Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lessons Learned from Training Trainers

I conduct a good number of training, from leadership, management, strategic thinking, customer service, assertiveness, personal mastery, creativity, teamwork, HROD, to coaching and mentoring.  I customize programs based on the unique needs of my clients. One of the most challenging and most fulfilling of them for me is training trainers. I’ll tell you why.  When I conduct training for trainers, I recognize the multiplying effect of my efforts. If I do well, I could help trainers help other people become effectively equipped to do their jobs.  It is challenging, especially when you deal with trainers who have developed bad training habits. Many have this notion that if you’re eloquent, funny, and can present well, you are training well. If people are entertained, agreeing with you, inspired by what you said, and gave you a high rating because they appreciate everything that you said, they are learning. I just don’t believe that is true. So here are a few things I learned and tried to do when I facilitate training for trainers.

  1. A good training is a well-designed training. Some subject matter experts line up their topics logically but fail to apply the right methodologies to make the learning process work. This is why I spend a good amount of time, helping trainers appreciate the fundamental concepts of learning and how they apply in the training design process, so they can design courses that lead to better learner engagement and synthesis level learning.
  2. Listen to Bloom – Benjamin Bloom developed the taxonomy of learning and it’s a great gauge of how deep trainers go with their training.  At cognitive domain, the levels are knowledge or awareness, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. A good training in my opinion, reaches synthesis and evaluation. Many seminars I attended go as far as attempt for comprehension. If you are a subject matter expert and your audience understand and appreciate what you said, you can get good evaluation rating, but many of them wouldn’t know how they will apply what they learned if they didn’t have an opportunity to practice applying it with the guidance of a trainer. It’s like explaining how a bicycle works, how beneficial they are to your health, how fun they are to ride, and go through the steps of riding a bicycle without giving them a chance to try riding one.  People will feel excited about the idea of owning a bicycle but will not have the confidence to try and ride it.  At the very least, I think training should go as far as application level. Which means they've tried riding the bicycle, fail, go back to the saddle and ride again.
  3. A seminar is not a training - A speaker in a seminar is a resource person, hence I call my self a trainer or learning facilitator rather than a resource speaker. A seminar is a formal presentation where resource speaker(s) present their topics of expertise while an audience listens and process the knowledge the gain if they can. The resource speaker wouldn't know the difference if the  audience really learned or not. A trainer facilitates learning by helping participants learn a concept and guide them through the development of necessary knowledge, skills, and attitude to do a task. A seminar presenter uses lecture and presentation, while a trainer employs various methodologies not just to entertain or engage their audience, but to use the best learning tools to help learners learn. A resource speaker basically says, here’s what I know, do what you want with it. A trainer walks with the learners through their learning journey and helps them cross each learning milestone.
  4. Presentation and platform skills are helpful but not sufficient.  It sure is helpful, but one skill that trainers need to learn more than that is facilitation of learning.  The range goes from walking the learners through the steps of getting things done, to helping them process their learning through conversations, reflections, abstractions and learning decisions. Some people think that if they stage have presence, can carry a crowd, have them tap the shoulder of their seatmates, and stimulate their affects, they’re good trainers. They’re good public speakers who can entertain and momentarily inspire a crowd, but if the crowd goes home or back to work not knowing what to do with what they heard or saw during the learning event, they didn’t learn. If they didn’t learn, maybe they weren’t trained.
  5. Training is done not when the event is over but when the learners have learned. In one speaking engagement, a participant approached me and said thank you and that he learned a lot. I said you haven’t learned anything. At best, what I did was make you aware of what you need to do. When you decide to apply knowledge, you gained from the seminar, make mistakes and improve from there, go back to me and say how much you’ve learned. When I conduct trainers’ training, I walk the participants through the learning activity design process, get them to practice presentation and facilitation. At the end of the training, they would have designed a course, and demonstrated how to present and facilitate. I would have a gauge of how much they have really learned from the program aside from the smiley sheets that fill out in the end.  Some participants would complain that my lessons are quite challenging, and they feel they exerted a lot of effort. I would reply by asking, but how much have you learned? Can you quantify it? They almost always can.  
Learning is an internal process. It is activated by the learner's decision to learn. The job of the trainer is to create the condition to help the learner gain the confidence to pursue learning. That's the back of my mind every time I facilitate training, and that's what I try to help trainers learn whenever I conduct a training for trainers. 

If you want to know more how I can help your company trainers develop the necessary learning design and facilitation skills for optimal learning, please contact my company exeQserve through 8933199 or visit ExeQserve Website. You may also join us on July 25 to 27 for a three-day Training the Trainer Workshop. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Developing an Integrated Competency-Based HR System

It makes a lot of sense!

Mapping the competency needs of the organization and making sure that people’s competencies are aligned with the company’s strategic direction is a good route to take. But it takes more than providing the necessary competency-based learning intervention to make people demonstrate the expected behaviors at work.  It takes a comprehensive and integrated HR strategy to build a competent organization.
It all starts with determining the necessary competencies to push the company forward towards its goals. It helps to recognize what people should be doing and what kind of behaviors they should be demonstrating.

Hiring people with the right competencies or have the necessary aptitude for developing them is an essential part of the process. I have always said that a wrong hire can not be corrected by training. It helps to start with hiring the right people. The problem with using competency models to screen out candidates is, it is possible for your hiring yield to decline because you’ve become more stringent in your screening. It helps to have a strategy for attracting and getting the necessary talents on board.  When you start your competency-based HR journey in recruitment, you might be able to save some money for filling competency gaps through learning and development.

