In today’s service economy, organizations need employees to constantly learn, share information, coach each other and think on their feet. The more employees know (and how to use what they know), the better they can respond and perform in a changing workplace. Helping them learn is a strategic management responsibility.
If you're in the fortunate position to build a training organization from scratch, you have a unique opportunity to avoid and/or leapfrog all the traditional characteristics of training groups that keep them from having a seat at the table in strategic discussions on the organization. If you were to build a training organization from the beginning, consider this framework: context, connections, content.
Great companies take extreme measures to hire the right people for the right jobs. They know not everyone is great at every job and that the best results come from aligning employees to jobs that need their particular combination of talents, strengths and passions.
Whatever the field in which you're training or being trained, there’s one thing that can improve the experience – a better memory. Whether the subject is chess, computer coding or cookery, better recall will help students reach mastery sooner and with fewer headaches. So are you simply cursed (or blessed) with whatever memory capacity your brain was born with?
We don’t pay employees to do a “job.” We pay them to invent the best, most efficient and most profitable response at each moment in their day. We pay them to watch each situation they encounter in their constantly changing workplace and use what they know to make the best decision on the spot. We pay them to think on their feet – and to pack their brains when they pack their lunches. And the more they know, the more tools they possess to be able to wisely choose the best response.
It’s a safe bet that your company would benefit from some form of training on communications. When I sit down with a CEO to discuss training, the subject will inevitably pop up on the short list of must-have classes. The key to identifying the true need is to differentiate between breakdowns in processes and skill gaps.
Often the question is asked: can leadership be taught or is it a character trait that is inborn? The vast majority of the responses tell us that leadership cannot be taught. However, those same people will almost certainly say that math can be taught or languages can be taught or good behavior in children can be taught. What gives?
When it comes to problems of the body, we all recognize that there are symptoms and there are underlying causes. If you have an aching back, you take an aspirin for relief but you know that the real cause of your problem is a strained muscle and that the little tablet you just popped has done nothing to heal it. The sensible among us don’t use the aspirin as an excuse to do some more heavy lifting, but instead take it easy with our feet up on the couch until the underlying cause is healed.
Do your employees say, “I have to get to work”? Or do they say, “I can’t wait to get to work”?
I overheard training professionals at an industry networking event last week talking about how they needed to be better at telling their clients “no." The premise of the discussion: stakeholders often come to trainers and ask for training to solve a problem when training isn't necessarily the answer. One example would be a VP of Sales requesting product training because she doesn't think her salespeople are knowledgeable enough about the products they're selling.