Training has a bad reputation. This reputation has allowed business leaders to think, when needing to cut costs, that spending on training is a good place to start. I think that training has been dealt a low blow and a convenient one for business leaders to deal out.
The problem lies not with training but with what happens in the workplace both before and after training.
We all agree that to achieve different results requires doing different things. Improving results requires a change in behaviour, innovating and implementing changes requires a change in behaviour, addressing and fixing problems requires a change in behaviour - in fact every new goal set will require some form of change in approach.
What should happen, before training, is to set the intent of the training. What should happen after the training is to drive the change in approach to achieve the set intent. What the training should do, is to create the platform for the change.
Business owners, managers, leaders and whosoever else is responsible for achieving changes, should stop the mindless cutting of training when cash flow is tight and should rather take a look closer to home.
- Has the platform for change been created?
- Has the necessary awareness been created?
- Has the change intention been clearly set out?
- Has the conversation changed?
- Have SMART goals been set?
- Has time been set aside after the training to allow the learning to be integrated into daily activity?
- Has the support structure been defined and implemented?
- Has the responsibility for the change in behaviour been accepted by the right people?
- Has the right trainer been contracted?
The norm is to return to the workplace after training and continue to "run" around, after ploughing through the build-up of emails, and to treat the training experience like we treat everything else in our modern world of rushing – ‘ok next’ – forget and move on.
Training needs time to stick. Training can stick when approached correctly. I should know, I have worked with all types of approaches. When the training is approached like a partnership between Ripple and our client, it sticks, it works and it achieves above and beyond the wildest of expectations. This is where the cost is like a drop in the ocean and the positive ROI the driver when cash flow is tight.
Since 2008 when things got tough, our annual revenue has always gone up. Our clients know the difference between training and training. Maybe you should too.
By Louis Gerke
Development Facilitator - The Ripple Effect