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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Training is Not an Event

It is a process that has inputs and must have outputs.

If training performance is being measured by the number of training hours or by smiley sheets, the training manager digresses from the real intent of training and that is to enhance that person's knowledge, attitude, habits and skills in order to cope with or prepare the person for the new challenges of work.

When the way to choose training is similar to impulse buying in a grocery store instead of it being a part of an elaborate human resource development and performance management program, application of skills is left to participants' heroics.

Yes, training is more than just an event but that's how a lot of us is treating it. We send employees to half-day, one-day or even 5-day training events and hope that those will make a difference in the person's performance. We incorporate team building activities in our company outing events and hope that they can improve relationships. When training events are not based on identified needs, there's a good chance that it may not be what's needed. When the work environment does not support the new knowledge, skill transfer is left to chance. Training is a means to an end. It works with other means to achieve the desired end. Let me substantiate what I mean.
A customer service training is an intervention that supports the building of a service culture. The training event will become successful when all other means are in place. I'm talking about service philosophies and policies, rewards system, the code of ethics and leadership that empowers service driven-ness.

Many companies spend a lot of money equipping their employees to solve problems and make decisions using proven tools. A lot of them fail to recover their investments because the work environment does not support the use of these tools. The ones who succeed in using fish bone diagrams, Pareto analysis, decision trees etc. to reduce cost, increase profit and avoid wastage are the ones who institutionalized problem solving and decision making. I'm talking about companies with quality circles or process improvement teams that use the problem solving and decision making tools they learned in training. Without these a lot of what were taught in the training stay at awareness level rather than application level.

A well thought of team building intervention can have a hugely positive impact on organizational performance... only when they are well thought of. After 14 years of facilitating team building events, I have formed strategies on how to make it work. It starts with meeting with the client to share what I know about how to make it work. We discuss the preliminaries, the event and more importantly the needed follow through, without which, no matter how well run or how much fun the event is, the results if there's any will be short-lived. Too short to generate any positive return on the huge investment. If you are planning a team building workshop and interested in what I said here, please give me a ring - (63)9189399294.

This is how I want ExeQserve to make a difference. To be honest, some of the courses we have are still stand-alone events, but they are going towards becoming more process driven, more long term interventions. Check out our Performance Management, Team building, Leadership, Coaching and Service Culture building interventions. They are ready. If you still prefer treating training as an event, we can give you what you want, but if you want better results and are willing to do what it takes. Give us a chance to work closely with you.

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