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Evaluation of Management Support for Training

Only 23% of employ­ees believe that their managers encourage and make time for learning.
Source: Towards Maturity 2012-13 Benchmark report

The support and buy-in of the participant's line manager is often the weakest link in the trans­mis­sion and application of new learning. This leads to reduced performance on the job and wasted investment.

As training professionals how often do we come across the following scenario:

Great Design and a Promising Start

  • the training needs analysis has identified a real and important skills gap
  • we have designed a focused course curriculum with well-designed content, achievable goals and measurable milestones
  • we have integrated the appropriate learning delivery channels
  • the internal marketing has identified a group of participants who are enthusiastic and committed, both before the course and perhaps also return excellent happy sheet feedback
  • the course may even have strong executive support and buy-in.

The Hidden Problem

But after the course we notice:

  • attendance and time commitment during the course dropped off
  • there is little or no evidence of the new skills and learning being applied back on the job
  • quite a few last minute cancellations came in before the first session.

After the skills gap diagnosis, when we market the course and select the participants, we sometimes overlook the influence of this key stakeholder: the Line Manager.

Tackling the Problem

TJ Taylor has designed a free questionnaire and evaluation matrix for the participant's line manager that you or your Training Department can use to assess and quantify the level of managerial support and buy-in, either for a specific course or for training in general.

"The questionnaire can be used pro-actively and/or as a filter in the selection of partici­pants."

The results can be used pro-actively in the marketing of a course, or of the benefits of training in general, and/or as a filter in the selection of partici­pants in order to focus spending on the maximum impact.

The managerial support selection matrix was originally created for our language training clients, but can be modified and customized for any other area or focus. Details on how to use, modify, distribute and assess the information from the matrix are included on the first sheet of the Excel file.

The basic version of the questionnaire is available below as a free download, and if you have any comments or suggestions for improvement you are very welcome to contact us.

» Download the Management Support Questionnaire Opens in new window, Excel spreadsheet

Size: 45 Kb. File opens in a new window, and is in Excel format.

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