startup-594090_640When you work in L&D, you’re often held responsible for ensuring that your organization achieves a return on its investment in training. The problem is that you have little, if any, control over what happens in the workplace after the training.

You work hard to find the right vendors, invest time and budget in creating the training, juggle endless calendars to get things scheduled – but you can’t guarantee that employees will actually apply what they’ve learned to their jobs. Yet if they don’t, the training has no chance of earning a return on investment.

There is a way, however, to significantly increase the chance that employees will apply new knowledge and skills. Involve your business partners from the very beginning.

Here are six issues you might discuss to involve your business partners in getting results:

  1. How to validate that the skills the business wants employees to learn actually result in the outcomes the business wants to achieve. For example, if the business wants employees to do “A” to get result “B,” someone should validate that doing “A” consistently results in “B” before developing and rolling out the training
  2. Whether existing systems and processes need to be revamped so they support the application of the skills the business wants employees to learn
  3. How to make the immediate application of new knowledge and skills on the job a priority for both learners and their managers
  4. What steps can be taken to arrange for learners to have uninterrupted time to focus on learning
  5. What type of after-training support might be needed to ensure that learners apply what they learned to their work
  6. How to evaluate training to make sure it works and to troubleshoot if it doesn’t

Business partners may not know what they need to do — or that they even need to be involved — to leverage the training to meet their goals. Letting them know what role they play in achieving training goals can make the difference between getting results and getting blamed.