Employees want dynamic training and development to reach their full potential yet many company leaders often resist the idea of change.
Companies seem content to return, year after year, to an existing training program.
For some, their reasoning is economic: they may have paid a lot of money for the program and want to ensure the company gets its money’s worth.
For others, their reasoning could be out of complacency the training program worked when originally implemented, so there isn’t a reason to change.
Some leaders remain unconvinced of the validity of training programs in general and therefore see little reason to change the established system.
Training Before Training?
McKinsey has an interesting point of view on corporate training. You can train all day on product features and service benefits, but if your team doesn’t have their mindset right before they head into a corporate training session, it could all be for nothing.
Before you dismiss the idea of upgrading your training program, take a few moments to evaluate your existing process. Is there evidence that your training programs are effective? Are there signs that it may be time to update your corporate training?
Signs Your Existing Training Program Isn’t Working
1. Team members are lacking fundamental skills/knowledge.
One of the most obvious signs that your training program is ineffective is a lack of knowledge and skill by employees. While the initial ‘new hire’ training program may have been adequate to get an employee started, there is a need to routinely reinforce company philosophies, provide new product/services training and periodic refreshers on procedures and information. If you are hearing “I don’t know” or “When did we start doing things this way?” from your team members, it is time to invest in and implement a new training program.
2. Your training materials require outdated technology or reference statistics from more than two years ago.
Did your training manual come with overhead transparencies? Are you quoting data from 2010? Have the goals and trajectory of the company changed since you implemented your current training program? Have you recently changed the direction the company is heading? If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, your training program is in need of an update.
Over time, corporate ideology and branding may change. Evaluate the purposes of your training program and ensure that they align with your corporate goals. Make sure that your training program is using today’s best practices to present new material in an engaging, relevant manner. Using current methodologies can help reach today’s tech-savvy workforce, and helps to implement new technology-driven systems that yesterday’s training programs simply couldn’t manage. In an information-heavy culture, outdated statistics can cause listeners to immediately dismiss the information you’re presenting, regardless of how relevant the other material may be.
3. There is no measurable change in performance or results after employees participate in a training session.
Training programs are a huge investment but can be a waste of resources (time, money, and effort) if there are no improvements in employee proficiency. Maximize your investment by using training programs with measurable results and ones that provide weekly or monthly encouragement to further implement what was learned in the training session.
There is substantial evidence supporting the effectiveness of workplace training programs. Employees are more engaged, there is less employee turnover, and they feel a sense of loyalty to employers who utilize training programs effectively.
In addition, companies save money in new employee recruitment by establishing a systematic process of employee training.
It has been said that a ‘rut’ is simply a grave with both ends kicked out. People (and companies) that fall into a rut are often trapped in a cycle of ‘the way it’s always been done’ and fail to see the benefits that growth and change can bring.
Escape the training program rut and find out how My Big Idea™ can help you maximize your training opportunities before your team goes for your company’s official product training.
Let us help you get your team’s mindset right, get energized about learning and get focused on being the best version of themselves. Contact us today for more information.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing THE Agency and My Big Idea™. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.