training, is that ten contact hours equals one Continuing Education Unit.[8] Not all professionals use the CEU convention. For example, the American Psychological Association accredits sponsors of continuing education such as PsychContinuingEd.com and uses simply a CE approach. In contrast to the CEU, the CE credit is typically one CE credit for each hour of contact.

The method of delivery of continuing education can include traditional types of classroom lectures and laboratories. However, many continuing education programs make heavy use of distance learning, which not only includes independent study, but can also include videotaped/CD-ROM material, broadcast programming or Online Education which has more recently dominated the distance learning community. Many universities have begun to offer hybrid courses. These courses offer adult learners the option of having in-classroom and online learning.[9] Online courses have brought the possibility of obtaining an affordable college education to many of those of to whom it was previously out of reach. In addition to independent study, the use of conference-type group study, which can include study networks (which can, in many instances, meet together online) as well as different types of seminars/workshops, can be used to facilitate learning. A combination of traditional, distance, and conference-type study, or two of these three methods, may be used for a particular continuing education course or program.

7

Analyzing and Reporting of Employee Training, Independent of the Modality

Today's work environment requires employees to be skilled in performing complex tasks in an efficient, cost-effective, and safe manner. Training (a performance improvement tool) is needed when employees are not performing up to a certain standard or at an expected level of performance. The difference between actual the actual level of job performance and the expected level of job performance indicates a need for training. The identification of training needs is the first step in a uniform method of instructional design. A successful training needs analysis will identify those who need training and what kind of training is needed. It is counter-productive to offer training to individuals who do not need it or to offer the wrong kind of training. A Training Needs Analysis helps to put the training resources to good use.

Types of Needs Analyses

Many needs assessments are available for use in different employment contexts. Sources that can help you determine which needs analysis is appropriate for your situation are described below.
Organizational Analysis. An analysis of the business needs or other reasons the training is desired. An analysis of the organization's strategies, goals, and objectives. What is the organization overall trying to accomplish? The important questions being answered by this analysis are who decided that training should be conducted, why a training program is seen as the recommended solution to a business problem, what the history of the organization has been with regard to employee training and other management interventions.

Person Analysis. Analysis dealing with potential participants and instructors involved in the process. The important questions being answered by this analysis are who will receive the training and their level of existing knowledge on the subject, what is their learning style, and who will conduct the training. Do the employees have required skills? Are there changes to policies, procedures, software, or equipment that require or necessitate training?

Work analysis / Task Analysis. Analysis of the tasks being performed. This is an analysis of the job and the requirements for performing the work. Also known as a task analysis or job analysis, this analysis seeks to specify the main duties and skill level required. This helps ensure that the training which is developed will include relevant links to the content of the job.

Performance Analysis. Are the employees performing up to the established standard? If performance is below expectations, can training help to improve this performance? Is there a Performance Gap?
Content Analysis. Analysis of documents, laws, procedures used on the job. This analysis answers questions about what knowledge or information is used on this job. This information comes from manuals, documents, or regulations. It is important that the content of the training does not conflict or contradict job requirements. An experienced worker can assist (as a subject matter expert) in determining the appropriate content.

Training Suitability Analysis. Analysis of whether training is the desired solution. Training is one of several solutions to employment problems. However, it may not always be the best solution. It is important to determine if training will be effective in its usage.

Cost-Benefit Analysis. Analysis of the return on investment (ROI) of training. Effective training results in a return of value to the organization that is greater than the initial investment to produce or administer the training.

Principle of Assessment: Use assessment instruments for which understandable and comprehensive documentation is available.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Today's workplace often requires employees to be independent thinkers responsible for making good decisions based on limited information. This kind of work may require training if the employee does not have these skills. Below is a list of various competencies that employees may be required to posess in order to perform their jobs well.

Adaptability
Analytical Skills
Action Orientation
Business Knowledge/Acumen
Coaching/Employee Development
Communication
Customer Focus
Decision Making
Fiscal Management
Global Perspective
Innovation
Interpersonal Skills
Leadership
Establishing Objectives
Risk Management
Persuasion and Influence
Planning
Problem Solving
Project Management
Results Orientation
Self-Management
Teamwork
Technology

Post-Training Surveys & Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

There are five main reasons to use a net promoter question when gathering training effectiveness information.

