Seven steps to training success


Now that we understand the expectation from a craft skills and knowledge perspective, we can move on to the second step: assessment. Do this wrong and you will undermine all trust on the part of the craft worker. From an assessment perspective, we are not questioning the value that any craft worker has brought to the organization for the last 10 to 25 years. We are simply trying to understand where each craft worker is in the skills and knowledge levels so that we can properly invest in the right training for each craft worker. Rather than send everyone to bearings training, you may have a number of craft workers who are fluent in that area but could use basic electrical troubleshooting, as an example.

When you perform an assessment, I highly recommend that you only use the information to develop the third step, individual development plans for each craft worker. Do not use the assessment as a ranking tool for pay or merit increases. Again, we only want to understand where people are at today, this snapshot in time, to get to the individual development plans.

The Seven Training Steps


  1. Determine what is needed from training
  2. Do a job or craft assessment
  3. Create individual development plans
  4. Develop the training schedule
  5. Learning
  6. Create metrics or KPIs
  7. Continuous improvement feedback loop.









I highly recommend that you use an impartial third party to perform the assessment so you get individual development plans for each craft worker based on the previously agreed skills and knowledge priority matrix. Only the third party should see the scores from the assessment to place people in to the two to four skill and knowledge levels.

From a human resources perspective, you don’t want to see the scores or try to determine where to place people in the two to four levels and tracks. The third party should create a chart with each individual’s relative ranking for each of the skill areas assessed. This is delivered to each craft worker in a sealed envelope. If the workers choose to share this information with each other, that’s their choice. All you want from this phase is the individual development plan. 

Set up the schedule

From the development plans, we move to the fourth step, which is developing the training schedule based on your ability to invest in the craft workers. Some organizations use training hours to determine the investment levels, with 80 hours per year being somewhat standard. Other organizations use a percent of the budget, anywhere from 4% to 15%.

Based on the constraints, you must now develop a schedule that addresses all of the two to four skills and knowledge tiers that you have identified. The schedule should be published and updated. While many focus on intensive 3-5 day training courses, don’t overlook other routes. Many manufacturers will provide free product-related training for a couple of hours at no cost. You will need to meet with the representative in advance to develop the agenda and core components as you don’t need a sales pitch.

Anonymous , 01/12/13 01:53 AM:

My daughter just re-entered to workforce after a hiatus to be a "Stay-at-home mom" She landed a position as HR Director. Her first order of business is to train the rank & file co-workers. I told her about your article in the Dec 2012 issue titled "Training & Development" and e-mailed her a link to it. Excellent article!
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