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Speak Out to Play a Bigger Game

Well, that training was a waste of time

May 6, 2021 | Paula Smith

7 training mistakes

7 Critical Workforce Development/Training Mistakes

Unfortunately, that phrase rings true for way too many organisations.

How does this happen? For several reasons, let’s explore some critical training and development mistakes that have the potential to waste your valuable talent development dollars.

1. There was no strategic needs analysis

Training is not a stand-alone event.  All training needs to align to the current and future outcomes and direction of an organization.  Just because everyone else is delivering training on a new trendy topic, doesn’t mean that this training is a priority for your organization at this time. A needs analysis can be complex in a large organisation but there are also some simple strategies to use when deciding what training should to be delivered and when.

2. The wrong people attended, or the right people didn’t attend

It might be powerful training but perhaps all the people in the room didn’t need to complete it. Or on other occasions organisations only send one key staff member to a training workshop and expect the learning to transfer to the rest of the team. Research suggests that sending only one person to critical professional development training that the entire organisation needs is a waste of time for successful skill transfer into the workplace.

3. The wrong content and method

Not all skills development training is created equal.  Ensure the content perfectly aligns to the outcomes your organisation wishes to achieve from the training. And the method of delivery meets learning best practice.  Content varies in every topic. I have yet to see any training company design and deliver the same content as others in their industry, unless they are buying off the shelf/clean skin programmes and materials which many new trainers and training companies sometimes use.  Bespoke and customised solutions, even if they cost a little more, or even a whole lot more, will provide a much better ROI in the long run. Ensure you discuss in detail the content and the chosen methodologies for the proposed training.

4. The wrong trainer or expert

Not all trainers are created equal either. Do your due diligence. There are many things to consider when choosing the right trainer. Price is only one of them (although you usually get what you pay for). Have you considered these questions?   Is the trainer the right fit for the target group? does this trainer have lived experience as well as qualifications? (for some groups qualifications do matter), does this trainer have a consistent track record for quality delivery? does this trainer use their own IP (Intellectual Property) or are they using someone else’s? can your trainer easily contextualise to ensure relevance to industry, market and group? does the trainer have enough experience to be responsive and flexible within the training day?  And the biggie….if contracting a training company instead of dealing with the trainer direct, do you get to choose your perfect trainer and consult with them directly?  

5. The evaluation strategy was useless

Feedback Forms or Happy Sheets, as the veterans of training still might refer to them as, could prove limited or totally useless in evaluating the effectiveness of your training. Your evaluation strategy should be just as robust as your due diligence for the training content and trainer.  If you are unsure of this, feel free to phone me for a chat about the many different evaluation strategies you can use, not just for evaluating training but for any presentation, professional development or even talent coaching. Evaluation matters.

6. Lack of opportunity to use new knowledge and skills

The old saying ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ applies to workplace training too.  For new knowledge and skills to embed in the memory, they must be recalled and practiced for sustainable change.  Ensure there are ample opportunities after training for attendees to use their newfound knowledge and skills.

7. They don’t continue to grow

Rarely does sustainable change happen with a helicopter approach. Ensure the training is aligned for further opportunities to learn.  For example, many of my Presentation Skills master class attendees can access a 12-month self-paced course to keep the content fresh and to provide spaced learning opportunity. Or at least design your professional development approach with spacing in mind (let me know if you would like some research around the science of spaced learning) 

If you would like to explore a different approach to your workforce development initiatives reach out for an obligation free chat.

Although I specialise in Powerful Presenting and Leadership Communication and would love to work with you or your team in this area, my training company also has access to some talented, experienced and qualified experts in most topic areas. Our trainers are also trained in our methods, approach and ethos.

Is your training approach wasting time, resources and talent development budgets?

Let’s change the phrase ‘well that training was a waste of time’ to

That training was the best investment decision we have made this year

Keynote Speaker CSP, Master Trainer and Business Leadership Coach
Paula has been helping experts, entrepreneurs, leaders and teams to harness the power of effective communication and leadership for the past 30 years.

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