Employee Training – Will The Real L&D Team Please Stand Up?

“Who the hell is Kirkpatrick!?”

That is how a recent pitch between L&D and the business head ended with. Well, this might sound familiar to some of you readers nodding your head in dismay at the lack of knowledge that the business head of companies display at times.

Think again.

Should we be worried that they aren’t aware of the basic concepts of what we call “learning models”, or should we be the ones who should be afraid? Afraid, that we can’t speak the language of business? Afraid that we cannot break it down into simple, understandable, quick 30-second concepts that can also help you with employee training?


As L&D professionals, we must all listen intently before we jump into problem solving using our wonderful psychometric toolkits and turnaround experience. We must really listen and understand what the business wants and keep our eyes open at all times. We must learn the business and the jargons that come with it – balance sheet, top line, bottom line – the whole nine yards!

See how Capabiliti helps you measure training effectiveness as put forward by the Kirkpatrick model.

We must deliver what they want, not what we want them to want. Lastly, we need to speak their language, show visible impact and not halo numbers. That should be the end goal and not technology or gamification – they are just means to an end.

My recent meeting with a Director of a vertical began like this.

“When the budget shrinks, L&D and other such teams are the first ones to get axed. It is the bitter truth, but it is also true that usually businesses later realize their mistake and begin the process all over again. Except L&D is like boiling water. The tipping point is at the end, and until then it is a game of patience. If you turn the heat off in between the process and begin again, it will take longer to get to the desired result, and in the end, may lead to more frustration.”

Well, what if we had a thermometer attached to the utensil to show the delta changes so that the heat isn’t turned off at the wrong time? That’s why we need to cater to their needs and not our agenda, speak their language and show the business what they need to see.

What according to you can be this thermometer? I look forward to your inputs on Twitter (with hashtag #TeamCapabiliti), or in the comments below.

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