3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009

Bob McNeill is director of continuing education at Delaware Valley College and has more than 30 years in adult and continuing education. McNeill has served as the president of both The Continuing Education Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education, of which he is currently an active board member.

Q. How can a business form a successful training regimen?

It all begins with a plan. If the business has decided that it will employ outside providers to accomplish its training objectives, then the best way to keep it on track is to develop a long-term relationship with its provider. This provides for a working relationship built on outcomes, trust and cost-effective training.

Q. How can a company determine effective training techniques to maximize training spending?

Companies can determine this by first articulating what outcomes they expect when initiating a training plan. Once these are conveyed to a training provider, the provider will have a clearer picture as to how to structure the training program. The provider explains the program to the employer to insure consistency with the vision, and the plan is implemented. After the training takes place, there should be an evaluation by both the participants and the company to determine the outcomes achieved. Assessment is key in the evaluation of any training endeavor. (Use) a before/after evaluation, references, customized training with a business and industry training specialist, use a high-quality training institution — students will value the training more and value themselves more because the employer went the extra mile for quality.

Q. Are there any techniques to measure whether training is working?

Before an employer commits resources to training its work force, it should know where the skills are now. This can be accomplished by an evaluation of the employee. As I mentioned earlier, a pre- and post-training assessment is critical to the success of the training effort. Delaware Valley College has recently begun to use online evaluations for this purpose. It tends to make the participants a little more at ease with the process.