Strategies for Creating an Effective Training Calendar

How does one plan a training calendar that is in line with the future goals of the organisation, which can also address current skills gaps?

It is that time of the year for corporates in India when training plans and calendars become a priority. In the last quarter of each financial year, organizations are either closing out their training budgets or planning for the next year.

How are you planning your corporate training calendar today? Amidst the chaos of accomplishing business objectives set for the year and the conundrum of appraisals, planning for a Training calendar sometimes takes a back seat. The objective of this article is to give you a set of key guidelines that will enable you to think through your training calendar planning process.

Here is a process that we suggest on how to prepare a training plan.

1. Macro Research:

Discussions & research for macro understanding of Training Needs in the coming year:

  • Research about your organization
    • What re the possibilities of changes in product/services/policies/processes?
    • Are they going to be focused on any particular goal in the coming year?
    • What were the major causes of worry in the last year?
  • Research about your Industry
    • What are other organizations in your industry doing?  Are they hiring, expanding etc.?
    • What were the major causes of worry in the last year for your industry?
  • Research about your market
    • How is the market in general?
    • What were the major causes of worry in the last year for your market?

2. Training Need Identification:

(TNI) through Appraisals/Reviews: Collate gaps identified in each individual/team/department

3. Assess your Department / Organisation:

Look into the following areas when assessing your department / organisation:

  • Budget
  • Training resources
  • Data on training programs conducted last year
  • Vendors (existing and if required identifying new vendors)
  • Infrastructure
  • Learning Management system effectiveness
  • Finding new trends in training and training methods

4. Create a Rough Training Calendar:

Include all topics/subjects level-wise based on the findings from the first 3 steps.

5. Stake holder discussions:

Use the rough training calendar to ascertain focused discussions

  • Focused discussion on issues with performance
  • Expected problems they might face in the coming year

6. Laying out the final calendar – Sequencing

Sequencing could be an arduous task in itself. Given below is an example of an organisation that sent their annual soft skills training plan, requesting our support.

We challenge you to come up with a sequence that best fits the audience in question. We understand that this will be challenging to do if there are no clear training needs. Well we would like you to step into our shoes and try it without having the privilege of background information that comes from a thorough needs analysis. The only information that MMM Training Solutions (www.mmmts.com) has at this point is the basic profile of the participants. All participants belong to the projects department who sporadically interact with clients.

Do you think the sequencing of programs is appropriate? If you think not, then try to re-work and give us your final list.

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