You might be surprised at how many organizations invest their resources into employee training simply because it’s “what they’re expected to do.” This may technically fulfill organizational requirements, but it doesn’t achieve the important goal of talent development. This poor approach leads to situations where employees get out to the field and are too scared to complete their job because they don’t remember everything they learned, or worse, feel like they’re doing a job that they weren’t intended to do. It can also lead to mistakes and problems that impact customer satisfaction and ultimately damage the bottom line.
Rather than approach your next corporate training initiative as a means to an end, consider first the result you hope to accomplish. The best training initiatives start with an understanding of what your team needs to accomplish and is then built upon the learning model that best fits their needs.
We’ve had countless conversations with organizations over the years, and we consistently see three main obstacles that keep them from developing a training initiative with effective intentionality:
1. The organization isn’t getting a return on investment
Training doesn’t always have the best name within an organization. In fact, over 80% of leaders in organizations believe that training doesn’t have any impact on the bottom line!
Because of this, many organizations are unwilling to invest heavily in talent development. Most training departments sorely lack the people, finances, expertise, and time to build out an exceptional training initiative. After all, creating training programs takes time. Creating great training programs takes even more time.
2. Trainers don’t have a background in training
It’s not uncommon for trainers to come from backgrounds as amazing field technicians or operators. This leads to a situation where the trainer has a tremendous amount of knowledge about their subject matter, but isn’t necessarily properly equipped to teach that information. Just because you know how to do something, doesn’t mean you know how to show someone else how to do it.
Further, adult learning methods are drastically different from those of childhood learning, and a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely effective. You can’t just put information on a PowerPoint slide and expect people to absorb it in a meaningful way.
Because of our conditioning around classroom-style education — and the idea that “if you can do it, you can teach it” — it’s easy to assume that simple presentation-style training is a fine approach. But classroom training has long been assumed to be able to do more than it actually can.
3. Training isn’t used in a strategic way
Before you can truly solve any issue in your organization, you have to identify the root problem, not just soothe the symptoms.
When a challenge is identified within an organization and needs to be fixed, the gut reaction is often to go into crisis mode — to think, “This needs to be fixed today.” And so, many companies who come to us for help are quick to let us know that they just need to develop a training that only meets the minimum requirements.
It’s a reasonable request, when you consider how hard it is to get buy-in for a training that may take several months to develop. But consider for a moment that the pressure to “fix it now” usually leads to training being used as a tactical response, not a strategic investment — and that often leads to wasted resources and less than satisfactory results. On the flip side, this approach can also lead to unnecessary training expenses, when a different solution would solve the problem more effectively.
At Tortal Training, we begin by identifying the root cause of a business frustration. We like to push each conclusion a little further with the question, “Why do you think this?”
For instance, if someone tells us they need to do more sales training, it’s important to take a moment and ask the question, “Why do you think this?”
Or, “Customer services scores are down, so we need to do more customer service training.”
Gaps in employee understanding often appear as a result of larger strategic problems in an organization. So, in our examples above, perhaps the issue with under-performing salespeople isn’t with sales training at all, but rather the result of a bad hiring process. And maybe customer service scores aren’t down because your reps aren’t offering great service, but because they weren’t given necessary information about a new product that recently launched.
It’s easy to jump to conclusions, but it can be expensive to solve the wrong problems. Contact us today for your free training assessment and discover what your true needs are!