There will always be a need for learning and development initiatives. As the organization adopts new strategies, people must learn new competencies. Developing a strategic learning and development plan should support the company’s goals by equipping people to demonstrate the necessary competencies at work. Learning, however is not the be-all-and-end-all of competency development. It takes follow through, coaching and mentoring to develop the necessary habits that yield result. This is the reason why, competency-based performance management should be aligned with the company’s competency development initiatives.

There is a need to rethink performance management. A lot of global companies are dumping their annual appraisal for more regular feedback to aid performance development. I believe that a competency-based approach can help managers make expectations clear and performance feedback, even clearer.

This is the reason why I designed and developed three training programs to help HR and OD Managers in developing their competency-based HR Systems. It is not yet complete. I started with competency-based L&D in January, I’m running another one in May, next will be Competency-based Recruitment which is already slated in March and, finally, Competency-based Performance Management training in April.

If you are keen in developing your company’s competency-based program and you don’t know where to start, I suggest that you join me on these following dates and click the images for registration details. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Case for Competency-based Recruitment

Many organizations now use competency models to develop talents in their organizations. Without a strategy for recruitment that utilizes the same competency model, however, their talent development initiatives will have limited success. That’s because, as I have always said, a wrong hire will not be corrected by training.  There are competencies that require some fundamental abilities that should be found before making a hiring decision. If you hire a manager who does not have the aptitude for strategic thinking, training that person will have limited if not no result. It would be like watering a soil with no seed in it.

Having a competency-based recruitment strategy on the other hand, can help in the success of a company’s competency-based learning and development program by providing the necessary raw materials of people or talents to develop.  It also helps by lessening the need for training if the competencies being sought are already visible during the screening thereby lowering the cost of training overall. If aptitudes necessary for demonstration of competencies are found during screening, talent development initiatives become more effective because the learners respond better to the learning.
I must say that the starting point in competency-based talent development is finding the right talent to develop through hiring.  Finding the right talent means finding job fit; people who have the needed technical and leadership competencies to do the job, and possess the competencies that are core and aligned with the culture of the organization.  There are a number of things that need to be done in order to achieve this;
  1. A method of identifying the needed core, technical and behavioral competencies for each position;
  2. A strategy for “casting a wider net,” or sourcing because competency-based recruitment means having a more stringent screening process that weed out unqualified candidates that would have been otherwise, hired simply because they have the needed years of experience and familiarity with the work;
  3. A set of screening process to surface the needed competencies if they are present in the candidates for the job. This means having paper-pencil tests or computer based tests to determine aptitude, and behavior-based interviews to determine if those aptitudes have been applied in the past, having the idea that past behaviors predict future performance;
  4. Having the right onboarding program to ensure engagement of talents as early as possible and induct them in the organization’s culture; and
  5. A way to equip all those involved in the hiring process to use the tools available for profiling, sourcing, screening and onboarding talents.
Putting together a competency-based recruitment process can be quite taxing. I’ve gone through that task and what I want to do now is share the strategies and tools that I’ve developed in the past.
I invite you to join me on March 13 and 14 as I facilitate a workshop on competency-based recruitment. I’ll share with you my experience and walk you through some of the tools I’ve developed in implementing a competency-based recruitment process. As usual, you’ll take home those tools and templates to customize for your own organization. Click the image for more details!

See you there!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

HR as in Human Relations

The first time I heard the term HR was when the company I worked for decided to change the name of Personnel Department to HR Department. I honestly thought it meant Human Relations. I also thought it was a great idea. It all make sense! I thought HR is in the business of building and strengthening human relationships in the organization, so the ignorant and inexperience me thought, brilliant! I was a bit disappointed that it was a mere play of words, a relabeling of the term personnel administration.

The thought of HR meaning human relations was never lost on me. I’ve always thought that it was a very important job of HR. The more I think about it, the more I feel that our job is less about ensuring compliance but more about building a strong relationship that promotes collaboration, coordination and cooperation.  The word that comes to my mind is neither respect nor fear but trust. I believe that if there’s more trust, there’s going to be more respect and fear is not needed.  I made a causal loop to visualize the cause and effect of trust in the many things that HR does in the workplace and how it impacts on the organization.

So, here’s the causal loop explained; If trust in HR is high, people’s willingness to cooperate is high, when cooperation is high, issues resolved is high, when people see that issues get resolved, the quality of communication improves as well.  When people know they can talk to HR, the amount of collaboration increases as well. It goes for all the other loops.

The next question would be, how can HR build trust?  People has to see us as a Partner rather than a mall cop or a school principal, or a compliance officer.  As a partner, we tap on our formal authority less and our ability to ask humble inquiries on issues that matter more.  Edgar H. Schein wrote the book, Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling. It shows how asking for help and inquiring is more powerful than telling.  This means that instead of prescribing solutions to problems or issues, HR goes into facilitation of conversation that leads to co-created solutions and it starts with questions like why is this happening? or how do you see this issue? or how do we solve it? Asking these questions without waiting to pounce on an opportunity to force your own solution. This of course, does not apply in all situations but it applies to many situations.  More even handed conversations lead to better understanding and respect of what each brings to the table. When people see that we are actually listening rather pretending to listen  so we can be entitled to being listened to (does that make sense?), there will be better and more authentic listening from all parties, which leads to us appreciating people’s inputs better and them experiencing the same with us.

The source of compliance is authority, the source of alignment is leadership. I believe HR people need to be better leaders. To be better leaders we need to learn how to be better at relating to and with fellow humans. We need to do this deliberately. Very few people wake up one day endowed with great human relations skills. If you feel that you need learn these things, start your journey now!