17 Sep 2012

Are your Training customers asking you for ‘Training Outcomes’ in ‘Business Outcome Terms’?

Are your internal/external training customers asking you to deliver ‘Training Outcomes’ in ‘Business Outcome Terms’.  I know, many trainers and training managers are already crying foul and yelling in their minds, “Training results cannot be accurately measured”.  Yet, I suggest that you continue reading this article.

In many cases, current Training Methodology adopted by trainers and training managers is:

STEP-1 : Regular Instructional Design based approach of defining Learning Objectives as ………………. On successful completion of this module, the participant will be in a position to ……………(for example)…… ,  “Demonstrate methodology of Greeting, Listening and Acknowledging Customers” or “Demonstrate how to eliminate doubts that arise in the minds of customers and propose a solution to their query”  or  “Demonstrate Selling Skills learnt successfully through role plays”.
STEP-2: Develop training materials as per design

STEP-3: Implement/Execute training intervention


STEP-5: A Ha! – Results achieved.  Or is it?

The days partying seem to be over.  Every organisation, however high on profitability, has multiple uses of money it can invest. Customers, at least the big spenders are asking ‘value for their money’ translated into ‘Business Outcome’ terms.   From a customer’s perspective, Learning Objectives should be stated in a way in which your customer’s company creates value for its customers.  Your customers want to know:

  • What benefit will this training programme have for my company?
  • How will this training programme result in performance improvement for the participants / organization?
  • What are the training effectiveness measurement parameters?
  • What is the methodology for measurement of these parameters?
  • What is the total Cost-to-Company (include all costs including opportunity costs)?
  • Firstly, let us understand what “in business terms” means.  It does not mean only money terms, it means more than money.   “in business terms,” means “verifiable outcomes that are relevant to business”.
  • Create complete intervention plan with timelines, including, training, coaching by supervisor, self-paced learning, assessment, etc.


  1. Anant Chhibber says:

    Hi Sanjay

    Training customers may or may not ask the right questions, depending upon their interest or just because they are in the training room because they are either learners or prisoners.
    The days of not calculating business impact are long gone and it is imperative that every Manager who wants his team to undergo training understands how the business impact would be calculated at the stage when the training design is agreed.
    Another interesting trend that is being seen is ‘Training the customers of the business’. This involves training the end customer in a way that he understands his need better and how a particular product or service from a company would address that need. One of beverage companies, present globally has already tried this and have been able to reduce their service time significantly. Would love to see an Indian company walk down this road as well.


  2. Sanjay Bajaj says:

    Hi Anant. As I gather it, your response shows a mix up of concepts…………. Firstly there is a service provider, ‘ training company’. Second, for a training company, a ‘customer’ is one who pays for the training (usually represented by a training manager or HR manager or some other manager). A person participating in the training is called a ‘participant’. Another concept that beats me is ‘Training the customers of the business’ – do you mean training customers of customers? still, for a training company, a customer is one who pays, and that’s it!

    This article is not about learners at all. It is only about ‘bang for the buck’:
    (a) Customer organization demanding results from an external training company.
    (b) An internal customer department demanding results from an internal training department.

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