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Trivializing Training

Imagine this:

Your friend gets a brand new car and invites you for a drive. When you reach his house, you are awestruck at the sight of his brand new car. It’s shiny, black spotless paint is almost blinding and the smell of the interior leather is immensely inviting. You both finally sit in the car and your friend puts his key in the ignition. The roar of a new car. Wow! You relax and stretch yourself on the passenger seat and casually ask your friend.

“You didn’t even tell me, you were learning to drive and now suddenly a new car and license”

“I don’t have a license.”

“You don’t have a license?”

“No bro. Don’t know how to drive only, how will I get a license!!”

“WHAT?? You don’t know how to drive?”

“Nah. But I have played enough GTA, so don’t worry”

What will you do next?

If you will not leave the fate of your life in the hands of an untrained driver, why risk the life of your company?

Even though my experience in the training field is very limited, I often wonder why organizations even conduct trainings in the first place….

• Is it because while recruiting, employees were promised growth and development?

• Or, because they have some funds allotted for L&D, which need to be utilized?

• Or better yet, because of certain mandates?

The answers to all these questions should be a big NO, but sadly it isn’t.

Today, many organizations conduct trainings largely for the above reasons and in doing so they rob themselves and their employees of the many benefits an effective training program can offer.

 Training will develop your employees’ skills. Skilled employees:

- Make lesser mistakes

- Require minimum supervision

- Are better equipped to handle challenging situations.

 Training can not only become a recruitment tool but also an effective retention tool. The youth today is not satisfied with a big paycheque. They want to develop and grow. As an employer, this trait can actually make your work even simpler. These employees will be more eager to attend training workshops, which will develop them and your organization.

 An effective training program can help build trust of your employees in you. This, in turn, increases their job satisfaction, loyalty and reduces attrition.

 Training can also add flexibility and efficiency. Employees can be cross-trained to become proficient in the different aspects of the organization. This will help keep them interested and will be extremely useful during times of vacant positions or absenteeism.

 Training has become essential for knowledge transfer. In-house training, or trainings conducted by an experienced member of a team will ensure that there are enough people to take charge if the particular experienced person leaves the company. Mostly, trainings assure that both employees and organizations are not stagnant but always emerging and growing.

These benefits might provoke you to conduct trainings for the right reason. But that is not enough.

Trainings will be of no use until they are executed perfectly. This execution begins from initial planning but does not end at the completion of training. Yes, there is more to training than just arranging for a trainer and holding a two-day training workshop. Training continues even after the workshop is over, but not many organizations help in driving the post workshop training.

Even during training, employees face challenges such as:

- Urgent calls or emails

- Arriving late or leaving early due to work commitments

- Sudden meetings or clients that need to be attended to

- Attending programs which are not relevant for their particular roles

Training needs to be planned keeping the employee’s roles and competencies in mind. They need to be prioritized and arranged well so that the employee can attend the program without any baggage from work. Another important point that needs to be addressed is that of management and staff support. An employee can harness all the benefits of training only when his colleagues and his supervisors support him. These employees can be supported by:

 They should be able to focus on the training with undivided attention. This means no work related calls or emails.

 The management has to support the employees in practicing what they have learned in their training. This could mean giving them assignments that will help them inculcate their learned skills or behaviours. They need to be given time to effectively apply all that they have learned.

 Employees can be assessed on how well they apply their learned skills. This well help in keeping them motivated and can also provide a chance for the organization to assess how cost-effective the training was.

By considering the above points, a training program can be made more successful and valuable to the employees and to the organization.

So, let us not trivialize a training program by conducting substandard TNA’s and hiring unqualified trainers.

Let us not trivialize a training program by randomly selecting a date for the workshop or by completing it as a compulsion.

Let us definitely not trivialize a training program by trivializing its importance.

Conducting an effective training program is a huge responsibility which if shouldered correctly will reap your organization a sizable yield. This responsibility will obviously require a great deal of effort. There is a 100% certainty of headaches and maybe some ulcers and perhaps what organizations avoid the most- “spending money”. But, once again please imagine this situation:

CFO asks the CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?”

CEO: “What happens if we don’t, and they stay?”

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