Training without Regard
G U E S T A R T I C L E
Blast from the Past
Training without Regard
By Micheal Hart
Capital Quality News FEB 2000 Issue 2
Contributed by : Candice Carter
Do you remember the last time that training was arranged in your organization? The subject was important. The employees were hyped. It was about time that the company trained people on how to do this activity.
And when the training was being given- the employees were even more hyped”This is Great” they shout. “Just wait until we get back t work. I can’t wait to use the information I’ve gained’ Bonds are formed between students, and between students and instructor. Plans are made to implement the strategies that were discussed during class.
During the first week after training, the group of employees who attended the training eat lunch together, and happily discuss the success they will bring to the organization. They approach their respective managers, and make a flurry of recommendations. By the third week , they are returning to their natural topics and to their natural lunch mates. After a month, there is only grumbling “that nothing can change in this place anyway”
Excitement and enthusiasm in employees must be utilized before it is replaced by apathy. In most cases, organizations don’t think abut the aftereffects of training and how the absence of direction for employees cab turn euphoria into despair. A good example of a training subject that has actually created employee discord is “Statistical Process Control” or SPC. Many employees will recognize the repeated attempts by the organization to train all of their people in the use of Statistical Techniques to help them in the continuous improvement of the process. But who’s leading the initiative? Is anyone even watching?
Leadership is not a Given
Many organizations seem to plant the seed (training) without thinking of the other aspects of nurturing and growth. Employees are expected to return to work with lots of good ideas and “do something”. Unfortunately, most people have neither the authority nor inclination to start an improvement program on their own. They have their own responsibilities and are usually graded on their own immediate job functions. Very few will become leaders on their own, and are not usually supported by middle management, who find the existent of a self made leadership figure both disturbing and dangerous.
How to Make Training a Success
Assign a member from management to be the employees champion. There’s nothing wrong with employees taking the lead as long as they are supported, and their activities are monitored. This way the employees feel special, managers don’t feel threatened because they already know ahead of time, and the training is utilized from the start. Have the champion report the team’s progress to the management group. Even better, have the team’s successes a part of the information given to every employee. This will result in higher rate of motivation of the workforce, higher rate of volunteer activities, and a much better return on the training dollar.
Create the Environment
The SPC training story is not a rarity. Every day organizations spend millions on training for their employees with little regard as to what happens when they are trained. The most effective way to utilize the newly trained employee is to ensure that the environment exists when they return from the training sessions to utilize the training immediately. Whether the training is Statistical Process Control, or problem solving, or even Internal Quality System Audits, make sure they go to the training with the knowledge of what you want to achieve, and return with the knowledge of how to achieve it.
Before Training Begins
- Create the program
- Market the program to the employees
- Brief the employees to be trained
- Give them expectations to take with them to the training modules.
- Have the instructor discuss implementation and/or success tips
- Make sure the objectives of the group are known
- De brief the employees trained
- Start the program
- Monitor results
- Present to Management
- Market the successes
Presentation to Management
Make arrangements for the trained employees to present their successes to senior management. As long as it is done in a positive manner, this has the double sided effect of maximum ability to monitor the effects of training. Make sure that the costs savings are a vital factor in the presentations. A presentation showing substantial cost savings by employees due to training they recieve is sure to open up the budget for more of the same.
Monitoring of Successes
Imagine an organization that goes forward with the entire weight of it’s employees collective brain power. This can happen when you spend the time to make sure that the employee knows they are an integral part of the organization. Monitoring effects before, during and after employee training tells employees that you are watching and that the organization they work for is interested not only in them but in the results they achieve.
The post has been contributed by Candice Carter. You can contact her using our contact form.