Don’t assume training is the solution to your business problem.

Sales are down! We need training.

Turnover is high! We need training.

Compliance is low! We need training.

We Learning and Development specialists love to be needed. But our first question is always, “Is training the solution?”

When organizations simply default to training, they sometimes overlook the real issue. Here are some things to consider.

First, investigate the need you think you have. Is it really about skills, knowledge, or behaviors? Or is it motivation? Could it be a broken process or a clunky system, rather than the people?


Even if you don’t use that decision tool, a good learning methodology should answer the question: Is training the right solution?

The first step in Emerson’s learning methodology looks at the big picture. We examine the need – what prompted a request for training? What is the pain point? If it’s a business metric that’s underperforming, or a new target the organization needs to hit, or dissatisfaction because things aren’t working as they should, we ask to what extent people’s performance drives that pain.

A good learning methodology should answer the question: Is training the right solution?

Often, we find that there is some people-driven imperative. Maybe poor employee performance is impacting business results. Maybe there’s a new compliance requirement. Often, it’s a defined change, like an acquisition, influx of new employees, new technology or processes, or some other strategic imperative.

In every case, before we get training design rolling, we want to be sure that new skills, knowledge, and behaviors will get us there.


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