Developing a Value Based Training Culture

Developing a Value Based Training Culture

Tonight, we are happy to introduce a new guest writer, Mick Vaught. In his first blog for us, Developing a Value Based Training Culture, Mick emphasize the incredible importance of employee development.

Mick was born and raised in the small town of Williamsburg, Virginia, located in the South East region of the United States. While earning a degree in business administration as well as two degrees in Theology he has used this education as a foundation for educating corporate and distribution employees at all levels all over the world. Mick married his wife of 43 years, Carole and together have raised three married children and 8 grandchildren.  After graduating from college Mick joined the Liebherr America group. While serving as Sales Manager he gained experience working with their distribution network in the United States and Canada. After 20 years of service, Mick joined Komatsu America as a product manager. Mick has worked as Vice President (Articulated Hauler Division) Of Volvo Construction Equipment Company, where he oversaw the development of sales, parts, service and the dealer pipeline with their launch of their new haulers. Mick has also worked as a training consultant for a large Caterpillar dealer, and was challenged with creating and launching their LMS system.Upon retiring from corporate America after 35 years, Mick also established his own leadership development Consulting Company. Here he worked with fortune five hundred companies around the country. The company (L3Learning Academy) also offered a wide variety of consulting services for small business owners designed to address everything from major strategic issues to more basic problems affecting everyday business practices. Mick sold the company, and currently teaches at the Charlotte Motor Speedway STEAM program, focusing on developing young minds with an aptitude towards science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Development and Execution of a well-conceived Training Plan.

The cornerstone upon which a successful training program rest.

This training plan exists on two levels:  

  • Corporate – encompassing the entire organization and covering a relatively elastic time period of perhaps several years (this is a reflection of an overall set of goals) 
  • Specific – describing smaller organizational units within the organization and covering a discrete fiscal or calendar time frame (this is a reflection of concrete, measurable goals and objectives) 

Training Plan Elements


The Training Plan will begin with a background section, which describes the following: 

  • A description of the strategic Training Directive for developing a Training Plan. Training should always follow the corporate strategy!
  • Define the core client group. Within this client group there will be field and regional offices throughout the branch locations.  
  • A comprehensive resource audit to determine those materials currently available and any of the GAPs that may exist for planned training expectations.
  • Review the total number of employees and age demographics. Indicate approximately how many of these employees are local and if possible, how many are in each geographic area. 
  • Other pertinent information that may be appropriate under the Background section such as:
    • new or, revised organizational-driven requirements (newly formed groups, programs, branches) 
    • changes in profile of service-oriented delivery versus product-oriented business models within the organization 

The background section will be predominantly narrative in structure with a table or charts to assist in framing the context of our plan.

Current Status

The purpose of this section is to describe what sort of training has been completed to date. This section of the corporate plan will be updated each year, and referenced against the previous year for comparative purposes. 

  • What sort of training has been completed to date? Has the training been Ad Hoc and demand driven or … (competency vs. content based)?
  • Has there been a formal training plan? If yes, to what extent has the training plan been completed? Did training include out-of-town travel? 
  • What are the factors that limit training? 
  • Is there a training budget? If yes, what is it and how much, if any, has already been spent? 
  • Have there been any needs assessment conducted to identify what sort of training is needed by headquarters and field offices? If no needs assessment has been conducted, this may be something to add as part of the overall training plan? 
  • Has a need for training evolved by the type of repeat questions and telephone calls for advice we have received? 

This section will be greatly assisted by including a table to indicate current readiness against total numbers within targeted employee groups.

Mission Statement

The Mission Statement will address what it is we want to achieve in a corporate sense with the training plan. For example, our overall goal may be:


To ensure all employees have those skills required to meet all competencies needed for their job descriptions and to add value to our Human Capital Management while also driving initiatives to focus on Business Knowledge Impact.

The overall goal differs from course goals and objectives because it is much broader and all-encompassing than course goals and objectives which tend to be more specific to the training and more limited in scope. It would be very challenging to reach the above overall goal in one or even 5 years. A number of different types of training would have to be implemented in order to reach the overall goal. Course goals and objectives are also much more measurable than the overall goal because course participants can help us assess whether or not we have met them.


The methodology drives the approaches to training delivery that will be employed. For example, our training plan may cover 2 years, 5 years with a number of prescribed courses, or perhaps a phased approach that would be more appropriate for our mission. We may begin with general training one year and include more advanced training the following year. We may also want to offer one or two courses a year on specific topics. The options for this portion of the training plan are limitless.  

