Training’s Value Proposition

We know that highly engaged agents contribute more – often much more – than less engaged agents in terms of client loyalty, client profitability, and enhanced shareholder returns. It’s obvious that training is a key driver of agent engagement. We’re taking a pledge in 2012 that training won’t be a self-proclaimed expert flipping through PowerPoint slides boring agents into a coma.

Training has to be more important than that. In fact, according to 2011 training industry data, organizations spent $171.5 billion – almost $46 billion more than in 2009 – on employee learning and development in 2010. But no matter how many billions are dedicated to training, only by linking learning initiatives to company goals and strategies will those dollars translate into sustainability, which is a strong competitive advantage for all organizations.

What value does the learning function provide the business? When learning is tightly aligned with the business’s priorities, both the learning team and stakeholders can readily articulate the learning function’s value proposition.

So try this exercise with your C-level executives and front line managers. Ask them the question, “What value does the learning function provide the business?” Or use your own language to ask the question; every organization is different. Make it a conversation, heck – take somebody out for lunch and have an actual discussion. Can you get everyone to agree on the value that the learning function provides the business?

After you get your feedback you have to go into marketing mode. Depending on how many people agree on the value that training provides, you’ll have your work cut out for you. You either have to get others on board, or you may have to change perception. In either case, start by crafting a succinct message that says exactly how the training / learning function contributes to the call center business. Use real language and examples call center supervisors relate to. The first step to showing the value of a call center training program is to create a program that has organizational value. More on that soon…

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