Improving employee performance is a major goal for many organizations. In fact, it is one of the many reasons companies invest in employee training; the best employee training programs have been proven to increase employee retention rates, engagement and employee productivity, which are all major contributors toward increasing revenue.

However, not all training programs or organizations are alike, and not every training program is effective. In fact, Harvard professor Michael Beer told Forbes that only 10% of employee training is effective. Why do so many employee training programs fail to deliver the desired results?

In many cases, there is a disconnect between the training and the company’s business strategy. It doesn’t matter if you have the most engaging training content if it doesn’t help employees contribute to organizational goals. Too often, employees say that their training is irrelevant to their work. These learners feel that training wastes their time and does not improve their skills.

Best-in-class training has engaging and relevant training content, delivered in a way that drives knowledge retention — which is where performance consulting comes in. Performance consulting is a process that focuses on the gaps between current business performance and desired results to create a training program that bridges those gaps.

Performance consultants help identify key initiatives that training needs to address, so that instructional designers can create training that addresses them in the most effective and engaging way. There are four major benefits of performance consulting:

Improved Employee Performance

By focusing specifically on your organization’s core goals, you can more easily identify performance gaps and address them at their source. A performance consultant can not only help you identify the problem but also help determine the most effective way to address the issue through training.

For example, many employees in today’s workforce lack soft skills, which is particularly problematic in fields such as customer service. If a company’s goal for its call center is to increase the number of first call resolutions, to reach this goal, its call center employees might need training on the soft skills and tools they need to help the company achieve this goal.

Aligning training initiatives with organizational goals helps employees improve their performance exactly where they need to do so. Training becomes more effective when it focuses specifically on the topics that will improve an employee’s skills. Reducing irrelevant content also makes it easier for employees to retain the most important information.

Increased Productivity

As your employees improve the specific skills they need to be successful at work, their engagement and productivity will begin to increase. Because the skills they are learning are aligned with business objectives, they make their jobs easier and help enable them to work more quickly and efficiently.

Attitudes and mental perceptions are additional factors that affect human performance and productivity. An improved skill set minimizes job stressors and boosts employee morale. Performance consultants can pinpoint the skills employees need that will alleviate these kinds of frustrations.

Improved Employee Retention Rates

The millennial generation is now the largest in the workforce. These employees especially value working for companies that invest in them. If they don’t feel valued, they will soon leave for other opportunities. Replacing an employee is expensive and can slow productivity, but effective training, especially robust onboarding programs, have proven to improve employee engagement and retention rates.

The most successful programs align learning needs with business objectives. If you already having training in place but are not seeing the results you had hoped for, a performance consultant can help you identify the reason and address any gaps.

Maximizing ROI

Increasing the effectiveness of your employee training programs already increases your return on investment (ROI), but a performance consultant can also assist you in identifying other opportunities for savings. By taking a thorough look at your current training plan to see what is currently working and where there are gaps, you will be able to eliminate or improve upon areas that are not producing results.

The goal of the entire process is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your employee training programs to better achieve your key business objectives — cutting costs and increasing your ROI.

Partnering for Success

Having an employee training program is not enough. You need an employee training program whose learning objectives are aligned with your business strategy. When you achieve this alignment, everything you employees learn will improve their performance and help achieve your organization’s goals.

Partnering with a performance consultant can ensure that you are getting the most out of your employee training programs. They can review programs to determine whether your business strategy and training are in alignment, identify gaps in training and help you create a plan to improve performance throughout your organization.

By targeting specific areas for improvement, you will not only boost employee performance but also help your organization retain and attract new employees. Effective training will improve their skills and performance at work, which leads to higher rates of job satisfaction. Improving employee morale, performance and retention rates has many financial benefits as well. You will maximize the ROI of your training programs and eliminate ineffective programs or elements of programs.

Ineffective training programs are all too common, but identifying training challenges and performance gaps can be both time-consuming and costly. Performance consulting offers a modern solution to improving the effectiveness of your employee training programs.