  • How will we reach our overall goal?
  • What type of training will be offered? General awareness sessions or topic specific training? Will the training be branch specific in some cases? 
  • Will we develop brochures and other documents that explain marketing concepts, roles and responsibilities? 
  • Will we train via Zoom, video-conference, web based, computer based, or, create a video that staff can sign-out showing management buy-in. Create a training Hotline? 
  • Would it be beneficial to use a Training Steering Committee as we move forward? 

Training Methodology should also be updated each year in the corporate plan as different training delivery methods are evaluated.

Description of Training

We will be doing more than one type of training, to include Service, Parts, Sales, Employee “Human Capital” and eventually a “Company Academy” to develop potential managers and leaders for future growth opportunities (this is where our training plan becomes more specific both in terms of deliverable and time frames). We will also be implementing quick vignettes such as “Lunch & Learns” to communicate common knowledge and information at a quick rate.

Time Frames 

Training will be scheduled and delivered in a “time sensitive manner” working in collaboration with division and department managers to ensure optimum time management. Certain seasons in an industry dictate when time is most appropriate. Other elements to consider will be approximate time we expect to have new product or other documentation complete. Will the documentation be updated each year? When do we expect to have our Web Page up and running? Etc.


Identify Clients: First we will identify which group segment will benefit from the training: Customer support (service and parts) would be the first recommendation followed by sales and employee administration. Another goal to target is upper and middle management making available those disciplines needed for their position. 

Objectives: Once we have identified the group segment that requires training, then we will identify what we hope the participants walk away with: This may include; to provide a comprehensive base-level of expertise to support the groups compliance with their core competencies and skill levels or, to ensure all ASC managers participate in training that specifically focuses on their area impact as it pertains to their specific strategies.

Learning Objectives 

Learning Objectives are specific and measurable. Learning objectives identify specifically what the participants will do/learn/understand/identify/recognize etc…

Some examples of objectives would include any of the following: 

The participant will show competence in the following:


  • explain four basic principles of communication (verbal and non-verbal) and active listening.
  • outline four barriers and bridges to communication
  • list at least four ways communication skills will help create a positive work environment
  • identify records that require formal FOI response vs. routine release of information 

Time Management

  • list job expectations of staff
  • provide tools to use in prioritizing tasks 


What will we need to be able to accomplish the training objectives? 

Coordination of Training Delivery: (Based on our Training Resource Audit)

  • Do we need to identify and coordinate a number of training sessions to cover each branch or geographic region? 
  • Do we need to find facilities that will be available on a given date? 
  • Do we have to solicit participants? If yes, will we send out a general e-mail or contact people by phone or post an advertisement? Will we have registration via the Intranet? 
  • How will the training be delivered? Will a facilitator actually give the session, will it be given via video-conferencing or will we develop a brochure or package that is self-explanatory? Will we create a video to send around the province? Will we have a Web Page or a FOI (Field of Information) Hot Line? 
  • Evaluation – How will we analyze the delivery outcomes and identify shortfalls of the training method?  


Once we have identified how we will deliver the training, the next question will be what materials do we need to deliver the training:  

  • Will we use slides, video, ILT, WBT, CBT or WebEx? 
  • Due to a deficiency in OEM support material our trainers are spending 65% of their time developing their own which takes away from our training effectiveness
  • What sort of hand-outs will we provide participants? 
  • Will participants be expected to participate in case studies, pre-tests and/or post-tests? 
  • Will there be a poster we want to use?   

Training Schedule and Budget

Finally, the Training Schedule and Budget specifically identifies the date, method, cost and approximate number of participants to be trained.

It would be useful to identify the approximate number of participants to be trained and identify the following:  

  • program delivery 
  • include central administrative staff (i.e., Personnel, Policy and Finance) 
  • include manager / director level? 
  • include executive? 


Finally, when the annual round of training is complete, we should consider the type of reporting we want to do. A summary of the above information is a good place to start and you can flesh out this report with the actual cost and number of participants trained. This information will be helpful in forming part of our overall evaluation of the training program. 

Reports required must include the following: 

  • Personal Development Plan (PDP)
  • Usage / Adoption (project-based)
  • ROI (project-based)
  • Assessment results
  • Transcripts
  • Exception reports (who hasn’t completed requirements)
  • Printable into ms excel
  • Push versus pull
  • Export capabilities
  • Flexible

Executive Summary: 

The critical key for the success of a Learning culture depends on the following: 

  • We must create value for professional development
  • We must create desire
  • Tie learning to performance
  • Communicate successes
    • Run a pilot program
    • Testimonials
    • Recognition 
    • Pictures on a bulletin board
  • Overcome fears
    • Demonstrate learning environment
    • Flash demo’s
    • Technical assistance
    • Peer support
  • Provide job aids


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