How to Develop a Training Program on the Job

In your job, you may have spent time sitting through training sessions of questionable value. Now your boss has assigned you to develop a training program on the job for the rest of the department. You don't want your program to be another boring or pointless session, but how can you ensure the training gets through to the target audience? One method is to use the Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate (ADDIE) model.


  1. Image titled Develop a Training Program on the Job Step 01
    Analyze the training need. Who is your audience? When you develop a training program on the job, you'll take a look at what knowledge, skills, and attitudes the students need upon completing the program versus what knowledge, skills, and attitudes they have now. If there is a gap between desired performance and expected performance, what is the cause? Is training really the solution? When there is a gap, it might be because they can't do the work--physical limitations, lack of proper tools or equipment, environment, etc. Or maybe they know what to do but just don't want to or won't; in that case, you have a performance issue rather than a training issue. Training is only the solution when the audience members have not yet learned the information, skills, or attitudes needed to be successful on the job. Part of your analysis includes assessing the resources and tools you'll need vs. what is available to you, the schedule for the training, and how the students are likely to learn best.
  2. Image titled Develop a Training Program on the Job Step 02
    Design the training program. Based on the results you obtain in the analysis phase, you will design the training. Think of a design as a sort of outline. The design phase consists of identifying learning objectives that describe what the student should be able to do upon completion of the training, and how these objectives will be measured. The objectives should match the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you identified were needed during your analysis. You'll also determine how the course will be delivered, such as by an instructor in a classroom, online, or a blended approach. In the design phase, you may also create storyboards to aid in the development of the training program.
  3. Image titled Develop a Training Program on the Job Step 03
    Develop the training program. In the development phase, use the objectives and other materials you created during the design phase to flesh out your outline and develop the training program. The materials may include an online training component and manuals for the instructor and students. In this phase, you will develop a strategy for testing the students' change in knowledge, skills, or attitudes based on the training.
  4. Image titled Develop a Training Program on the Job Step 04
    Implement the training program. The implementation phase is sometimes called the delivery phase. In this phase, you actually teach the training program to the students, whether the instruction takes place online, in the classroom, or through another method. If the delivery method is classroom instruction and you have a large audience, you may conduct a "train-the-trainer" program, where the facilitators sit through the class as students and then practice teaching various parts of the material back to each other to ensure consistency and full understanding. The first time the instruction is offered is called a "pilot" and there should be an opportunity to debrief and make changes based upon feedback from observers and the pilot audience.
  5. Image titled Develop a Training Program on the Job Step 05
    Evaluate the training program. In the evaluation phase, you determine if the students obtained the knowledge, skills, or attitudes you identified as the goal during the analysis phase. You can use the information you obtain during the evaluation phase to make additional changes to the design, development, and delivery of the training program the next time you offer it to students. Depending on your needs, you will have decided in an earlier phase what level of evaluation you will use. Level I measures how the learners felt about the training, i.e., did they like it? Did they believe they learned something? This evaluation can be accomplished with a simple questionnaire. Level 2 measures whether the learners mastered the material delivered; this usually involves a test, or having each learner successfully perform a task that was taught. Level 3 requires following up with learners later, to determine if they are actually applying the new skills on the job. Some corporations actually strive to take evaluation to Level 4, where they determine whether there was an actual return on investment for putting the workers through the training program.


  • In the design phase, use learning objectives that can be measured. Objectives that begin with verbs like know, learn, or understand aren't measurable. Replace them with words that describe how a learner demonstrates knowledge or understanding, such as explain, describe, list, and write.
  • Instructional design is a complex process. Consider doing some research to find a qualified instructional design consultant to develop your training project. Professional groups like the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) have directories that can help you find professional instructional designers.


  • Training is often the scapegoat when workers are not performing to their employer's satisfaction. For a training program to be successful, you must first determine that training is the solution to closing the performance gap.

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Categories: Job Strategies