WHY TRAINING: “TRAIN OR NOT TO TRAIN”
Training gives employees the opportunity to polish, sharpen skills they have, and acquire new ones necessary to perform better.
Companies need to offer resources and training to improve the bottom line,
increase productivity, improve performance, and train for leadership that are able to keep up with our rapidly changing world.
We know that companies spend billions on training, 40 -60 billion in recent years, but we also know that 90% of the new skills transferred or learned throughout training are lost or maybe even forgotten within 12 months.
HERE IS WHERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE FOR COMPANIES LIES
As a trainer I see and I have seen hundreds of times requests for training programs to fix a challenge, fill a gap, or create a bridge between what doesn’t exist yet and what has never been. These situations are exactly when training fails.
First of all, we need to look at the main reasons why most of the time training fails miserably.
There are several reasons why training fail:
-lack of interest
-poor communication of the initiative
-limited time available
LAST BUT NOT LEAST….
-failing to have a program in place to follow up
-failing to create awareness.
The last two points of the above list are the most crucial and should be the starting point to work on before launching any training initiative. Missing those two points is setting the training initiative up for failure.
I want to emphasize here a priority when thinking of launching a training initiative is to create awareness since nothing can be changed unless acknowledged. NO- THING!
HOW CAN COMPANIES MAKE THEIR TRAINING STICK?
My recommendation is always to conduct pre-work, making sure that whatever “needs to be fixed” is not something experienced only by a few employees or by the coordinators. This is a very important, crucial and fundamental first step prior to moving towards any training for employees and/or managers. No matter how serious the need, the gap, or the challenge, the pre-work must be done if we want the training to stick.
As I have already stated, “there is no change if there is no acknowledgment.” So, the first step prior to starting the ball rolling is to create awareness and the second step is to have in place a post-training plan to evaluate retention.
Awareness creates the possibility of people seeing the value, benefit, and improvement for themselves. Therefore, their motivation is driven to not only attend, which is anyway the first challenge but also their eagerness to learn and ultimately to assimilate and retain the material they have learned and build on it.
Post-training evaluation is crucial for 2 (double) reasons:
- supporting the attendees to feel their time and commitment were valued, helping them feel supported for whatever challenge they might have encountered in the learning process. They feel their time and priorities ARE important, therefore their contribution is seen and appreciated.
- it gives us feedback on what has worked well and what has not, and it gives us lots of data to work on for future reference.
HOW TO CREATE AWARENESS
Communication is key:
- written communication, organized events, or simply any form of information, digital or not related to the issue we want to address with the training.
- asking for feedback on the matter, starting the conversation, and offering resources to open a conversation on the topic.
- communicate what the effects are and will be if nothing is done and what would the benefits be for teams as well as individuals when certain skills are polished, improved, updated, or learned. Who is impacted and to what extent?
- make your office door a two-way street so that people feel heard; partner with them on wanting to find solutions to their challenges, and show them the effort, and the caring.
Show them vulnerability and empathy which I will write more about in my next blog.
We use activities and exercises on creating awareness.