Here are some key takeaways from our recent webinar on “Maximizing ROI from Off-the-Shelf Resources.”
Make sure learners understand the value of a training program—whether it is developed in-house or based on off-the-shelf resources. “Learners need to be able to answer the question: What’s in it for me?” said Barbara Lockee, PhD, professor of instructional design and technology, Virginia Tech. “That is why it is critical to link training to core competencies. As learners, we always want to know how the training will be helpful to us, so making that connection is important.” She said trainers should set the context of the learning at the beginning of the program so participants understand its value.
Find an advocate. “I always try to get an internal champion on board to make sure implementation is going to be higher,” said Jim Underwood, director of training and development at Kowa Pharmaceuticals. He recently leveraged off-the-shelf resources as the foundation of his company’s professional development career ladder program.
Underwood also believes trainers should conduct due diligence on potential partners for off-the-shelf training. “I’m willing to work with a third party if they can give me some data or documentation on what the ROI has been with other customers,” he said.
Create an implementation calendar. Dan Zimmerman, director of sales force effectiveness at Women’s Choice Pharmaceuticals, creates a training implementation calendar once he has gained buy-in from internal stakeholders on the content and format of a learning program.
“The calendar creates a manageable ‘roadmap’ for completion of all the assigned content,” says Zimmerman, who recently used off-the-shelf resources to create two certificate programs for new hires. “It also sets expectations for implementation—so learners not only know what they need to do but also how and when they need to do it.”
For more takeaways from the webinar, look for CMR Institute’s whitepaper on maximizing ROI from off-the-shelf resources, available this fall.