Imagine, for a moment, that you have been drafted to a sports team. You show up on the first day, excited (maybe a bit nervous), ready to jump in and join the team.
You arrive at the locker room, where someone gives you a tour: cafeteria, snack machines, equipment room, and introduces you to several of the key players you’ll be interacting with. You get your uniform, a key to the building and you settle in.
The next few days may be filled with meetings as you acclimate to the new team, but then it’s game time. You start playing in the games, but sometimes you’re not sure what play is being used. Once in a while, the coach calls for a new play that no one seems to understand. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you wonder if there’s a bigger picture, or if everyone on the team is even playing the same game.
The coach is busy, the other players are busy and there never seems to be time to learn the plays. At the end of the season, the coach throws a big party to celebrate the year’s accomplishments, and a new season begins. You’re happy to be part of the team, but you’re left wondering if you really have a vital part in the process.
There’s not much chance of success from a sports team that doesn’t practice. Even the most junior level programs have weekly practice sessions. College and professional teams have intensive camps with multiple daily practices scheduled, and they regularly train on plays and strategies.
In the workplace, however, employees are often given minimal training and expected to perform at a high level of success. Developing a systematic training program is fundamental for the organization that wants to see unparalleled success and performance.
What Does a Systematic Training Program Look Like?
A training program designed for success includes a few key elements.
Kick Off: Similar to the training camp starting events that signify the beginning of a sports season, begin your training program season with a kickoff event that highlights the theme of the training, informs employees about the scope of what will be covered and helps to generate excitement about the training program. Include upper levels of management to demonstrate to the team that the training is important and has the support of the top level of employees.
Training Sessions: Regularly scheduled training (ideally held weekly) can enhance the success rate of the program. Introduce the employees to goal setting and offer instruction in how to utilize the process as part of their training regimen.
Scheduled Evaluations: While your company may not compete in “games”, the world of business is essentially a competition. Whether you consider it a win based on sales, number of satisfied customers or customer retention rates, use the goal setting process to track the training. Hold regular group and individual evaluations to determine how the entire company is utilizing the training.
Celebrations: Annual picnics, quarterly luncheons, end of year dinners are all essential to a successful systematic training program. Make a big deal of the wins and cheer on the members of the team as they continue to work towards their goals.
Don’t leave your company’s success to chance. Implement a systematic training program that can move your employees to the next level of productivity. Not sure where to begin? The goal-setting experts at My Big Idea® can help you establish the right type of program for your company.
Michele Bailey is president and CEO of Blazing Agency and My Big Idea®. These two lines of business work congruently to support her clients’ success.