Training budgets are under pressure. Managers decide to postpone training or cancel training. But there's still a need for training. More workload, more changing work processes and more pressure. If we train people we must avoid spoiling our training budget.
Training is about change
Training is about changing the skills, behaviors and attitudes in order to solve problems. And this is not easy. This requires more than just training.
We forget that the real learning takes place after the training. The moment when we're going to apply what we've learned we discover that it’s not easy to apply. It’s nice to know how to start a project, but how do you start a project with people who have no time, not showing up (or too late), don’t see the reason, watching their mobiles and looking on their watches when they need to go to the next meeting. This requires skills. This requires practice. This requires doing and learning.
Integrate desirable behaviors in training
I would say, if this scene above is the way it’s going right now in the company, we need to copy this kind of behavior in our training. We need to teach employees how to start a project with this kind of behaviors.
As long as we do not focus on the real problems we need to solve, as long as we do not have a clear picture of what we really see as desirable behavior and as long as we don’t focus on the integration of learning and working, we will keep on spoiling training budget.
The first training with follow up
In a meeting with an IT Manager we talked about creating a shared picture of the desirable behaviors and how to develop this. We talked about a customized setting of the simulation and how the desirable behaviors will be integrated in the scenario. How we would support the team leaders to transfer the outcomes of the training into their day-to-day work without spending too much extra time. How we would measure the results of all the efforts.
At the end of this meeting she was looking happy and she said: “This is what I need! This will solve the problem that too many people complain nothing is done after a training. This will help me solving real problems."
Driving home I was thinking: Is she able to sell the idea to the decision makers if this approach is a little more expensive and requires more employees effort than just a one-day workshop? Is she able to plan and organize the time for transferring the knowledge to day-to-day work? Will she be patient enough to wait for the result, because maybe the results will come after a few weeks?
I give this opportunity a good chance because the IT Manager really has a problem and she has to solve it and she understands that this needs to be done during day-to-day work. I am also positive about the account managers, the consultant and the experts. I meet more and more professionals who understand that they need to bring value to their customers.
By Jan Schilt MSc HRD
CEO GamingWorks BV