• Efficiency: Not every course is equal in quality, length, content, and value and as such, not every course needs an extensive evaluation process. A short evaluation form brings efficiency to the process because it reduces the response burden among learners

• Strong predictor: NPS is a strong predictor of external customer satisfaction for an organisation. It is also a good predictor of learning within the training environment. A single question can be used to as predictor of quality. More detailed information about the predictive nature of NPS is shared below

• Easy to understand: NPS is gaining traction among business leaders as a key measure of success. Using NPS, L&D leaders can communicate effectively with business leaders about course quality

• Applies across organisational units: NPS is a metric that can cut across operations. An NPS for one unit is comparable to NPS for another unit, making comparisons and aggregation easy

• Predictor of other talent areas: This article demonstrates that NPS is a valuable metric for learning groups. It is likely that it will be valuable for other areas of HR: employee engagement, compensation, recruiting, performance appraisal, mentoring and other aspects of talent management

Manufacturing Certification (ISO-9000, CE, cGMPs, etc.)

According to the Qualified Engineer, an organization that provides certification resources, the goal of a certification is to acknowledge the expertise of a professional and also to recognize that person's abilities in a particular field. Certifications are not meant to replace professional licensure. While achieving certification in a particular discipline can be expensive, Qualified Engineer concludes that "they indeed add value to the careers of engineers (licensed or unlicensed)." There are a number of reasons why manufacturing engineers should seek certifications:

Validation of knowledge
Increased marketability
Enhanced reputation, credibility, and confidence
Earned respect

Industry certifications are preferred during the hiring process, in both new hire and internal employee placement scenarios. Certifications provide status to those who have proven their knowledge and give employers a benchmark standard for measuring employee candidates. Most mechanical engineering certificate programs cover advanced topics, such as applied mechanics, design of thermal systems, computer-aided manufacturing, and control system design.

There are many organizations and governing bodies that offer certifications for mechanical engineers, including the ASME, National Fire Prevention Association, Association for Facilities Engineering, Association of Fraud Examiners, Project Management Institute, Associated Air Balance Council, Engineering Management Certification International, and the Green Building Certification Institute. ASME offers both product and personnel certifications. Product certification provides assurance that the requirement of the applicable ASMI Standard has been fulfilled. ASME product certifications include Boiler & Pressure Vessel, Bioprocessing Equipment, NQA-1, Nuclear Component, Quality System for Nuclear Material Organizations and Reinforced Thermoset Plastic Corrosion resistance. ASME personnel certifications provide particular industries with a uniform standard for evaluating professional competency. Personnel certifications include Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, Municipal Solid Waste Combustion Facilities Operators, High Capacity Fossil Fuel Fired Plant (Boiler) Operators, Hazardous Waste Incinerator Operators, and ASME NDE and QC Inspection.

As Part Of A Total Quality Management (TQM) System

Companies which do not implement Total Quality Management in their firms will not be competitive in the national and international market within the next 5–10 years! This startling conclusion is based on research that involved interviews with 142 individuals from 19 owner and contractor firms involved in heavy industrial, manufacturing, and commercial construction. Total Quality Management (TQM) is a complete management philosophy that permeates every aspect of a company and places quality as a strategic issue. It is accomplished through an integrated effort between all levels of a company to increase customer satisfaction by continuously improving current performance.

An integrated approach of Total Quality Management (TQM) and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) is required to provide quality products and services in the construction industry. Early indications reveal substantial improvements in achieving quality requirements among organizations that have implemented TQM. For instance, construction companies have, with minor modifications, adopted the methods and concepts of TQM that are being used in U.S. manufacturing and have applied them to their operations. The development and deployment of a TQM approach must be tailored to the specific needs of an organization. A program can not simply be adopted from a consultant and deployed. There must be action behind the words and ceremony, and this can only be accomplished by senior management understanding and involvement. Management must participate in the implementation process and be fully committed to it if TQM is to succeed. The use of small, well-placed, pilot projects is an effective method for gaining acceptance of TQM among the employees and management of a company. The TQM process takes about three years before it is accepted throughout a company and significant results are achieved.

Training for TQM will not succeed unless both the technical and humanistic aspects are addressed. The more technical the processes, the more the emphasis in training should be placed on interpersonal and communication skills. The topics and examples used in the training effort should be integrated with the actual work processes of the individuals being trained. The employees should apply newly learned skills to their jobs as quickly as possible. Statistical methods are being effectively applied to engineering and construction processes and are being used to identify and solve problems and to improve processes. For tracking to be utilized effectively, employees and management must first understand the fundamental concepts of TQM and the purpose for controlling and constantly improving their processes. Owners and contractors are seeking improved relationships with each other and with vendors and subcontractors. Partnership agreements are being formed between owners and contractors. Both owners and contractors are seeking to reduce their numbers of qualified vendors, but the majority feel that formal partnerships with vendors are not possible at this time.