In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed his theory on the hierarchy of human needs. Essentially, the pyramid shows that certain human needs will take priority over others.
Image Sourced from OneXuan
We know our day is ruined without battery and WiFi, so we thought we should add them in at the bottom! However, it does start to show the logic behind Maslow's argument. For example, we're unlikely to learn a new language, if we're anxious about having a roof over our heads. To give the man fair credit, the original is structured as below;
While humans often find themselves split across multiple levels, the pyramid represents the five key drivers we must satisfy. Ultimately, we work towards a goal of self-actualisation, and being what we consider the best version of ourselves to be. Crucially, the lower four layers are referred to as deficiency needs - if these needs aren't being met, they can have a negative effect on the individual, often manifesting through stress and anxiety.
Maslow had addressed "how" humans progress through their needs, but the "why" was left dormant for over 40 years. In the end, this was eventually fleshed out by Belk, who wrote extensively on the concept of "the self". Belk hypothesises that through interacting with products and services, we're able to progress ourselves towards our best ideals. In short, through consumption, we can become the perceived best version of ourselves.
In the workplace, training offers the best avenue for professional and personal growth. While there will be some training that's more "on-the-job", processes must exist to measure and track progress. Only through collaboration with others and the sharing of knowledge, can we create a better team. We propose our hierarchy below, working towards an organisation's journey towards training development, attainment, and engagement:
We developed our pyramid, as while Maslow's hierarchy captures the needs of the individual, it fails to capture the needs of the human collective in a company. On our quest to become the ultimate human organisation, we approach the pyramid from the angle of organisational development.
Whether it's a five minute meet and greet, or a three week lecture series, there will always be a base level of onboarding. For most organisations, this is where they will live and die in their approach to training. Many will view it as a chore, and treat it as a tick-box exercise. Some may have a traditional LMS system, and sit their employee in front of videos to bring them up to speed. Fewer still will see training as the opportunity to grow and develop their organisation.
Organisations typically spend between $1200-1800 per employee on training, yet have no idea of what this investment has actually achieved. The team has been trained, but directors and operations managers are blind to the extent of the knowledge gained. They'll have no measure of the attainment from each student, instructor feedback, or where there's knowledge deficits. A Training Management System (TMS) like Administrate allows for patterns to be identified and acted upon. For example, perhaps your cohort all passed, but marks were consistently lower in health and safety tests. This gives you the opportunity to review that section of training, and consider refresher sessions for more seasoned staff. Without such a system, you continue to spend thousands of dollars blindly on each employee, causing spending inefficiency and sacrificing ROI. By contrast, success at this level gives your company the foundation to thrive through it's training, not in spite of it.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in business…and a marked increase in turnover, all with the same admin team we had prior.”
STEVE BOOKER, MANAGING DIRECTOR, Kentec Training Ltd.
Visibility and Organisation
For an insightful organisation with the proper approach to training, this is where the ascent up the pyramid begins to gather pace. The benefits of clearly seeing strengths and weaknesses goes beyond the training managers and co-ordinators, it reaches all aspects of the business - including customers. Your investment in training is secure, and you have a clear grasp of what skills your employees have.
Through organisation and visibility, you save time - both in terms of training delivery, and in co-ordination. Students and new employees can be contacted and reached through channels that work for them, with reminders easily scheduled. This gives the learner opportunities to re-arrange their diary, sort out time-sensitive tasks, and communicate in a way that works for them.
At this stage in the pyramid, we see the greatest reduction in deficiency needs. In one step, by introducing a TMS you rapidly reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with the training cycle. Research into employee health strongly indicates that reducing stress in the workplace can result in benefits to productivity. This alone qualifies as a major success, but the key development here is the creation of a process. Having a clear process brings a vital company wide understanding of training value. All of this is made possible through a system that makes your employees life easier, and increases your ROI.
“Administrate acts as the glue that keeps this whole system together.”
STEVE BAGBY, PRODUCTION LEADER, Boston Whaler
Using your newly gained visibility, and improved organisation, you can analyse your training system and begin to make improvements. In short, now you can see, you can do. In terms of quality and actionable data, this is often best found within feedback. Evidence shows that feedback is a critical component of timely development. We've seen the power of feedback drive the success of several high profile companies - Uber, for example, have thrived through allowing feedback on drivers, and feedback on passengers. Being able to gather quality feedback, interpret it, and create actionable points is key to furthering staff development.
Through your reviewed processes and systems, you can better understand your training instructors. By knowing where individuals are strong and weak, you can tailor their involvement in courses to the areas that they'll perform best in - giving your learners the best possible opportunity to learn and develop. You can also determine where to invest in developing your training staff, through looking for common patterns and investing in weaknesses to transform them into strengths. A successful analysis stage will build upon your existing processes, and be the first step towards the refinement we see at the top of the pyramid. At this point, the investment in your TMS system will have comfortably delivered meaningful value.
“Yes of course we’re using the reporting system. If you need to have that data in terms revenue per participants, per class, everything is there, so you can easily customise your reports, and this makes life easier.”
AMER BADARNEH, INSTITUTE MANAGER, Meli
You've arranged training, and realised you had to develop your operations. You employed a TMS, and this gave you a tool to understand what's going on in your organisation, and make changes. You've analysed them, and built your best practice for training. Now it's time to roll out your improvements across your organisation. Already you'll have seen the benefits of a better skilled workforce, and less anxiety from your new process. Your training should now begin to create a positive feedback loop, whereby strengths and weaknesses are raised by employees as part of a company culture that prioritises training, and maximising of ROI.
By engaging staff with their development and empowering them to manage their personal growth, you can identify future company leaders. Those that are performing best in terms of learning and development often translate into the highest performers in companies. This also gives you a new metric with which to evaluate staff. While an employee may be hired on the strength of their education and past experience, they can be progressed on the strength of their in-work achievements. Success at this level comes in the form of an improved workplace, where effort across the business gets it's fair reward. Through being able to interpret results down to the most granular level, decision making improves and a clear company meritocracy follows.
“Administrate have truly made a difference to our company, the useability, speed and overall functionality of the CRM has allowed Live And Learn Consultancy take on further accounts and ensure they are accurately managed. 10/10”
LIVE AND LEARN CONSULTANCY, Paul Kitchen, Head of Learning and Development
Continuity and Refinement
Having ascended to the top of the pyramid over two to three years, you will have completely overhauled how training operates in your company. Furthermore, company attitude towards training should have changed too - it's an opportunity, not an inconvenience. Protecting your culture becomes your focus, and the focus of your time is now on keeping the wheels moving. To help you, Administrate's features can take a lot of the time consuming work off your hands. With communication options ranging from e-mail, to SMS, you'll be able to stay on top of your cohort.
Measure and Level Up Your Training
In summary, take a moment to ask yourself - where does my company sit in the hierarchy of training? What steps do I need to take to progress? How can I run my training operations in a more efficient, ROI driven way? To help you get started, download our free company training scorecard to see how you're performing. Or to book a trial or demo of Administrate, and see how we can progress your organisation through the hierarchy, click here.
“They really seem to understand training, and you don’t always get that with companies that are providing software.”
CLAIRE GOOD, LEARNING SALES SPECIALIST, ForgeRock